Striking + Strong

The DFW CPG Insider – Community News July 2023

DFW CPG News Updates

Brand Spotlight
Striking + Strong: The Hair Care Brand for Active Women with Curly Hair
If you are a woman with textured — curly, wavy, kinky, and coily — hair and you love to work out, you know how hard it is to find hair care products that cleanse your scalp while nourishing your hair. Tanja Collins knows what it’s like to have curly hair, an active lifestyle, and not have suitable hair care options. Read more here.


Derin RajiCongrats to One of Our Own!
Derin Raji of Green Sahara Chipswas named a Semifinalist for the Black Ambition Prize Competition! Derin will be given the chance to engage in the Black Ambition Mentorship program, founded by Pharrell Williams and fueled by Cinematica Labs. This revolutionary program will last for three months and will grant Derin access to crucial connections, customized programming, and state-of-the-art tools. Congrats to Derin!!!

El Rancho SupermercadoLocal Mercado News
Grocery Dive magazine has announced that Heritage Grocers Group has acquired Texas-based supermarket chain El Rancho Supermercado, which operates 28 stores in Texas and Kansas. The sale consolidates the Hispanic-focused chain under the same ownership with Cardenas Markets and Tony’s Fresh Market. Read full story here.

Joe V's Smart ShopH-E-B’s Smaller Stores Coming
According to H-E-B’s website, the company plans to open two Joe V’s Smart Shop stores in DFW. The Joe V’s Smart Shop format promises a smaller footprint (55,000 sq ft) and more price-conscious shopping experience. The new locations will be at the corner of W. Wheatland Rd. and Highway 67 and the corner of Buckner Blvd. and Samuell St. The Wheatland store is expected to open in late summer 2024 and the Buckner store will open in spring 2025.

Thank you

Mastering Multichannel: Strategies for Success in CPG

DFW CPG hosted one of its best events ever at Smurfit Kappa in Las Colinas, featuring Adam Franks of 7-Eleven and Leah Lopez of Better Bites Bakery, moderated by RIchard Riccardi. A great crowd was on hand to learn and build relationships at this fabulous event carefully planned by Derek Ramos and Kat Weaver. Thanks to everyone who was able to attend and to our hosts, speakers and moderator! Read more here.

Cynthia NevelsFree Local Class
Want to learn some management skills? Attend the free “5-Day Foodservice Management Bootcamp”, hosted by award-winning chef, Cynthia Nevels, who is a business and finance consultant for Goldman Sachs OMBW, 10,000 Small Businesses and 1863 Ventures. There is a strategy to making a food-related business profitable. Learn how in this free online course, only one hour per day, Jul 31, 2023 – Aug 4, 2023. A drawing for a $500 small business grant will be held at the end of the camp. Learn more and register here.

Brands W/ Heart7-Eleven Brands with Heart
Submissions are now officially open through the end of July. Visit to submit your product for consideration. Selected brands will be invited to the Brands with Heart showcase in November and an in-store test at select 7-Eleven, Speedway, and Stripes stores in the US. Read More here


$10,000Grants for Women
Amber Grants began in 1998 to honor the memory of a young entrepreneurial woman, Amber Wigdahl, who died in 1981 at the age of 19. The purpose of the Amber Grant is to help other women achieve the dreams that Amber could not in her short time with us. The group has compiled a list of 16 grants that are available, mostly for women-owned businesses. Click here to learn more.

Dallas Startup WeekDallas Startup Week, September 10-14 in Frisco, is a FREE opportunity that brings together entrepreneurs and change-makers for a week-long experience, described as the largest entrepreneurial event in North Texas, to exchange ideas, collaborate, and grow alongside the 10th largest startup ecosystem in the US. Register here and see speaker pages and event calendars for this week of exciting events!Special Opportunities During Startup Week!

Startup Alley Expo: Monday, September 11 from 7pm – 9pm:  Join us for this small business expo that showcases startups, founders, corporate partners, innovators, resources and more during Dallas Startup Week Sponsored!  Applyto host a booth today!  Applications close on August 1 at 11:59 PM CT.

Women of Innovation Women’s Marketplace Application: Wednesday, September 13, we will cap off a great Women of Innovation Summit with the Women’s Marketplace during Dallas Startup Week from 6:00-8:00 pm. Join us to shop from local women businesses, innovators, partners and more!  Apply to host a booth here.

All applications close on August 1 at 11:59 PM CT.

Free Online eCommerce Event Free Online eCommerce Event
Join the Hirshberg Institute (started by Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stoneyfield Yogurt) for a free Zoom event, “Positioning your eCommerce for Success, Profitability and Cash-Flow”, featuring Betsy McGinn of McGinn eComm, Alli Reed, Founder and CEO of Stratia Skin Care, and Brett Lemker, Founder and CEO of OptiAmz. Learn best practices on essential e-commerce platforms, real-world tools, and how to make DTC and Amazon profitable while maximizing cash flow. July 26 at 03:00 PM. Register here.

NYC Pitch and Learning EventNYC Pitch & Learning Event
The Consensus Great Brands Show will be held Sept 13 in New York City. This program has become a preeminent gathering for high-impact, high-potential consumer brands, the financial institutions that fuel their growth, and the industry leaders who accelerate it all. Register here.
If you are a founder or brand interested in presenting, please contact Michael O’Hara at


Natural Products Expo EastExpo East is Nigh!
As one of the top CPG trade shows in the country, Natural Products Expo Eastgathers brands, retailers and industry members to reconnect and discover what’s next in natural & organic products. The show will be in Philadelphia September 20-23. Register now. Can’t make it in person? Most activities are also available online.
Limited Opportunity at Expo East
EXPO East Harvest Festival is a one-day event on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023, from 2-6 pm in Level 300 Ballroom A/B (same as last year). This space sells out fast! Cost for non-exhibitors is $1,595 and it comes with 2 badges that are good for the entire week. This is an opportunity for brands to spend the afternoon on Wednesday sampling in Harvest Festival and Thurs- Sat in meetings and walking the show floor. Learn more here.
Become a Mentor
SKU is looking for rock stars to join their mentor community. As SKU expands, they are growing their mentor community of CPG industry leaders, serial Entrepreneurs and investors. Being a SKU mentor offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect and collaborate with leaders in the consumer products industry. You need not be based in a particular city to mentor for SKU. Their programs are run virtually, with two optional in-person events. Learn more here.


Women’s Incubator
An all-women Social Innovation Incubator cohort in partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas College, SMU MADI and eqALL Business Solutions is now open for applications! This game-changing incubator seeks to correct the historical opportunity and resource gaps fueled by systemic racial and gender inequities. Apply here by July 28.


Emerging Brands Summit 2023 is a one-day event in Las Vegas on Sunday, September 10, 2023, prior to the start of PACK EXPO, designed for fast-growing emerging brands seeking to scale their manufacturing operations. One $50,000 grant will be awarded onsite at the Emerging Brands Summit. Learn more about the grant program at the Emerging Brands Alliance, or download a sample application.


Land Grant Available
Thinking of buying some commercial real estate? You may qualify for a Down Payment Grant for up to $25,000 from Bank of America. Dedicated to women and minority-owned businesses, this non-repayable grant is in cooperation with the SBA, Small Business Administration, for owner-occupied commercial real estate loans for business locations within select areas including Dallas. Click here to learn more. Thanks to Derin Raji of Green Sahara Chips for sharing this opportunity.