The Next Big Thing in Food

In “Shark Tank” style, the grand finale of the Oregon Angel Food 2022 (OregonAF) event will reveal which one of the final four food and beverage makers will receive an angel investment of $200,000 Saturday, September 17, 1-6 pm. The event, hosted by the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN), includes a marketplace featuring regional food and beverage entrepreneurs, product sampling and access to a beer garden and food trucks with items for sale. Marketplace companies based in SE Portland include Sebastiano’s, Bobbie’s Boat Sauce, Cultured Kindness, Flourish Spices & African Food, Smith Tea Maker and Ranger Chocolate Company.

Earlier this year, the OregonAF education and investment program kicked off a month-long investment-readiness and mentorship series for food and beverage makers. More than 50 entrepreneurs from across Oregon and SW Washington applied for consideration with OregonAF angel investors. During July and August the investors met with and evaluated each company, which included a review of financials, tours of commercial kitchens and an evaluation of their products. The field was narrowed to the final four last month – Mickelberry Gardens (herbal honey tonics and beeswax-based skin care), GoNanas (vegan, gluten free and allergen-friendly banana breads), Saena Baking Co. (dessert oriented baking products) and One Stripe Chai Co. (who has been an anchor at the Montavilla Farmers Market for years)–and now it’s up to the finalists to win the hearts of the panel of investors with their presentations.

This is the fourth year of OregonAF, but only the second time it has taken place in person. The 2020 and 2021 events were virtual and Amanda Oborne, OEN Executive Director says, “We are going big this year with this signature event. It’s a great time for foodies, budding foodies and the community at large to discover new Oregon food and beverage products, buy some to take home and find these products at local grocers following the event.”

Jovani Prince, founder and CEO of The Cracker King, received the Taster’s Champ Award at OregonAF 2020 and will serve as emcee for the main stage finale. The event takes place at The Redd on Salmon, 831 SE Salmon St. Tickets ($15-75) are available at Entrance is free for children under 12.

The Next Big Thing in Food

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