Fantasy Food Fare winner announced

Updated August 19:
And the winner is …

Old North Provisions! See this post at Sauce Magazine. They get a package worth $100,000 — two years rent-free, a fully equipped kitchen, catering contract, restaurant mentor, website design services, logo and design services, $2,500 and the expert, ongoing advice of the St. Louis SBTDC. Congratulations!


The winner of the Fantasy Food Fare, a competition partially sponsored and organized by the St. Louis SBTDC, will be announced on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 at the Rise Up Festival, 1627 Washington Ave., St. Louis. The festival starts at 2 p.m.; the winner will be announced around 7:30 p.m.

Fantasy Food Fare Competition top 4The competition awards one lucky, skilled entrepreneur two years rent-free in a restaurant space in St. Louis’s Old North neighborhood, a fully outfitted kitchen, a $2,500 grant and expert, ongoing advice from the MO SBTDC and others. More than 200 entries were received. The total package is estimated to be worth northward of $100,000.

The final four contenders are:

  • Yashica McKinney – The Jar Bar, desserts, soul food
  • Jason Sparks – Layla North, quality burgers
  • Christopher Bell – Rhythm and Thyme, comfort food with a musical slant
  • James Forbes – Old North Provisions, organic, socially aware fare.

Old North was chosen last year as the site of a new, nearly $2 billion National Geospatial Intelligence Agency facility, meaning lots of hungry construction workers, NGA employees and those of the business expected to spring up in Old North. The NGA has long since outgrown its location in south St. Louis near the Anheuser Busch Brewery.

Lynette Watson, St. Louis SBTDC, has been one of the chief guiding lights of the contest. Of the final four entrepreneurs, she said, “Today it’s all about seeing how they fit in the neighborhood, how they’re going to reach sustainability, can they afford to be there and what their financial projections look like.”

The Fantasy Food Fare competition is sponsored by Rise, Equifax and the St. Louis SBTDC.


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