Several diverse-owned businesses from across Minnesota were honored by Hy-Vee as the grocer awarded $50,000 to local companies during its OpportUNITY Inclusive Business Summit at U.S. Bank Stadium.
During the pitch competition portion of the event, 15 companies had the opportunity to present products to a panel of judges and more than 350 event attendees. A committee of community business experts and Hy-Vee executives served as judges and selected the finalists from a pool of nearly 150 applications.
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The following companies were honored:
Grand Prize Winner
$30,000: Momease Solutions, Inc., Plymouth
Momease Solutions is a women-owned company founded in Sept. 2021 by Dr. Ashley Mooneyham after she struggled to effectively pump breast milk while working full time. The business aims to create an innovative warming and massaging pumping bra to facilitate fast, comfortable, and complete milk extraction while using a breast pump. To date, no pump accessory exists that combines warmth and positive pressure massage in a hands-free manner.
Category: Food & Beverage
1st place - $5,000: All Clean Food, Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
All Clean Food is founded by Laura Meemken whose mission is to make eating well easier for all, including those with food allergies and sensitivities. The company sells organic, gluten-free, plant-based pasta meals that are free from the top 14 food allergens. Meals are made with real ingredients only and ready to eat in 12 minutes.
Category: Innovation & Technology
1st place - $5,000: TurnSignl, Minneapolis
TurnSignl is a local black-owned mobile platform that connects drivers to attorneys via video chat during traffic stops and car accidents. The award-winning app is live in more than 20 states nationwide. TurnSignl’s mission is to protect drivers' civil rights, deescalate roadside interactions and get everyone home safely.
Category: Health, Wellness & Beauty
1st place - $5,000: Dress Up to Calm Down, St. Paul
Dress Up to Calm Down helps kids with sensory processing difficulties, autism and anxiety calm down in a natural and fun way using weighted costumes. The weighted costumes provide a fun alternative to the weighted vests and blankets currently on the market right now. The organization is working on launching a line of discrete weighted everyday clothing for kids to use in the community and at school so they can fit in when they already stand out.
Additionally, Soul Grain of St. Paul and Silk Road Wellness of Bloomington were presented with the Judge’s Choice Award and received $2,500 each.
The event was the third summit Hy-Vee has hosted in support of underrepresented groups to provide these business owners with access to funding and valuable business development resources. The company said these summits are part of Hy-Vee’s ongoing commitment to diversifying its supplier base and product offerings, as well as supporting minority communities across its eight-state territory.
Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states and has a team of more than 93,000 employees. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 30 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.