East Bay Restaurants Get a Retail Boost

Hope & Main’s DishUp RI program helps put dine-in staples on grocery store shelves

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Seeing a need in the restaurant industry to diversify offerings in our post-pandemic world of more time spent in home kitchens and backyard grills, the foodie creatives behind Warren incubator kitchen Hope & Main devised DishUp RI: a program that lets food businesses take their signature sauce or menu item and make it market-ready. 

“Hope & Main assembled a team of experts to provide the technical assistance required to take a product from ideation to the starting line,” explains President and Founder of Hope & Main Lisa Raiola. “This is a complex process. It involves everything from working with a research chef for recipe formulation and scaling to developing packaging and labelling for the product,” not to mention licensing, pricing, and merchandising.

Chomp Burger Sauce has been a huge hit,” says Raiola, listing some of the new restaurant-to-retail products the program has teamed up with local eateries to help produce, “and customers are showing up from throughout New England for Cooking Con Omi’s Sofrito.” Since a late-April launch of these goods and a dozen others from restaurants across the state, they’ve been flying off the shelves of Dave’s Fresh Marketplace, with many having already sold out a few times over.

A successful first run underway, a second official launch day is planned for September 10 to spotlight these makers, and Raiola looks forward to seeing the program expand, as other restaurants have already inquired about participating. In the meantime, watch Dave’s Fresh Marketplace shelves and the WhatsGood online app for Providence-based offerings like frozen vegan meatballs from Blue Zone Foods (a brand created by Yoleni’s), house seasoning from Bucktown, Chomp Burger Sauce, refrigerated cinnamon buns from Ellie’s, Island House Restaurant fresh juice, Meraki Greek Dips from Kleo’s and Rosalina, relish from Ocean State Sandwich Company, Schasteâ’s packaged teas, baked goods from Sin, Kabob and Curry’s Spice Craft Inc. seasoning, red and green sauces from Tallulah’s Taqueria, and pizza kits from Pizza Gourmet

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