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Crain’s pitch contest

Also making it to the interview round was Sweet Loren’s founder Loren Brill, who came armed with her ready-to-bake cookies. The company sells its frozen cookie dough in Whole Foods, and provides granola bars and other healthy treats to charter schools in the city. Ms. Brill says Goldman Sachs is coming on as a client; she will supply the cafeteria and Goldman’s caterers.
Joining her was Deborah Romain, founder of Deb Romain Consulting, which advises hospitals including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, as well as other large clients, on strategically placing signs to direct visitors around their buildings.

Crain’s asked the contestants some tough questions in the one-on-one interviews. For instance, after Ms. Brill mentioned that the word “natural” is overused in the food arena, Mr. Ipsen pressed her, “How do you transcend that?” She mentioned a number of strategies to establish her credibility in the natural-foods field, such as using 100% whole-grain flours. He also asked about her hopeful projection of posting $10 million in profits annually within five years. She said she was confident that she could achieve this if she were to market her dough through venues such as QVC and get national retail and food service distribution.

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