The Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) in Chicago announced the winner of the first annual Grilling Station, a growth stage food company pitch competition. The firm that created the winning recipe for growth and investment is Meez Meals, the nation’s only certified DIY Meal Kits Green Restaurant.

The ACG said Farmheads, NGB Markets and Simple Meals also served up delicious options on July 29th to over 80 professionals at Howells & Hood in Chicago. This group mushroomed to over 200 during a later networking session where the finalist and semi-finalists met with leading middle market investors and advisors.

Building on six years of middle market Food Industry Growth Conferences, ACG Chicago launched this competition to continue building the food community of executives, their investors and key advisors.

“We’re excited about providing continuing ways for key executives in the food industry to connect on a regular basis and have a little fun along the way,” noted Craig Miller, ACG Chicago CEO.

Dozens of firms submitted applications to participate. The annual ACG conference committee paired those down to 9 semi-finalists and then a panel of food company executives entertained a day of pitches to pare this group down to the four finalists.

Moderator Rachel Cheatham highlighted, “Food startups are actively changing what and how we eat. It was great to see our Grilling Station process tapped into those change leaders as we ended up with a strong mix of food-centric firms representing technology, restaurants, meal prep and delivery and consumer packaged goods in the finals.”

Access the full ACG Chicago news release here.