This week, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi awarded vegan company Hakuna Brands the $100,000 grand prize during the inaugural Stacy’s Rise Project (SRP) competition. SRP is a collaboration between snack brand Stacy’s Pita Chips and Lakshmi that aims to support women-led businesses through mentorship and funding. Founded by ice cream-loving friends Hannah Hong and Mollie Cha, Hakuna Brands offers vegan ice cream in two varieties: banana- and coconut milk-based Hakuna Banana and newly launched oat milk-based Totes Oats.


“After narrowing down the pool of applicants from over 400 businesswomen to five talented finalists, we are now officially naming Hannah Hong, the founder of Hakuna Brands, as the $100,000 grand prize winner of the Stacy’s Rise Project,” Lakshmi announced on Facebook. “Be sure to check out Hannah’s delicious plant-based line of frozen dessert featuring real fruit.” Finalists in the competition included yogurt brand Dip It by Pilar, granola company The Perfect Granola, and Transfernation—a hunger-fighting platform that uses ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft to distribute leftover food to those in need in New York City.

Photo Credit: Padma Lakshmi/FB

Want more of today’s best plant-based news, recipes, and lifestyle?
Get our award-winning magazine!

Subscribe