The competition started with 40 businesses, and was narrowed down to five finalists before choosing the grand prize winner. Entries range from technology and medical start-ups, to this year's winner: a pure food soup company. On this Tech Tuesday, TV20's Olana Osborn shows us why this soup is different from your average can of chicken noodle.
“There’s hundreds of thousands of different types of sodium, chemicals, by law that I can put into my food, I can take my food and make it last a year on a shelf," said Alfie Crescentini, a co-founder and chef at Aha Pure Foods, "That’s not right, it shouldn’t last a year on a shelf.”
Crescentini spent more than 30 years as a saucier...
“I specialize in making soups and sauces, and it is a part of the food industry that is very difficult to do, it takes a lot of studying, and there’s techniques,” he said.
But after suffering from heart health issues, and defying the odds stacked against him, he realized he needed to make a change in his lifestyle. He paired with a natural medicine professional -- now, they make pure soups, aimed at nourishing and maintaining the health of those with diseases, or those who want to stay healthy.
“When you put a natural food in your body, your body will tell you that it likes what you’re putting into it,” Crescintini continued.
These soups are really different from those you find down the canned food aisle.
“First off there’s low sodium, second there’s no added sugars to any of our soups...” he said. The soups are also pasteurized using traditional canning methods.
Crescentini's partner is the mastermind behind the ingredients, and then he gets to work in the kitchen.
“He gives me a list of ingredients that he wants in a soup, and he just says “make me something that tastes good, it’s that simple,”
but it's not so simple when he has to make seaweed and mushrooms tasty...except, Crescentini puts his 30+ years in the kitchen to good use.
Harbin Bolton, VP of Cox in Florida and Georgia attested to the taste, and the innovation of Aha Pure Foods.
“There’s such a big push for startups in Gainesville," Bolton said, "You have a lot of different avenues for startups to come into business here, so we thought it was important to help support that.”
He says that giving start-ups like Aha Pure Foods a boost is why Cox invests in this competition.
“Cox is a really local company, we have been in the Gainesville community for a number of years and it is really important to us to cultivate small businesses and really help them grow because I think that’s the key to a thriving community,” Bolton said.
Visit Aha Pure Foods' website to see where you can find their products.