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Zwitchel Craft Cocktail Syrup, Linnea’s Pops & Lickers Win Local Food Entrepreneur Challenge
Aachar Dipping Sauces & Linnea’s Pops & Lickers Take People’s Choice Prizes   

July 21, 2016

Amber Frymark from Hales Corners and Linnea Harrington from Whitefish Bay have been named start-up and early stage category winners of the Wisconsin Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge.  The Challenge is sponsored by Reliable Water Services, a statewide provider of commercial water heaters, boilers and water softeners, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and FaB Wisconsin, the state’s food and beverage industry cluster network.  Other sponsors include Wisconsin Restaurant Association and Fein Brothers.

Frymark won the grand prize in the start-up category for Zwitchel Craft Cocktail Syrup, a gourmet cocktail syrup incorporating switchel, a drink made with water, vinegar and ginger which originated in Caribbean and became popular in American colonies in the 18th century.  Harrington took the early stage grand prize for Linnea’s Pops and Lickers, handcrafted and spirited frozen treats.

The audience also awarded a People’s Choice prize in the startup category to Barkha Limbu Daily for her line of Aachar Dipping Sauces, a new line of gluten-free dips, sauces and relishes incorporating fruits and vegetables.  The early stage People’s Choice prize was awarded to Linnea’s Pops & Lickers.

The other finalists included:  Start-up category – Lora Murray from Menomonee Falls for Sinful Whoopie, a sweet or savory recipe of German/Polish heritage that incorporates local beer, cheeses and spices. Early Stage category:  Stephen Glazer from West Allis for Stuffed, a recently launched food truck specializing in the Polish staple pierogi and Laurie Pedersen from West Bend for Moondance Michelada Mix, a concentrate mix crafted with a blend of seasonings, spices and lime juice to create the perfect Michelada.

Grand Prize winners took home a grand prize of $2,000 in seed money from Reliable Water Services to boost their business; tuition for a 3-credit course at MATC during the 2016-17 academic year; consultation with FaB Wisconsin’s director of industry growth and a one-year membership in FaB; a booth at the 2017 Midwest Foodservice Expo and a prize package worth $350 from Fein Brothers Restaurant Equipment & Supplies.

“While it was a tight race, we felt that our winners had originality, taste and were the most ready to take their products to the next level,” said Pam Mehnert, General Manager of Outpost Natural Foods and contest judge.  

Other contest judges included Jenny Marino, president/CEO, Angelic Bakehouse, Kurt Fogle, co-owner, Bass Bay Brewhouse, Peter Gottsacker, president, Wixon Seasonings & Flavor Systems and Tonya Garrido, executive chef, Harwood Place Independent & Assisted Senior Living.

A photo gallery of the event can be viewed at this link.

For more information on the Challenge, visit Reliable Water Services at www.reliablewater247.com/hottest-kitchen.