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Three innovative food businesses and entrepreneurs walked away with top awards at the Maui Food Industry X-celerator’s pitch event in March at the Maui Food Innovation Center at University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.

Maui Jun Company owner Taryn Leigh

Award winners

  • The top presenter was Maui Jun Company owner Taryn Leigh, who pitched her delicious and unique “raw honey sweetened” kombucha teas as a healthy beverage alternative.
  • Second place winner was Pacific Biodiesel’s Maiden Hawaiʻi Naturals pitched by Joy Galatro, who introduced Maui’s “first to market” all-natural sunflower oil targeting chefs, restaurateurs and food enthusiasts.
  • Third place winner Maui Manjookies’ Jannelle Fukuoka, enthusiastically pitched her hand crafted “cookie-manju-pie” pastries that appeal to all ages as a “must” omiyage or gift throughout Hawaiʻi, Japan and the mainland.

Event participants are given the opportunity to showcase their unique products and network with local investors, business industry leaders and potential consumers. Now in its fifth year, the pitch event is the culmination of an eight-week training program that focuses on Maui’s growing demand for new and value-added food products.

Read the full story at the UH Maui website.

—By Kit Furukawa