Food Foundry Accelerator Announces Fifth Cohort of Early-Stage Foodservice Startups

CHICAGO — Food Foundry, an accelerator program built by Relish Works and Gordon Food Service for early-stage startups disrupting the food and foodservice industry, announces the five startups that will join their fifth cohort starting in January 2023.

“For 125 years, Gordon Food Service has encouraged our teams to impact the future of foodservice,” said Rich Wolowski, President & CEO of Gordon Food Service. “We’re excited to continue that legacy by supporting our fifth cohort of emerging companies pioneering fresh approaches to various challenges in our industry.”

The 2023 cohort members are:

  • The Crop Project is an agricultural processing and wholesale company devoted to bringing regenerative crops to market, beginning with Atlantic Sugar Kelp.
  • CZero Foods is building the new fulfillment cold-chain and making it carbon-neutral and cost-accessible for food CPG brands of all sizes and stages of growth.
  • FlexSea is developing home compostable and naturally degradable film and packaging formulations derived from seaweed to tackle the global plastic pollution crisis.
  • FreshPost is enabling retailers of perishable goods to offer secure and branded out-of-home delivery services through modular and temperature-controlled locker systems.
  • SupplyNow is a digital purchasing and logistics solution that provides on-demand supplies to restaurants to navigate supply chain failures.

Selected from 500+ global applicants, each demonstrated an exceptional level of new and innovative solutions, strong founder teams, and an eagerness to learn from industry experts across the Gordon Food Service and Food Foundry ecosystem.

Mandy Tahvonen, VP & Managing Director of Relish Works said, “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Relish Works and Gordon Food Service. We are committed to supporting and growing early-stage food and foodservice businesses through funding and growth opportunities and are excited to welcome our fifth cohort to our community.”

Additionally, Food Foundry welcomes the following Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR):

  • Betsy Fore, Co-Founder of Tiny Organics and Natives Rising
  • Robert Snyder, Co-Founder and Advisor at HourWork
  • Kyra Atekwana, Founder of ReSourceful

Each EIR holds extensive knowledge and experience gained from launching businesses in the foodservice spaces and will serve as a key go-to mentor for the cohort throughout the duration of the program.

The Food Foundry accelerator program provides each startup with an initial $75K investment and opportunities to learn the intricacies of the industry.

To learn more about Food Foundry’s fifth cohort or its member companies, please visit

About Food Foundry

Food Foundry is a Chicago-based accelerator program built by Relish Works and Gordon Food Service to support, connect, and propel innovative early stage startups disrupting and rethinking the food industry. Over the past four years, 25 alumni companies have graduated from the Food Foundry program and have gone on to raise $65m+ in venture funding and created 200+ jobs.

About Relish Works

Relish Works is a Chicago-based innovation hub leading disruption in the food and foodservice industry. Its purpose is to generate innovative solutions to the most pressing customer problems in the foodservice industry by creating partnerships, designing new solutions, and making strategic investments. Relish Works has deep professional expertise in human-centered design, customer experience, strategy, and early-stage investing.About Gordon Food Service

For more than 125 years, Gordon Food Service has delivered uncompromising quality and heartfelt service for our foodservice customers. We serve operators in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest regions of the United States and coast-to-coast in Canada. We operate 170+ Gordon Food Service Stores in the U.S. To learn more about Gordon Food Service, visit