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Gilded Tomato Named Home-Based Business of the Year

Rehoboth-based company creates farm-to-table craft pizza
Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Release Number: 
18-15
Contact: 
norman.eng@sba.gov / 617-565-8510

BOSTON – The Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Gilded Tomato the 2018 Home-based Business of the Year for Massachusetts.

Gilded Tomato earned the recognition for its innovations in the food industry with a mobile craft pizza business that has also established itself as a community social enterprise.  Gilded Tomato offers a true farm-to-table catering experience, growing and harvesting seasonal produce, herbs, and honey from their farm, based in Massachusetts and traveling with their mobile ovens to locations throughout New England.

 “Gilded Tomato’s unique business model shows how disruptive ideas can turn a traditional food product such as pizza into a healthy and exciting experience,” SBA Massachusetts District Director Robert Nelson said. “We congratulate Julia Sweet for her success in taking a chance on a new idea, and developing an innovative approach to her business. “

In 2013, Julia Sweet purchased a mobile, organic clay oven, while her husband enrolled in a wood-fired artisan bread-baking course. Together they attended various baking conferences and became "certified food safety managers".  The couple launched the Gilded Tomato as a food truck and began selling artisan pizza at farmer’s markets, fundraisers, festivals, and other special events.  

Over the past five years, net worth has grown even though many challenges were presented while starting out as a seasonal business.  Issues with profitability and employee turnover were overcome and Gilded Tomato sales have continued to grow as a result of Julia’s innovation and leadership.  

Julia is currently introducing a new pre-made dough product line that will transform her company from a seasonal business to a year-round business.

"Our business evolution often seems surreal to me,” said Gilded Tomato CEO Julia Sweet. “We have the uplifting daily connection of working in the gardens, ‘performing’ primeval live-fire cooking in these great clay ovens alongside innovative, talented chefs from Johnson and Wales Culinary, and feel much joy offering a wholesome, healthy meal to our customers. “

The company was nominated by Mary Gervais, former Rhode Island Director at the Center for Women & Enterprise. 

Julia Sweet, President and CEO will be honored at the annual SCORE Boston / SBA awards luncheon along with other 2018 Massachusetts Small Business Week winners at the Sheraton Needham Hotel on Friday, May 4th, 2018.

 

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.