Several startup companies that are part of Stony Brook University’s Food Business Incubator at Calverton have been invited to participate in Dan’s Taste premier food and wine events in the Hamptons this summer, which are hosted by Dan’s Papers and Schneps Media. Every summer, these popular events are frequented by local and international tastemakers, business leaders, celebrities, socialites and other esteemed guests and sponsors — giving these startups a unique opportunity to gain exposure.
Chewma already participated in the Rosé Soirée, featuring tasting bites from top chefs paired with local and international rosé wines, on Saturday, July 24. Afragola Dolce LLC will be at GrillHampton on Friday, August 20, where East End chefs will compete against New York City chefs. Then on Saturday, August 21, Chef Frank’s Market, Clarkson Avenue Crumb Cake Co., The Biscotti Company and Newlight Breadworks will participate in the 10th annual Taste of Two Forks, which celebrates the best of the East End’s restaurants and wineries from both the North and South Forks. All the events take place at Nova’s Ark Project in Watermill, NY.
Restaurateur Don Evans, host of the Dan’s Taste events, invited the startups to participate this summer after a recent tour of the incubator in Calverton. “I had heard a lot of very positive things about the Food Incubator, and during the tour I could see it was a center of creativity,” said Evans. “I could tell these startups are going to be stars because they are so far ahead of others in their field. They all have great products and know how to sell. When I left there, I was so excited to tell all my vendors that these companies are going to be participating in our events.”
The Calverton Food Incubator provides a facility, support and a structured growth pathway to enable food product companies to become successful. It has a shared-use commercial manufacturing kitchen that member companies use to prepare and produce food products as an integral part of their business. Dedicated storage and operations spaces are available as companies grow to enable a lower-risk pathway of scaling business, with the ultimate objective of outgrowing the facility and becoming sustainable on Long Island.
“As a small food producer, it’s great to be a part of the Stony Brook Incubator program. The resources and camaraderie have been invaluable in getting my business off the ground,” said Petra Pasquina, founder and CEO of Chewma.
“Working at the Food Business Incubator at Calverton has provided us the opportunity to scale our business five times over what we did in 2020. Without access to the Incubator facility, and the opportunity to build out our own room, we would not have had the ability to grow as quickly or responsibly,” said Stephen Robinson, founder and CEO of Newlight Breadworks.
“The Incubator has allowed my business to grow, network and expand,” said Hayley Botte owner of Afragola Dolce LLC. “Not only because of the amazing facility, but because Yvonne really works with each business individually to create a plan for them.”
Food Business Incubator Manager Yvonne Schultz leads the incubator, which is used by 64 companies. “Every company that comes to Calverton has a story and a passion for why they decide to go into the food industry. It’s a pleasure to work with them and watch their business grow,” she said.
— Lynne Roth