Focus Forward

M. Lynne Robinson is a CPA with over 30 years of management experience in a variety of executive positions. After completing her MBA with an emphasis in marketing from Northwestern University, she went on to successfully run her own company, Robinson Management Resources. Since 2002, she continues to apply her leadership experience as president of Reliable Water Services.



Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge 2014: Indiana Finalists Preview!

Our 3rd annual (wow!) Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge Indiana judging event is coming up next Wednesday (July 30th) at Ivy Tech Corporate College & Culinary Center in Indianapolis. We’re really excited to meet all our talented finalists in person and try all their delightful and delicious entries. Getting this far in the competition is surely a huge boost for each of our finalists, as they’ll have the opportunity to meet with fellow foodies and to receive some truly priceless feedback from industry leaders at the judging event.

This year we have two categories—Startup & Early Stage—so we have a grand total of 6 Indiana finalists! (There will be one winner in each category.) The winners will be selected based upon pre-determined criteria, including: flavor, appearance/presentation, creativity, and marketability.

Check out our preview of each finalist’s entry and their thoughts on how it feels to be a Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge finalist!

Indiana Startup Finalists

The Startup category contains entries that are brand new food concept ideas. Prizes include: $2,000 in seed money from Reliable Water Services, expert consultation and a scholarship from Ivy Tech Community College, $1,250 in kitchen design services from, and Navigator business plan and marketing plan software from ISBDC.

Eddie WilliamsVineyard Fishery Deli

Creole & Mediterranean cuisine/smoked meats

EddieWilliams_IvyTechCreole & Mediterranean-inspired restaurant/deli specializing in smoked meats and seafood (salmon and shrimp) offering easy-to-go meals, in-store tapas and wine/food pairings.

“My healthy cooking concepts were inspired by the book, What Would Jesus Eat?. Vineyard Fishery is a full service deli and wine bar. Our objective is to provide our clients with specialty smoked fish & smoked meats products. The health benefits are a protein & heart-healthy diet of Omega-3, which “reverses cholesterol.” Our primary smoked meat products are smoked with: hickory wood, mesquite, apple and cherry wood. We use farm-raised & wild-caught fresh fish and poultry products. We will purchase locally sold and locally farm fresh products, when available. Wine & Food Pairing is also another area we specialize in. We incorporate a fusion of Mediterranean with Creole food compositions along with Napa Valley wine concepts.”

John & Andrea BurkhardtPetality

organic flower tisanes and organic flower sodas

Andrea_JohnBurkhardt_Petality_cropDelicious and healthy organic flower beverages (freshly‐brewed tisanes and sodas) that would be packaged and sold to grocery stores, in restaurants and online.

“My sister and I co-founded Petality, the world’s only organic flower beverage company, to passionately lead the world in the complete, daily enjoyment of flowers. Flowers add unquantifiable and irreplaceable benefit to people’s lives, and their value extends far beyond appearance. The beautiful flavors, aromas, and health benefits of flowers have been celebrated throughout history and around the world. So, with a purist, vitality-oriented approach, we’re boldly yet gracefully showcasing the natural beauty of organic flowers in aromatically and flavorfully stunning “tisanes” for the health-conscious and in the world’s first Organic Palm Flower soda (based on nutritious and popular Coconut Palm Flower nectar). The results of Petality’s epic endeavor are beautiful, crave-able sensory and health experiences unlike anything available on the market—and they also meet every important criteria in what we call “Petality’s 20 Distinctives,” viewable on our website. Ultimately, we’re championing the cause of pollinators by driving demand for organic flowers which support pollinator populations currently on the decline as a result of pesticide use.”

Melissa ThornburghIndy’s Bikery

handmade baked goods delivered by bicycle

IndyBikery_JapaneseCheesecakePremium handmade baked goods such as Japanese cheesecake, brioche donuts and chocolate mousse cake would be delivered to neighborhoods via bicycle with the goal of creating a worker cooperative.






Indiana Early Stage Finalists

The Early Stage category consists of food product companies in business three years or less. Prizes include: $2,000 in seed money from Reliable Water Services, expert consultation and a scholarship from Ivy Tech Community College, $1,250 in kitchen design services from, and Navigator business plan and marketing plan software from ISBDC.

Ben FogtThe Flatrock Flatbread Company

brick oven, wood-fired pizzas

BenFogt_7420Unique Neo‐Neapolitan pizzas made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and sold at public events, farmers markets, and as a private caterer. The challenge is in determining the best channels of distribution and deciding whether to open a brick and mortar restaurant.

“I am honored to be chosen as a finalist and I’m grateful to Reliable Water Services for the chance to show off what we’ve grow into over a couple years. I am proud to be bringing some of our fresh and bold flavors to Indianapolis all wrapped up in that food that in the end is just pizza. Our pizzas are often topped with modern combinations like Brussels sprouts and pancetta or chorizo and egg, even chocolate, raspberries, and marshmallows, but they are baked at a blistering temperature of 900° in our mobile oven that runs only on wood. We combine 21st century flavors with a cooking method honed for centuries and take it wherever people want to be fed.”

Lynne DriscollGreenfield Cookie Dough Company

take & bake cookie dough

LynneDriscoll_HeadshotAn all-natural preservative-free take-n-bake cookie dough sold as a frozen product to extend its shelf life. The challenge is in finding the best distribution method and market angle.

“I am thrilled that my food business (Greenfield Cookie Dough Company) and story was selected as a finalist in the Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge in the first year featuring the ‘early-stage’ startup category. We produce an all-natural take-n-bake cookie dough that has no preservatives, in artful and responsible packaging, and using the best ingredients around. This journey has been an evolution of my passion of creating all-natural recipes for busy households, leaning into my business experience and savvy then coupled with an intense sense of curiosity of just ‘where would this idea go’? I have been pleasantly surprised at the overwhelming positive support of my retailers and customers who love my product, my concept, and the convenience of what we bring to market. While my startup story is entertaining, my overall story is simple: Once upon a time there was a girl in the country who loved the smell of fresh baked cookies and wanted to share it with the world. And so she did. Devour responsibly.”

Matthew KornmeyerScratchtruck Bacon Marmalade

a retail version of the food truck favorite

MattKornmeyer_cropA sweet, smoky bacon marmalade that tops everything from burgers and meatloaf to scrambled eggs. The challenge is in building up to distribution to large retail stores (Kroger, Marsh, Fresh Market etc.) and eventually expanding the line with other items from the Scratchtruck food truck.

“It’s very cool to be chosen as a Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge finalist. I’m really looking forward to speaking with the judges and learning from their experiences in the industry. This should be a great learning experience, so I’m excited to meet them and gain more industry knowledge.”



We wish all of our talented finalists best wishes throughout the contest. While not everyone will win the grand prize, everyone can and will walk away with valuable industry knowledge they can apply to their food concept business right away.

Congratulations and best of luck to all of our Indiana Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge finalists. See you Wednesday!

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One Response to Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge 2014: Indiana Finalists Preview!
  1. Pingback: Indiana’s 2014 Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge WINNERS! « Welcome to Reliable Water Services Blogs

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