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When you’re searching for healthy, sustainable—and tasty—dinner options, you probably head to the produce section of the grocery store, a local merchant (like Marczyk Fine Foods), or a farmers’ market. The frozen food aisle? Not so much.
LoveTheWild wants to change that. The three-year-old, Boulder-based startup has four frozen meal options—all incorporating sustainable fish and all incredibly easy to cook. Each package contains the frozen fish, frozen sauce, and parchment paper; simply place the fish on the paper, top it with the homemade sauce cubes, seal the package, and put it in the oven. “We want to make seafood fun and approachable. People are intimidated by the category, both from the perspective of, ‘What’s sustainable?’ but also, ‘How do I cook it?’ We put training wheels around the experience for folks,” says LoveTheWild founder Jacqueline Claudia. The USDA recommends that people eat seafood at least twice a week, but, Claudia says, “only about 10 percent of the population does.”
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You can already find LoveTheWild products in Whole Foods Markets along the Front Range, but the company wants to continue to expand and get more good fish into more diets. And that goal is closer to becoming reality thanks to the second-largest yogurt manufacturer in the country. The Chobani Food Incubator (CFI), an accelerator for early-stage food and beverage companies, recently named Love The Wild (and six other national startups) to its second cohort; the group was chosen from more than 550 applicants. “We’re always eager to pay it forward to the next generation of food founders,” says CFI director Jackie Miller. “We look for companies that share our values—our mission is better food for more people. Companies nailing the better food part, making food that’s delicious, nutritious, natural, and affordable…. Jacqueline and LoveTheWild [have] that vision and commitment to sustainability and offering better options to people in this space.”
The four-month-long incubator runs through December, and the companies get together in New York City for about one week per month for mentorship and networking. Each startup also receives $25,000 (CFI takes zero equity). “In order for us to be successful, we need to get better food in the hands of more people, so any type of mentorship that we can get from Chobani and access to their resources will help us accelerate down that path,” Claudia says. “As we grow, you get faced with decisions on a daily basis…the chance to be learning from a company that’s been able to navigate those choices well is fantastic.”
Taste what made LoveTheWild so appealing to CFI by picking up one of its current offerings: red trout with salsa verde, striped bass with roasted red pepper-almond sauce, barramundi with mango-Sriracha chutney, and rainbow trout with salsa verde.