Congratulations to our 2016 Pitch Room Competition Winners


Congratulations to Katy Flannery and Gwen Burlingame, co-founders of Minus the Moo – a lactose free ice cream company, for winning the 2016 Pitch Room Finals! Minus the Moo was awarded a $10,000 business grant and extended mentoring from Samuel Adams in 2017.

Minus the Moo began when Katy, who's lactose-intolerant, and Gwen, a sympathetic ice cream lover, bonded over the void of authentic tasting, lactose-free ice cream options. Katy began experimenting in 2012, and developed an ice cream recipe using real dairy and the lactase enzyme to ensure it was lactose-free. Gwen supported Katy's goals of sharing this new product with all lactose intolerant ice cream lovers, and they teamed-up to create Minus the Moo.

"Winning the Sam Adams Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room finals is a really big deal for our small business, and we're so excited about it," said Katy Flannery, co-founder of Minus the Moo. "Every business that presented was impressive, and it was an honor to be at the competition and competing with them."

"The grant, and especially the mentoring, are really going to help our business get to the next level," added Minus the Moo co-founder Gwen Burlingame. "We got great feedback from the judges and we're ready to jump in and work with the Sam Adams team to help grow our business so that everyone, whether they're lactose intolerant or not, can enjoy great ice cream."  Minus the Moo can be found at Whole Foods Markets in Massachusetts as well as specialty shops and farmers markets throughout Boston.

Second place went to Rasool Raheem of Deaf Man’s BBQ from San Diego, whose love for BBQ sauce began in his family’s kitchen where the recipe was served with every meal. Raheem was born deaf and learned early on to communicate via sign language and by reading lips. Rasool also grew up learning how to cook and worked for years on perfecting his family’s variation of BBQ sauce with his ultimate goal of bringing family and friends together over great food.

As the runner up, Rasool will get extended coaching and mentorship from Samuel Adams employees.

Thank you to all of the small businesses who pitched all year long – we’re looking forward to taking the Pitch Room Competition back on the road in 2017. 

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