CHICAGO – Farmer-funded Midwest Dairy partnered with nonprofit The Hatchery Chicago on a project that targets emerging brands.

Midwest Dairy is presenting the Private Kitchen Pitch Contest, which gives participants access to commercial kitchen space, as well as support services for business growth. The Hatchery shared that two finalists will get up to a year of private kitchen space at its facility.

In order to participate in the contest, a business must use 30% or more of cow’s dairy milk in its ingredient base. The Hatchery said businesses and entrepreneurs can apply to join the contest by filling out an online form

This past year, Twisted Eggroll won the contest. The company’s owner and founder, Nikkita Randle, called Midwest Dairy’s involvement “an absolute blessing” for Twisted Eggroll.

“Having our rent eliminated for six months kept our business in a healthier financial state,” Randle said. “We were able to send out more samples to potential stores with the funds we saved. Midwest Dairy has connected us to a different platform that will allow Twisted Eggroll to thrive moving forward."

The Hatchery’s chief strategy and incubation officer, Natalie Shmulik, said Midwest Dairy’s commitment to innovation and creating more diverse and inclusive experiences for startups aligns with the nonprofit’s mission.

“These sponsored kitchens give entrepreneurs the opportunity to push past barriers, launch unique concepts to market, and drive innovation in dairy and the industry as a whole,” Shmulik said.

Midwest Dairy represents 4,600 dairy farm families and is funded by farmers from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.