DECATUR TRIBUNE – Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Soozie’s Doozies, LLC of Union, Missouri, was named the grand prize winner of the 2016 Food Innovation Challenge Thursday at the Decatur Club in Decatur.

Owners Olivia Kelvin and Robert Stanton will receive $50,000 in seed funding from Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) and $50,000 in services from National Foodworks Services (NFS), along with other prizes, all “T to help advance their food innovation.

“It’s tough being an entrepreneur, and sometimes you just want to quit.  But tonight makes it all worthwhile.  We couldn’t be more excited for the future of Soozie’s Doozies,” Stanaton said.

Soozie’s Doozies received support from mentors Jon Steighman, senior director of food applications, ADM’s WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business unit; and John Wellehan, managing director, Good Food Business Accelerator to help refine their product business plan.

Kathy’s Kitchen of Virginia, Illinois, and Sweet Freedom Gluten Free Bakery of New Hampton, Iowa, were named the second and third place winners, respectively.

“The caliber of contestants we saw in the first year of this contest was truly impressive, and it’s a great reflection of the fantastic food innovation small entrepreneurs can bring to the table,” said Vince Macciocchi, president of ADM’s WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business unit.  “This challenge has been a great way to foster growth in new industry talent and build relationships with future food innovators.  We congratulate all the winners and look forward to seeing them prosper in the future.”

“All ten semi-finalists were really winners here because throughout this process. They gained access to top talent in the food industry and a great deal of insight to help grow their business,” said Tony Caccomo, managing partner, NFS. “And the City of Decatur is a winner here too because this contest allowde us to showcase the vast resources available to entrepreneurs in this region as well as the potential for Decatur to be a national hub for food innovation.”

Additional prizes and services were provided by other contest sponsors including Airpack, County Market, Dale’s Southlake Pharmacy, Jones & Thomas, and Merieux NutriSciences.

A full list of contest sponsors is available at in addition to more information about the finalists and their food innovations.

The Food Innovation Challenge is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.

The Food innovation Challenge is a start-up competition for aspiring Midwest cash entrepreneurs to showcase their new or early stage food business and product ideas.