South County Restaurants Get a Retail Boost

Hope & Main’s DishUp RI program helps put dine-in staples on grocery store shelves

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Seeing a need in the restaurant industry to diversify offerings in our post-pandemic world of more time spent in home kitchens and backyard grills, the foodie creatives behind Warren incubator kitchen Hope & Main devised DishUp RI: a program that lets food businesses take their signature sauce or menu item and make it market-ready.

“Hope & Main assembled a team of experts to provide the technical assistance required to take a product from ideation to the starting line,” explains President and Founder of Hope & Main Lisa Raiola. “This is a complex process. It involves everything from working with a research chef for recipe formulation and scaling to developing packaging and labelling for the product,” not to mention licensing, pricing, and merchandising.

“Chomp Burger Sauce has been a huge hit,” says Raiola, listing some of the new restaurant-to-retail products the program has teamed up with local eateries to help produce, “and customers are showing up from throughout New England for Cooking Con Omi’s Sofrito.” Since a spring launch, marked with a celebration at Dave’s Fresh Marketplace in East Greenwich, these goods and a dozen others have been flying off the shelves, with many having already sold out a few times over.

A successful first run underway, a second official launch day is planned for September 10 to spotlight these makers, and Raiola looks forward to seeing the program expand, as other restaurants have already inquired about participating. In the meantime, watch the shelves (and the WhatsGood online app) for South County offerings like Aunt Carrie’s Original Clam Cake and Fritter Mix, Fresco Restaurant sauces, frozen pub pizza from Grainsley’s Kitchen, curry spice mix from Rasa, The Shanty’s Thai Chili Marinade, and red and green sauces from Tallulah’s Taqueria

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