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Sweet Pea, Craft Cannery among 20 Grow-NY finalists

Two Rochester-area companies, Sweet Pea and Craft Cannery, are among 20 finalists in the fourth annual Grow-NY Food & Agriculture Competition.

The 20 finalists were announced Wednesday morning from among 390 entrants and will compete for the grand prize of $1 million. There also are two $500,000 prizes and four awards of $250,000.

Sweet Pea, headquartered on Culver Road in Rochester, is a plant-based kitchen that strives to harnesses the power of food as medicine.

Sweet Pea was founded by Mike Linehan with the goal of creating transformative paths to wellness by combining the benefits of its plant-centric food meal service with nutrition coaching.

Craft Cannery, operating in the Genesee County town of Bergen, takes recipes from the kitchen to the shelves of grocery stores, restaurants and farmer’s markets.

Founded by Paul Guglielmo, Craft Cannery specializes in the contract manufacturing of sauces, dressings, marinades, meat sauces, soups and meal-in-a-jar foods.

All Grow-NY finalists are paired with a mentor and will make their pitch in a Shark Tank-style presentation at the Food & Ag Summit in Syracuse on Nov. 15 and 16.

Since Grow-NY is an economic development program, eligible businesses must be in the formative stage and, if awarded a prize, must agree to operate in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier or Central New York for at least one year. For businesses already located in New York, investments must be made in capital improvements, workforce or a research and development facility.

Of the 20 finalists, 11 are based in New York] and four others are from elsewhere in the United States (two in California, one each in Idaho and Massachusetts). There also are two from Poland and one each from Canada, Israel and Australia.

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