Charm City

School of Food Soirée | Food Entrepreneur Demo Day

Join Startup Soirée and School of Food for our Food Entrepreneur Demo Day on Tuesday, November 10th at 6:30pm at the Pixilated HQ

Learn about 5 emerging food businesses in Baltimore and provide feedback on their product, pitch, and packaging (brand). The crowd (you!) will vote on your favorite in each category, and the winner of demo day will walk away with a prize — 1-on-1 time with buyers from major anchor institutions.

**food & drink provided by our featured participants, included in your ticket price. 

School of Food is not a one size fits all business training program; it’s made to order based on your needs. Find the tools for on the job success online and in person. Our personalized curriculum takes current and future food biz owners on a trip that starts with the basics (defining a mission, writing a pitch), moves into the nitty gritty (financial forecasting, quickbooks, health code info) and ends with all the fun stuff you need to know when going to market (branding, distribution, winning at negotiation). 

Our Featured Food Entrepreneurs:

  • Nutreatious / Gundalow Juice - 

    Gundalow is a Baltimore based company that brings you delicious cold-pressed juices.  Our juices are only made with fruits and vegetables; there are no added sugars, preservatives or caffeine. We believe in fueling your ambitions and therefore we are devoted to bringing you delicious, convenient, and nutritious juice. 

         At Nutreatious, we are passionate about all things cooking and                  kitchen. Through our personal chef, catering and kitchen                              organization services, our clients are able to spend their time doing          more of the things they love without sacrificing excellent meals.

  • Diamondback Brewery - 

    Diamondback Brewing Co. is a craft beer company based out of Baltimore, Maryland. Diamondback was founded in Fall of 2014 by local Baltimore boys. In the pursuit of our craft, we aim to find the perfect balance between drinkability and uncompromised flavor. Our mission is to bring great beer to great people, and sacrifice nothing along the way. Even the boldest of our beers are brewed with the desire to be appreciated by all drinkers alike.

  • Tessamae's - 

    As the mother of three athletic boys, Tesse had to figure out a way to get them to eat their veggies while staying healthy. Because serving a dressing full of artificial ingredients was not an option, she created and perfected her own all-natural recipe. When her oldest son, Greg, realized how great it was, he said, “Mom, let’s go into business together and make this for the world!” As Tessemae's All Natural grows its product line around the globe, the commitment to healthy eating and healthy living remains the core of the company's mission.

  • Tenth Harvest - 

    Tenth Harvest is a boutique importer and distributor of wine, beer and spirits. We buy direct from small farmers around the world, currently in Italy, France, Oregon and Washington state. Our customers are restaurants and retailers in Maryland and Washington DC, small businesses who invest in the highest quality products and knowledgeable staff. Our primary focus is wine: an agricultural product, hand-crafted by farmers who use sustainable, organic and biodynamic farming practices. Our audience is the educated consumer who desires sustainably sourced products, and most of all enjoys the pleasure of good food and wine.

  • 2am Bakery - 

    2AM Bakery “Where the Dough Rises” is a small Wholesale Shop that has been in operation for the last 7 years in some form. Its mission is to provide the consumer with an unforgettable confectionery experience. One of the Founders, Gregory Carpenter (Shamsuddin Abdul Mateen), was released from incarceration in 1994 after serving twenty years. In 1996, he had the opportunity to make make the pilgrimage to Mecca. While on pilgrimage he met Mikal Abdul Mateen (Co-Founder) who was studying abroad at the time. They began talking, realizing they both shared a love for cooking and baking, and agreed to open a bakery together some day. Years later, 2AM Bakery was formed. They chose the name 2AM Bakery because Mikal is “Abdul Mateen” and Greg adopted the name “Abdul Mateen,” thus you have 2AM Bakery ”Where the Dough Rises."

  • Elaine's Brown Sugar - 

    Elaine's Brown Sugar was started in 2011 by Daryl (DJ) Flood when the craving for delicious treats and the passion for baking became one, and after following the foot steps of those before. We take pride in using high quality ingredients and local products, so that every bite is of pure perfection. Originally from the Washington, DC while on a trip to Baltimore, DJ realized that there weren't a place to get a great quick salad or certain types of specialty baked goods. Utilizing recipes passed down from DJ's grandmother Elaine, they stepped out on Faith to form Elaine's Brown Sugar...

A Test of Leadership: Crisis Management


There’s no doubt that this week has brought out a lot of emotions in many people who live, work, and play in our beautiful Charm City. The series of violent events that occurred over the past week in Baltimore, MD are disappointing, scary and have wreaked havoc on the city and its people; sending many into crisis mode.

As I watched things unfold throughout the day on Monday via Social Media and on TV, I found it very interesting to see how different people manage a crisis situation. 

As an Event Planner, I’m not stranger to crisis management. That is what we do. We deal with issues as they come and are constantly putting out fires to ensure the event is a success and our clients are happy. As a small business owner, mastering this craft has been incredibly helpful. Things go wrong in business everyday. Crisis situations in business and in life are inevitable and unavoidable. 


However it’s in these moments of crisis that define ourselves as people and most of all, as leaders.  I’ve seen many “leaders” be put in moments of crisis and forced to step up to the challenge of handling and managing the situation in front of them.

Through these situations, I’ve come to the realization that leaders are ultimately defined in their actions, not their titles. Crisis situations are those moments that separate bad, good and great leaders. Here are some ways to make sure you fall amongst the great.


When you are in a leadership role, all eyes are on you. Every move you make will be critiqued. So don’t give them a reason to give you a bad critique. Always stay calm in crisis situations. The crisis is problem at hand; the last thing anyone needs is for the leader/manager to freak out.


When a crisis occurs in your business, you need to deal with it head on. Don’t sit there and make excuses and try to convince yourself and everyone around you that “it’s not that bad.” The longer you avoid the situation, the worse it’s going to be.


You should always have an idea of potential threats that your business could face. It’s important to be aware of these threats so you can create action plans ahead of time if a crisis does occur. Being ahead of the game is a good thing.


As a business owner and leader, there is really no place to hide in a crisis situation. You’re going to be faced with difficult and sometimes uncomfortable conversations, but that’s ok. You’re solving a problem; it’s not supposed to be easy. It’s your job to make sure things get handled quickly and efficiently. Instead of running away from the problem, attack it!