Startup St. Bernard winner to brand, sell local seafood

By | The Times-Picayune
on March 16, 2016 at 9:38 AM

A local company that plans to flash-freeze and package fresh, locally caught seafood was the winner of the second annual Startup St. Bernard pitch competition, held Monday (March 14) at the Arlene Meraux River Observation Center at Docville Farm. Christie’s Dreams Seafood earned a $110,000 prize package of cash and professional services designed to help propel their business to the next level.

Christie’s intends to launch a new product line — St. Bernard Parish-branded seafood. The shrimp and soft shell crabs, caught in St. Bernard Parish, will initially be sold at local farmers markets throughout Louisiana and its existing wholesale customers in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Long term, The business will also create a web site to sell St. Bernard seafood throughout the U.S.

Other Startup St. Bernard finalists included:

Atlas Mechanical Design, a new business providing 3D printing solutions;

Girls Gone Vegan, a bakery specializing in gluten-free and vegan desserts;

Kayak-iti-Yat, an eco-tourism business offering fishing-kayak rentals as well as an ecology and seafood industry-centered guided tours; and

The Coffee House, a drive-through coffee shop in Arabi that wants to expand operations to include an indoor and outdoor café.

“It was difficult to see only one of our finalists walk away with the lucrative Startup St. Bernard prize package,” said Andrew Jacques, executive director of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation. “However, Christie’s Dreams Seafood represents one of St. Bernard’s finest assets, its world-class seafood. I look forward to watching their business and brand grow exponentially.”

The finalists’ pitches were judged by Peter Bodenheimer, COO of Plantbid, partner in Flatstack and Launch Pad; Joel Dondis, founder of Sucré; Robby Showalter, chief financial officer of Boasso America Corp.; Allen Square Jr., founder of Square Button, member of New Orleans Startup Fund; and Ann Tuennerman, founder of Tales of the Cocktail. WYES-TV’s Tom Gregory emceed the event.