Stacy’s Pita Chips continues its longstanding commitment of championing women-owned businesses with the announcement of its next Stacy’s Rise Project class, a grant and mentoring program for female entrepreneurs. And, new this year, Stacy’s Pita Chips is honoring the resilience of women entrepreneurs who have faced adversity and persevered through the release of Rise – a short film, produced in collaboration with Hello Sunshine, that will be celebrated as part of Stacy’s Pita Chips sponsorship during the Sundance Film Festival.
Created by PRETTYBIRD filmmaker Nisha Ganatra and featuring original poetry by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author and performer Rupi Kaur, Rise illustrates the resilience of women today and those who came before them, bringing to light the dedication and behind-the-scenes struggles people often don’t see. The film spotlights the stories of Sajani Amarasiri of Kola Goodies, Jocelyn Ramirez of Todo Verde and Maria Jose Palacio of Progeny Coffee, three previous winners of the Stacy’s Rise Project.
“Hello Sunshine’s mission is to amplify women’s stories and experiences, and that’s why it was so important for us to team up with Stacy’s Pita Chips for the Stacy’s Rise Project,” said Witherspoon, Oscar-winning actress, producer and founder of Hello Sunshine. “I’m so proud of what we created together and am excited for everyone to see Rise and be inspired by these incredible women.”
Rise: A Story of Resilience
Artistically accompanied by statistics and news headlines that frame the additional societal context on the struggles women face today, Rise illuminates how women’s roots – the histories, voices and fortitude of those who came before—are a rich reserve of resilience that inspires their rise and continued fight for progress. The film was led by award-winning filmmaker, Ganatra, and nearly all (92 percent) of the primary roles in the making of the film were comprised of women. Viewers can learn more about the making of Rise here.
As an official sponsor of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival1, Stacy’s Pita Chips will screen the short film at Stacy’s Roots to Rise Market in Park City. Those not at the Sundance Film Festival are invited to watch the Rise short film here and on Prime Video2.
Roots to Rise Market
Stacy’s chose to support the 2023 Sundance Film Festival as an extension of its commitment to supporting creative, innovative and visionary women. As the premiere independent film festival, Sundance provides a mission-aligned platform to further champion women’s voices in all areas of entrepreneurship and through the power of storytelling.
At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Stacy’s Pita Chips is hosting Stacy’s Roots to Rise Market. The market will showcase products from past and present Stacy’s Rise Project winners. In addition, visitors can view the film at daily screenings and sample a variety of snacks featuring Stacy’s Pita Chips products. Stacy’s Pita Chips will also host several panels featuring Stacy’s Rise Project winners, the creators of the Rise film, women in film and entertainment, and Stacy’s Pita Chips founder Stacy Madison.
The Stacy’s Roots to Rise Market will be open to those visiting the Sundance Film Festival from Friday, January 20, until Monday, January 23, at 660 Main Street in Park City, Utah.
Introducing the Stacy’s Rise Project Class of 2023
Stacy’s Pita Chips has connected thousands of female founders and provided more than $1 million in funding since 2017. To kick off 2023, Stacy’s is recognizing 14 female founders across the United States and Canada, enabling them to join the extensive community of Stacy’s Rise Project winners.
- Dorielle Price, Hallandale Beach, Fla., co-founded EasyPeasie, dried, ground vegetable blends that are convenient and nutritious “veggie-palate primers” to introduce vegetables to kids and build lasting healthy habits.
- Michelle Razavi, Los Angeles, Calif., founded ELAVI, a line of gut-friendly, fitness-trainer approved snacks designed to be enjoyed anywhere and help boost cognitive focus, balanced mood, athletic recovery, and overall vitality.
- Essilfua Bartels, Englewood, N.J., founded EssieSpice, flavorful, small-batch sauces, dry rubs and condiments made with indigenous spices from Ghana and flavors from around the world.
- Jane Barden, Durango, Colo., founded Farm to Summit, a dehydrated food company on a mission to reduce food waste and introduce more flavorful and sustainable food options to the backcountry.
- Shelley Elkovich, Portland, Ore., founded For Bitter For Worse, a line of sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktails made with herbs and botanicals from the Pacific Northwest, aimed to create a more inclusive drinking culture.
- Diana Rios Jasso, Washington, D.C., founded Jarabe Gourmet Pops, which specializes in serving fresh, handcrafted Mexican-style ice pops, an inspiration from her childhood upbringing of seeing her father sell paletas in the street corners of Los Angeles.
- Jacqueline Grady Smith, Somerville, Mass., founded Not Just Co., modern, multipurpose sauces and dressings, created by two former cooking instructor moms to help take the struggle out of dinner.
- Rhonda Cammon, Nashville, Tenn., founded Perfectly Cordial, a line of versatile cocktail and mocktail mixers that are flavorful and simple to use, bringing mixology to homes without the mess, fuss or expense.
- Patrice Cunningham, Washington, D.C., founded Tae-Gu-Kimchi, a delicious-handcrafted Napa Cabbage Kimchi that uses her mother’s authentic recipe and captures the beautiful tradition of making this food in every bite.
- Monica Sunny, Marietta, Ga., founded The Chai Box, sustainably and ethically sourced Chai concentrates and loose-leaf tea blends rooted in bringing the traditional craft of Chai making to mainstream consumers.
- Carolyn Simon, Toronto, Ont., founded Choose Life Foods, plant-based Caribbean goodness with a mission to create nutritious alternatives to the Caribbean’s most beloved dishes so that everyone can enjoy them.
- Elaine Tan Comeau, Coquitlam, B.C., founded Easy Daysies, an award-winning line of daily visual schedules with the goal to help children, adults and families have happier and easier days.
- Jolene Johnson, Tobique First Nation, N.B., founded Wabanaki Maple, unique maple syrup created with a twist on the traditional method and 100% Indigenous women owned.
- Kristyn Carriere, Edmonton, Alta., founded 7 Summits Snacks tasty and purposeful superfood chocolate products that are designed to ‘fuel your next adventure.’
The winners were selected from a pool of more than 9,000 applicants and will each receive a $15,000 grant, in partnership with longtime grant partner Hello Alice, as well as incomparable mentorship and community-building opportunities. For the first time, the Stacy’s Rise Project opened its applications to women founders based in Canada, expanding the impact of the program beyond the U.S. with the help of new Canadian partner, Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC).
“Stacy’s Pita Chips is a brand that believes that when one woman rises, we all rise,” said Rhasheda Boyd, vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay. “Women-owned businesses only receive 2 percent of venture capital fundingi, yet businesses founded by women have an average return on investment of two times per dollar investedii. Stacy’s is investing in the futures of women-led businesses through the Stacy’s Rise Project. We are excited to bring awareness to these remarkable women at a major platform, the Sundance Film Festival. This will give even more people the opportunity to rally around them and be inspired by their resilience.”
People can visit stacysrise.com, where they can learn more about this year’s winners of the Stacy’s Rise Project and find other resources to help support woman-owned businesses in their local area. To see updates from Stacy’s Roots to Rise Market at the Sundance Film Festival and future announcements from Stacy’s, tune into the brand’s social media channels.