Last week, the trendsetting website and e-newsletter Daily Candy announced the finalists of its nationwide "Start Small, Go Big" contest. The contest recognizes the most talented and creative up-and-comers in Fashion, Health & Beauty, Food & Drink, Home and Digital & Tech.
Last year, more than 3,000 entrepreneurs entered; 18 finalists were selected; six won. We were thrilled to learn that Honeysuckle Gelato is one of this year's three food finalists! As the only company selected from Georgia, we hope to represent our home well!
My two business partners and I started Honeysuckle Gelato last year. We wholesale our gelato to restaurants and specialty markets, cater weddings and special events, and operate a food truck. All three of us have very different backgrounds and experiences — Khatera Ballard grew up in New York City, has a Master's degree from Harvard and splits time between Atlanta and Richmond, Va., where her husband is an assistant coach for the VCU Men's Basketball Team.
Jackson Smith is a native Atlantan who has lived in Costa Rica and China, and produced gelato for some of New York's finest restaurants.
I'm also a native Atlantan and I weathered Hurricane Katrina as a Teach for America instructor and put in some quality time at a desk job here in Atlanta while working on my MBA at Georgia State Univeristy. Now, we all take great pride in making fun, creative flavors like Snacks on a Plane (biscoff gelato with peanuts and pretzels) and Toasted Marshmallow and The Kang (our ode to Elvis - banana gelato with peanut butter caramel). We think it's the best gelato and sorbet around.
We'd love to gain the support of the Atlanta community in this contest. Voting started August 8th and ends this Friday, Aug. 24 at 11:59 p.m.
We need local support as the only representative from Atlanta (and Georgia) in this contest!
To vote, people simply need to visit http://www.dailycandy.com/startsmallgobig/index.html and select Honeysuckle Gelato in the food category (people must vote for someone in every category though for the votes to count).
Mr. Jones, a Reynoldstown resident, is a principal of Honeysuckle Gelato.