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Food Starter entrepreneurs share their experiences in the Humber College’s Bachelor of Commerce Capstone Project

March 17, 2017

by Amanda Scriver

Last month, we shared how six of our incredible Food Starter entrepreneurs were matched up by Humber College’s Bachelor of Commerce program to take part in the college’s Capstone Project. Since then, many of our Food Starter entrepreneurs have been hitting the ground running with the students to develop plans to grow their existing food businesses.

NONA Vegan

“As an early stage startup there is so much to do including research projects to prepare for the company’s future expansions. Unfortunately it always get pushed to the side for more time sensitive tasks,” explained Esther Jiang, CEO of Gryllies, a company that makes high protein pasta sauces using cricket protein. For Jiang, working alongside the students has not only been motivating but a great opportunity for her company to look into expanding to the United States. Jiang explained that while they are only one month into the program, the students have been brainstorming strategies on how to mitigate risks associated with shipping her product south.


For many of the Food Starter entrepreneurs, having the opportunity to work one-on-one with the students has been valuable and rewarding. “I’ve been learning a lot! I view my team as digital marketing experts, all with unique talents, skills and qualities,” shared Monica Roe, founder and CEO of Crooked Tree Fine Foods. Roe is not alone, as many of the other Food Starter entrepreneurs have echoed that collaborating with the students has not only been exciting, but an incredible opportunity. “I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I love marketing, and rarely have any time to devote to it,” shared Kailey Gilchrist, sauce boss of NONA Vegan Foods “So far we’ve been bouncing ideas off of one another and to have the adequate marketing support for our venture is exciting.”

Crooked Tree Fine Foods

While the Capstone Project has provided an incredible experience for Food Starter clients, it has also provided hands-on experience to the students who need it to prepare for their careers in business. “The students are super eager to help and put into practice what they are learning,” shared Carolina Foresti, owner of Carolina’s Box of Goodness. Alongside the students, Foresti is in the stages of developing new packaging and a website refresh for her company. “While I have full control over the final product, I love working with people who love their job and you can feel that they are super excited about the project, too. It is a win-win situation!”

Carolina’s Box of Goodness

With a few more months left in the project, this is just the beginning of a very fruitful relationship with Humber College’s Bachelor of Commerce program. “Every interaction has led to knowledge gain and a keener understanding of my startup,” shared Aamar Khwaja, founder of modgarden. During this first month, pavement has been laid to uncover new horizons for our Food Starter entrepreneurs to use throughout the Capstone Project and beyond.  “You can’t lose with this connection!  If they come up with some great viable idea, then you are ahead,” explains Jackie Kwitko, owner of Fressy Bessie Foods.

Mod Garden

You’ll be hearing more about how these projects progress, right here on the blog, so stay tuned. Next month, we’ll be chatting with some of the students to see what they are learning from our Food Starter entrepreneurs.  We hope that you’ll follow along with us!

Fressy Bessie Foods