Press Release: JetBlue BlueBud Win
On a balmy October 10th eve in New York City, JetBlue declared Luv Michael a winner of its BlueBud competition, recognizing Luv Michael as a start-up food company with incredible potential and a critical mission.
Luv Michael submitted its application to participate in JetBlue’s BlueBud program in August, along with over one hundred other start-up food business applicants. Through its BlueBud program (buddies + budding new companies), JetBlue offers innovative, socially responsible food and beverage brands special access to JetBlue senior leaders and the airline’s unique product development culture, as well as valuable industry insights. JetBlue partnered with GrowNYC for the selection process to connect with food and beverage businesses focused on sustainable sourcing and social responsibility.
The celebration was held at Project Farmhouse, GrowNYC’s state-of-the-art sustainability and education center located near Union Square in New York City.
“With BlueBud we’re supporting food companies that have impactful ideas and responsible practices,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability, JetBlue. “In partnership with GrowNYC, we’re highlighting the diversity of food products grown right here in New York State. Getting products onboard an aircraft is no easy task.”
“GrowNYC is pleased to once again partner with JetBlue on this important program to support local food producers,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, President/CEO at GrowNYC. “Small startup food companies face countless challenges in producing and marketing their products. JetBlue’s innovative BlueBud program gives new food and beverage companies a much-needed leg up and helps them build a foundation for success.”
“Luv Michael is thrilled that JetBlue has taken us under their wing. With access to the many resources of New York hometown’s airline, the sky is the limit for future development of our non-profit business,” said Dr. Lisa Liberatore, Founder, and President of Luv Michael Granola. “With the incredible support we’ll receive from JetBlue, our team envisions Luv Michael becoming New York’s hometown Granola!”
Luv Michael’s mission is to train, educate and employ adults with autism and other disabilities, its “Granologists”, through the production of delicious organic, gluten and nut free Granola. To further its mission, Luv Michael is seeking donors and sponsors, to fund the build-out of a Manhasset-based Incubator Kitchen, purchased by Dr. Liberatore and her husband, Dr. Dimitri Kessaris. The build-out will enable Luv Michael to offer education and employment to scores of Granologists, from NYC and across Long Island, and to develop a consultation program for replication across the state, the country, and perhaps the world.
To learn how you can help support this critical venture, visit www.luvmichael.org.