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Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a microlending and mentoring program for food, beverage, craft beer, and hospitality small businesses, announced that Brewla Bars has won the program's 2013 national Pitch Room competition. Founded by siblings
Daniel and Rebecca Dengrove, Brewla Bars are healthy, popsicle-like treats based on brewed ingredients such as tea, root beer and coffee.
The Pitch Room competition, introduced this year as a new component of the Brewing the American Dream program, helps small business owners perfect the art of the sales pitch and is another way the program is extending its focus on coaching and mentoring.
On Monday, six finalists from regional Pitch Room competitions across the country traveled to the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery to present their best two-minute sales pitch before a panel of business experts and retail buyers. The judges provided feedback and advice to each participant before ultimately selecting Brewla Bars as the national Pitch Room winner. They evaluated each business and pitch using specific criteria, including quality, creativity, passion, and product viability.
The final competition panel of judges included:
Jim Koch, brewer and founder, Samuel Adams
Sandy Block, vice president of beverage operations, Legal Sea Foods
Gina Harman, president and CEO, Accion U.S. Network
Amy Latimer, president of the TD Garden, Delaware North Companies
Todd Merry, chief marketing officer, Delaware North Companies
Ron Lundy, manager of a large national drug store chain
The six finalists, selected from four regional Pitch Room competitions held across the country, included:
New York winners Daniel and Rebecca Dengrove, Brewla Bars
New York runners-up Catherine Oddenino and Ruthie Vishlitzky, Luca & Bosco
There was also a "People's Choice" winner selected by the general public. Videos of the six finalists' pitches were posted on the
Samuel Adams Facebook page, and the small business owner with the most "likes" was named the "People's Choice." This year's winner was Luca & Bosco, which creates fine-crafted ice cream.
"All of the small business owners in the Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room did a great job and had really interesting, quality products," said
Jim Koch. "
Daniel and Rebecca Dengrove were able to set themselves apart with a strong pitch, smart packaging, and the ability to convey how Brewla Bars appeal to a wide range of consumers. Their passion was evident right from the start, and they successfully demonstrated their business story. That's really what we were looking for."
Koch noted that Brewla Bars will receive a
$10,000 business grant, extended mentoring and support from Samuel Adams including a series of in-depth business coaching sessions. As the Pitch Room's 2013 "People's Choice," winner Luca & Bosco will also receive a coaching package from Samuel Adams based on their specific business needs.
"We're incredibly excited to win the Pitch Room," said the Dengroves. "We've already received feedback that's helped improve our sales pitch, and we can't wait to start the business coaching and mentoring with the folks at Sam Adams. They have such a passion for helping small businesses and so much knowledge that we really feel our work with the team could be transformative for our business."