Success Stories


February 21, 2017

Food Xcel Pitch Day

Visit the Food Xcel Pitch Day Agenda

photo credit: Brian L. Simpson

Island food entrepreneurs have been selected in the Food Xcel program to compete for a $30,000 grand prize. The Food Xcel Program began in November, 2016 with 39 entrepreneurs learning how to move their food ideas forward. Food Island Partnership has selected seven entrepreneurs for the final competition day being held at the Startup Zone on February 22nd, 2017.

The food entrepreneurs selected are Marc Bastarache with Acadian style potatoes, Julain Molnar with fauxmage non-dairy cheese, Ryan Abdallah with garlic paste, Sarah Bennetto O’Brien with hand pies, Jordan Liantzakis with charcuterie, Gabriel Mercier and Deidre Doiron with sheep cheese and yogurt, and Verena Varga with kombucha. “I am truly excited to be involved with the Food Xcel Program. We believe that new food entrepreneurs are key for Prince Edward Island’s food industry success. After attending the first workshop, I saw the excitement and passion of the innovative food ideas that were presented from each entrepreneur. I look forward to seeing the winner’s success in the coming years.” - John Rowe,  Chair of Food Island Partnership

The Food Xcel program was developed to help aspiring food entrepreneurs through a combination of progressive workshops, networking opportunities with food agencies, industry experts, and entrepreneurs. The program breaks down the process of developing a food product into smaller steps to help entrepreneurs make progress, test assumptions, and build momentum. Food Island Partnership established a support team for the program to help entrepreneurs build their food business, as every entrepreneur has different strengths.

Food Xcel is an initiative of the Food Island Partnership. As Canada’s Food Island, Prince Edward Island’s world-class food cluster is developing a reputation for high quality raw ingredients, product development expertise and facilities, and responsive government partners.

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