Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2017

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Ashwin Gopi, co-founder, Rise Products Age: 28 "T he way we consume protein is unhealthy," says Ashwin Gopi, co-founder of Rise Products. "We don't eat steamed fish; we eat steak and fried chicken, and this causes health problems. We need a healthy source of protein that has none of the associated calories or cholesterol." With this mindset, Gopi and his co-founder Bertha Jimenez founded Rise Products, a food tech startup in Brooklyn, N.Y., that is upcycling organic byproducts into valuable ingredients. Rise collects unspent barley from breweries and turns it into a tasty and nutritious f lour by using its proprietary technology. "I am motivated by the environmental and social benefits that Rise can provide to urban ecosystems where there is a huge gap between the needs of impoverished communities and the vast amounts of resources that are wasted." Gopi is currently testing different types of organic by-products with the Rise proprietary technology, hoping to continue to find new ways to extract healthy protein from food that is considered waste. The company is also testing roots from AeroFarms, a Newark N.J.-based vertical farm, and will begin testing carrots and celery by-products from specialty food distributor, Baldor, in the future. Gopi's hope for Rise is that it can become a food tech accelerator for all sources of by-products that helps other organizations diminish their waste and convert it into usable ingredients. "I see Rise as not only reducing pollution by turning waste into value, but also providing urban communities access to affordable nutrition."—S.K. 12 under 35 44 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com Amelia Ekus, general manager, @twEATs Café Age: 28 A melia Ekus calls herself a "lifer" in the food business and has always been surrounded by professional food talk. "My father had a barbecue restaurant where I started as a busser at 14 and my mother has a culinary agency for cookbook authors and chefs." Ekus graduated from the Gallatin School at NYU—where students create their own major—with a focus on activism in the food industry and social entrepreneurship, and has worked in a variety of positions at New York City restaurants, beginning as a server and moving her way up to management. She's helped bring that restaurant approach to the corporate dining world at Twitter, where, she notes, they run the New York City cafe like a restaurant. One way they do this is by offering unusual food opportunities for the Tweeps, as the Twitter employees are known. They have a guest chef program where recently, several chefs who were in town to do a James Beard dinner created a meal at Twitter headquarters the day before. They had a special series honoring women in food where, "we featured different inf luential female chefs by making their recipes every day for a week and tweeted out about them. On Friday, the women in our kitchen who are here every- day completely conceptualized the entire dish." But something she's very excited about is the ability to focus on socially conscious sourcing and sustainable practices with the inf luence of a big social media company behind her. "We worked with Hot Bread Kitchen, an east Harlem baking cooperative and culinary training program, and not only did our people love the pastries, many went on to support that business themselves." A big passion for Ekus is her sustainable seafood initiative and she's excited about going beyond educating people about fish fraud and responsible buying to helping change the market itself. —S.S.

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