Eight Local RI Food Ventures Selected to Participate in SEG’s 2020 Food Accelerator

Providence, R.I. (February 18, 2020) – Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) announced today that eight social ventures from Rhode Island are participating in its 2020 Food Accelerator program. The Food Accelerator offers an industry-tailored curriculum and advising, customized face-to-face instruction, peer learning, and access to a network of industry experts in addition to the entire SEG Advisor network to help social entrepreneurs grow their food-related businesses.

The purpose of SEG’s Food Accelerator program is to stimulate innovation in Rhode Island’s food and farming sector and to help create more successful, sustainable “do well, do good” businesses, leading to healthier communities for all. The three-month program culminates with a Pitch Night on Thursday, April 30, held at SEG’s coworking space at 10 Davol Square in Providence.

SEG’s 2020 Food Accelerator is delivered in partnership with Brown University and is funded by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Real Jobs RI Initiative, United Natural Foods, Blount Fine Foods, and Newman’s Own Foundation. Forty-eight social ventures have graduated from the SEG Food Accelerator since its start in 2016.

Participants chosen for SEG’s 2020 Food Accelerator are as follows:

Distinguish Catering produces a sauce line that features a burst of ethnic flavors in one taste, with the goal of increasing potential jobs for individuals and addressing social issues in Liberia. Founder: Jessica Zeon of Providence, R.I.

Eden’s Bowls develops and sells convenient and complete, fully plant-based, allergen-friendly meals and food products to people on the go. Founder: Michelle Robinson of Johnston, R.I.

FreshConn uses innovative technology to deliver nutrient-dense, farm-fresh groceries straight from the harvest to people who have limited access to local food. Founders: Brandon Monti & Patrick Straus of Cranston, R.I.

Kitchen to Market, a program of the YWCA, meets the unique needs of low-income women by removing barriers to food entrepreneurship including language, formal education, credentials, and access to capital. Founder: Deborah Perry of Central Falls, R.I.

Lila introduces exciting new superfoods from China, such as dried black goji berries, to the American market, using sustainable packaging and supporting a living wage for farmers in remote areas. Founders: Jasmine Yang & Karina Bao of Providence, R.I.

Providence Gardenworks is an urban home composting and gardening business that provides installation, training, and technical support to help families and communities reduce food waste and develop sustainable food habits. Founder: Stewart Martin of Providence, R.I.

Restoration Coop, an entrepreneurial training program for formerly incarcerated African American males in Rhode Island, will utilize local experts to ensure that students develop relevant skills and training in the green industry. Founder: Tarshire Battle of Pawtucket, R.I.

The Southside Farm-to-Market Center is a food hub in Providence working with small-scale farmers of color in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to build an equitable local food system. The Farm-to-Market Center will provide FDA-compliant wash, packing, storage, and processing facilities, along with marketing, and distribution services for farmers and other food businesses. Founder: Jazandra Barros of Providence, R.I.

About Social Enterprise Greenhouse
Social Enterprise Greenhouse creates positive social and economic impact by providing social entrepreneurs and enterprises with the tools and networks they need to thrive. It fosters an ecosystem of diverse stakeholders who work to enable a more just, equitable and resilient economy and operates statewide out of three programming sites in Providence, Newport, and Pawtucket/Central Falls. To learn more, visit www.segreenhouse.org.


Karen Donovan
Communications Manager
Social Enterprise Greenhouse