Meet Our Winners
Yakima Hop Candy Wins 2015 Enterprise Challenge!
Yakima Hop Candy won New Vision’s Enterprise Challenge and will receive $10,000. Yakima Hop Candy is the proud creator of LollyHops. This boutique pop is infused with locally grown hops and comes in more than 14 natural flavors. The young company has experienced a lot of exposure since they are the only Hop infused sucker on the market. Their hop candies are sold all over the world and have become a popular addition to events by allowing customers to personalize the labels. With full time efforts from the founder Heather Hadsel they plan to venture into other hop related confections.
Pearl Street Optical placed second in the contest and will receive $5,000. Rachel Crites took her vast experience in the optical field and added her own style and flare to open the newest pharmacy for your eyes in Ellensburg. Pearl Street Optical offers prescription glasses, contacts, sunglasses, and recreation eyewear in a wide range of prices and styles. Rachel gives the boutique experience to each customer with personalized service and care.
Mama Hogues Kitchen took third place in the contest and won $2500. Sabin Hogue launched her savory meals to go business with the intent of bringing busy families back around the table to enjoy a wholesome meal. She offers customers quick healthy meal choices that are simple to order, pick up, and pop in the oven. Her love and care for her customers is evident in her business model.
2014 Enterprise Challenge
- Claim Clothing is a new business that started last spring in downtown Ellensburg. Claim Clothing provides young contemporary women's clothing, denim, jewelry, accessories and handcrafted home goods to the greater Kittitas Valley. Owners Megan and Jared West manage the downtown store and both have strong backgrounds in retail marketing and merchandising. They plan to use their $10,000 prize money to increase their online shopping experience.
Nana Kate’s placed second in the contest and will receive $5,000. Nana Kate’s specializes in local, organic, ingredients that make for delectable meals and snacks that are healthy, made from scratch, and include gluten free and vegan options. Owner Katherine Platt operates the company’s store in Selah but sells a lot of their products wholesale to local coffee stands and eateries.
Chestnut Market took third place in the contest and won $2500. Chestnut Market is a startup gourmet deli and grocery store that plans to open sometime in 2015. Entrepreneur Geoff Howell plans use his extensive experience in the restaurant and wine industries to pinpoint popular products and provide outstanding customer service to people in the Greater Yakima area.
2013 Enterprise Challenge
- Spring Harvest Fiber Mill won and is proud to produce yarns and fiber products made from Alpacas. The company used their prize winnings to purchase more equipment and support staffing increases.
- Active Life Chiropractic placed second in the contest and received $5,000. The chiropractic business opened last year in Yakima and specializes in sports related injuries and treating children.
- 4 Seasons Fresh took third place in the contest and won $2500. Entrepreneurs Mathew Buchanann and Jedidiah Haney are planning to launch a greenhouse farm that can produces high quality vegetables, herbs, gourmet mushrooms, and fresh whole fish the year round.
“The Enterprise Challenge was a fantastic experience. It gave us an opportunity to network with other great entrepreneurs and share our experiences. We are so excited about moving our business forward. The contest judges reaffirmed that we have started something special and gave us invaluable feedback as we continue to grow our company.”
Bob and Denise Cathel, owners of Spring Harvest Fiber Mill
2012 Enterpise Challenge
- Selah’s Smiles, a specialized dental clinic located in Selah won top prize. Dr. Tyrone Rodriguez is a pediatric dentist who specializes in treating kids, people with special needs and anxious adults.
- The Drawing Board placed second. The Drawing Board will be a bistro styled gathering place located in downtown Yakima.
- Yakima Coupons took third place. This enterprise will connect local businesses with consumers by providing savings through coupons and online deals.
2011 Enterprise Challenge
- Washington Vision Therapy Center won New Vision’s 2011 Enterprise Challenge. The Yakima-based eye clinic specializes in providing vision therapy to clients with a particular focus on helping kids. Winters and his staff help patients correct vision problems that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lens alone.
- Hop Central Brewing Company placed second in the contest. The owners are planning to open a new microbrewery in downtown Yakima.
- Milt’s Original Gourmet BBQ Pellets took third place. The Grandview-based company manufactures flavor enhancing barbeque pellets made from fruit wood, food processing wastes and other reclaimed ingrediants.
2010 Enterprise Challenge
- Tieton Farm & Creamery won New Vision’s 2010 Enterprise Challenge. Tieton Farm & Creamery combines responsible farming methods and artisanal cheese making techniques to produce small batches of high-quality cheeses, such as fresh chevre, feta, provolone and grill-able Halloumi.
- Jenny Mae’s Gluten Free Bakery placed second. Jenny Mae’s gluten free bakery is an allergen free bakery, specializing in breads, buns, cookies, pies, and more. The company started last year and has plans to expand into wholesale baked goods over the next year.
- Cascade Animal Care Products took 3rd place. The company specializes in total care for animals. Products include antibiotics, vaccinations, dewormers, special supplements and retail supplies to keep animals healthy and happy. The company plans to expand its retail and wholesale sales over the next two years.
"I am a poster boy for the eagerness and availability of the Yakima Valley workforce, we received 3,000 quality applicants for 150 job positions" - Bruce Gibson, Northwest Horticulture