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  • Writer's pictureKevin May

#26 Meet the 2021 Innovation Fund Cohort - Part 3

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Meet the founders of Journey Foods and Spare Food Co. from the Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste 2021 Innovation Fund Cohort.

Episode 26 Summary

In spring of 2021, The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation collaborated with Village Capital to help source, understand and unlock capital to support innovative solutions that prevent, recover and recycle food waste with the following mission.

“We seek to reshape the food system by supporting innovators who are elevating food to its highest use and disrupting the linear supply chain. This could include solutions such as imperfect produce lines, upcycled foods & meal kits, upcycled commercial ingredients and more.”

With nearly 150 companies applying, 10 were selected for the 2021 Innovation Fund cohort.

In this special episode we meet the founders from two more companies in the 2021 Innovation Fund Cohort, Riana Lynn founder of Journey Foods, (starts at 03:28), and Adam Kaye and Jeremy Kaye co-founders of The Spare Food Co. (starts at 26:18).

Journey Foods interview starts at 03:28

The Spare Food Co interview starts at 26:18

Learn more about The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation

Learn more about Village Capital:



Riana Lynn

Founder of Journey Foods

Riana leads fast-growing software startup Journey Foods. The company is backed by top VCs in North America, Europe and Asia. Riana has served as a top consultant and VC to fortune 500 food and CPG companies. She's currently an angel investor and former Google Entrepreneur in Residence. She is one of just a few dozen black women that have raised more than a million dollars in venture funding. Riana has been featured in Forbes, MIT 35 under 35, USA Today, Fast Company, CNBC, Wired, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur Magazine and more.

A Chicago native and Austin-based that enjoys growing fruit trees, writing film scripts, and exploring black culinary and architectural heritage sites around the world. She currently sits on the board of AGLIFF, one of the country's largest annual and inclusive film fests.

Learn more about Journey Foods

Follow Journey Foods on Linkedin

Connect with Riana Lynn on Linkedin

Follow Journey Foods on Instagram


Jeremy Kaye

Co-Founder & CEO, Spare Food Company

Jeremy learned early in his career that business can be a powerful force for good in the world. Working with an inspired group of mavericks at Patagonia to create a new model for sustainable clothing and environmental stewardship made a deep imprint. His extensive experience leading global innovation initiatives for mission-driven organizations, from startups and foundations to Fortune 100s, shaped his conviction that transformational change happens when we connect big ideas to simple actions that shift awareness and inspire new behaviors. It was only a matter of time until the parallels in his and Adam’s careers converged to create The Spare Food Co.

Adam Kaye


Chief Culinary Officer at The Spare Food Co.

Adam’s journey to The Spare Food Co. began when he interrupted a nascent career at an environmental law think tank to attend the French Culinary Institute as a recipient of a James Beard scholarship, and went on to cook in and lead some of the most influential kitchens in DC and NY. For the past twenty years Adam has worked side-by-side with Dan Barber at Blue Hill as Chef, Culinary Director, and educator. He co-created the successful wastED pop-up restaurant concepts in New York and London, which garnered international acclaim. Adam is a leading light at the forefront of culinary innovation in the burgeoning Food Waste movement.

Learn more about Spare Food Company

Follow Spare Food Company on Linkedin

Connect with Adam Kaye on Linkedin

Connect with Jeremy Kaye on Linkedin

Follow Spare Food Co on Instagram


Meet all the companies in the 2021 Innovation Fund Cohort:

Watch for upcoming podcast special episodes featuring stories from each of these companies.

Hanford, CA

Agua Bonita makes ready-to-drink aguas frescas from upcycled produce, served in culturally inspired and recyclable cans. Learn More

San Antonio, TX

Grain4Grain uses patent pending technology to upcycle brewers spent grain into a low carb, high protein, high fiber flour. Learn More

West Palm Beach, FL

Husky Beverages features the healthy superfruit of coffee with a sparkling tea made from the “husk” of organic, upcycled coffee fruit. Learn More

Austin, TX

Journey Foods is a portfolio intelligence company that solves food science and supply chain inefficiencies with software to help companies direct more surplus food to those who need it.

Nyack, NY

Matriark Foods upcycles farm surplus and fresh-cut remnants into healthy affordable products for institutional foodservice, diverting wasted food from landfill while feeding communities healthy food. Learn More

Minneapolis, MN

NETZRO is a food tech platform for recovering industrial byproducts at scale that would otherwise be wasted into new upcycled ingredients. Learn More

Denver, CO

reBLEND is a line of frozen smoothie pops packed with fruits + veggies + superfoods and a bold mission to tackle food waste by re-harvesting produce that would typically be discarded.

Oakland, CA

Renewal Mill upcycles byproducts from food manufacturing into superfood ingredients and premium, plant-based pantry staples. Learn More

Portland, OR

Take Two is a plant-based food company that creates second chances by using Rejuvenated Barley™, upcycled spent grain from beer production, to craft our products, including a line of nutritious barley milks. Learn More

New York, NY

The Spare Food Co. is an upcycled food tech platform that creates foods and drinks using overlooked and unused ingredients sourced from growers and food processors.


Special thanks to our Sponsors and Production Team:


Upcycled Food Association -

Produced by Hi-Fly'n Productions

Executive Producer | Host: Kevin May

Associate Producer: Ashley Brown

Creative Development: Sue Marshall

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