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July 22, 2024 11:59 am

About this idea
This story begins on a bike trail. My husband and his South African riding partner were planning to ride their bikes 1,000 miles across Alaska in the Iditarod Trail Invitational Race. Because of astronomical cost of shipping from South Africa to Alaska, we offered to make all 10 food drops for him. Then we learned our friend is vegan. Dehydrated meals are lightweight and easy to prepare on the trail. They provide sustenance to outdoor enthusiasts on their multi-day excursions. But they come with a price tag– high sodium, preservatives, and non-earth friendly packaging. Many of these meals are difficult to digest and there are very few vegan options. For years, this has been a problem in an industry that has had no Michigan representation. As a passionate home cook, I care about feeding my people so I borrowed a dehydrator, researched methods and recipes, and hit the kitchen. The result is delicious dehydrated food made with innovative techniques, natural ingredients, and plant-based proteins. We feel passionate about reducing our carbon footprint and use omnidegradable packaging that breaks down in any environment to help replenish the earth. The feedback has been amazing and, in February of this year, Yum Pouch was born! After launching with Trail Blazin’ Fiesta Rice, we now have a second meal; Shroomin’ Roo Pasta. Our third meal, Mean Green Curry, is in its final stages of trials. After five months of business, the ingredients we use, our preparation methods, and the incredible flavors we provide have been so successful that we now sell a seasoning independently. With the introduction of Yum-azin’ Seasoning, our customer base has broadened tremendously to include home cooks of all ages and skill levels.
For too long, dehydrated meals have been lacking in flavor and nutrition, filled with sodium and additives, and packed in industrial packaging. Yum Pouch is here to change an industry full of contradictions. Why are meals for people who push themselves to do great things made with preservatives and modified foods? Why are meals to be eaten in nature packed in tri-laminate plastic? Why isn’t more care taken to lower inflammation in our diet, especially when on a trail? Yum Pouch food tastes better than any dehydrated meal on the market. High in protein and fiber, our meals provide great flavor and clean nutrition to recharge the body when on the go. Anyone spending time outdoors for sport or play can enjoy a Yum Pouch; hikers, bikers, campers, hunters, fishers, boaters, paddlers, climbers, and more. But Yum Pouches can also be easily brought to the office or tucked in a suitcase and they are great to have in the pantry for those times you want real food without cooking (and no dishes!). There is great potential for Yum Pouch to be a leader in Michigan’s food industry. The Great Lakes region is filled with national parks and campgrounds, lakes, trails, attractions, and natural beauty. As the only company of its kind in the Midwestern US, there is an opportunity for Yum Pouch to provide our growing population of outdoor enthusiasts with delicious, healthy, earth-friendly food on the go. We are looking to develop product bundles and different sized packaging for groups. The addition of our Yum-azin’ Seasoning for home cooks will allow us to appear on the store shelves of artisanal food and gift shops all over the state. Yum Pouch is here. Dream it. Feed it. Achieve it.
What I'll do with $5,000
Buy another dehydrator!! In our first 6 months of business we have tripled our product line, had online sales in nine states, and secured wholesale accounts at three stores in Michigan. Each batch of seasoning for a Yum Pouch meal takes 12-16 hours to dehydrate, from start to finish and the addition of Yum-azin’ Seasoning packets (and soon-to-be jars) has increased the demand for production output. As demand increases, the ability to increase production depends on running additional dehydrators. The price range of a moderate commercial dehydrator is $7,000-$10,000.
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