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10 Business Concepts Selected to Move Forward in “Calling All Dreamers” Incubator Program

Downtown Sacramento Foundation announced the 10 business concepts selected to move forward in the 2023/24 Calling All Dreamers business incubator program. The selected cohort will continue through a multi-month business development bootcamp, and upon completion, one business will be awarded the coveted start-up package, including $20,000 in cash and in-kind services valued at $100,000. The second-place awardee will receive $10,000 in cash, and all other entrepreneurs who complete the program will be awarded a cash prize of up to $5,000 each if they open a business downtown.

“This season’s cohort of Calling All Dreamers reflect the creativity of Sacramento’s small business scene, and all 10 concepts have strong potential to serve as valuable additions to downtown’s unique social and economic vibrancy.” said Scott Ford, Economic Development Director of Downtown Sacramento Partnership. “The Downtown Sacramento Partnership is committed to supporting pathways to success for local dreamers who are excited to help write the next chapter of our community through these innovative and experience-driven concepts.”

As a next stop, each participant in the incubator will be paired with SCORE mentors to refine their business plans and prepare for the next evaluation phase in December, where five concepts will move on to the final bootcamps.

The businesses working towards becoming downtown’s next signature storefronts include:

  • Baker for Hire – Baker for Hire will be a new retail store specializing in teaching hands-on courses with 12 mini kitchen spaces for students that will focus on how to decorate cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. They will also offer baking courses to the public and will carry a variety of baking supplies for purchase.
  • Capital Tuk-Tuk – Capital Tuk-Tuk provides tours that feature the best parts of Sacramento. There are several tours to choose from including the Sacramento City Tour, the “Murals of Sacramento” tour, beer and wine tours, and other custom touring options lead by a knowledgeable tour guide.
  • Ecojoyous – Ecojoyous offers a variety of one-of-a-kind upcycled and handmade artisan goods, locally sourced with primarily natural and organic ingredients. Their goal is to empower, inspire, and help change the way we consume home and body products.
  • Gondo Fusion – Gondo Fusion is a Cuban/Mexican fusion food truck that has a committed fan base throughout Sacramento. They offer a unique spin on a variety of delicious Latin food such as burritos, tacos, sandwiches, and bowls.
  • Lola Earl – Lola Earl is a luxury home decor brand selling curated artisan-made and vintage decor. They source one-of-a-kind artisanal items that add rich history and character to any home and want to help customers discover their unique design style.
  • Naan Tikka – Naan Tikka is local food truck that is on a mission to create a culinary haven where the vibrant flavors of Peshawar, Pakistan come alive. They are obsessed with sourcing the finest ingredients and upholding traditional recipes for an authentic taste.
  • Nouvelle Healing – Nouvelle Healing represents a new paradigm in the realm of healing. It encompasses holistic approaches that offer solace and support to those grappling with anxiety and depression including Reiki sessions, guided meditations, steams, and sound baths.
  • Planted Foods – Planted Foods focuses on nutrient-dense foods with healing properties with a twist by making them familiar and tasty. They plan to open a cafe that boasts unique, fresh, and wellness-focused foods.
  • Sour & Soul Baking Company – Sour & Soul Baking Company makes sourdough bread, flavored sourdough breads, sourdough cinnamon rolls, and sourdough English muffins. Their intention is to operate a café that would offer even more baked goods and serve sandwiches, pizza, salads, and coffee.
  • The Dreamland Cinema – The Dreamland Cinema is currently a 23 seat ‘microcinema’ in midtown focused on bringing the best in independent, arthouse, international, and cult films to Sacramento. Their plan is to move The Dreamland Cinema into a larger space in downtown with a more robust food and beverage program offering.

The Calling All Dreamers program is produced by Downtown Sacramento Partnership and presented by Kaiser Permanente, with the generous support of the Capital Corridor Chapter of SCORE, Bank of America, SMUD, California Bank of Commerce, and the Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

The valuable prize package is made possible due to support from sponsors who continue to be champions for the economic growth of the downtown core that include Smith, McDowell & Powell Law Corporation, designTECH Interior Design Services, Inc., Bizhaven, Be Your Business, LAMAR, T-Rock Communications, and more. Partnership opportunities are still available for local businesses able to donate. Businesses interested in helping to make a difference by donating services are encouraged to contact Andrew LaFrance, Business Development Manager, at alafrance@downtownsac.org or 916-442-8575.

For more about Calling All Dreamers and see complete prize package details, please visit CallingAllDreamers.org.

About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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