Everyone wins! Terranean Herbs & Spices wins Chain Reaction, three more place second

In a surprising finale twist on “Kickin’ it with Kenny” on FOX 8 News this morning, Greater Cleveland Partnership’s (GCP) Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) not only announced that Terranean Herbs & Spices took first place and the $40,000 prize in the fifth season of Cleveland Chain Reaction, three second place winners also won $10,000 for their businesses, and the 16 remaining competitors received $1,800 and Bedrock offered free tenancy at a Tower City Center kiosk on an event day within the first six months of 2023.

Season five Cleveland Chain Reaction winners pictured with the judges“This has been an exciting season of Cleveland Chain Reaction featuring 20 entrepreneurs who are passionate, resilient and have a drive to succeed,” Megan E. Kim, executive director of COSE and senior vice president, membership development and marketing at GCP said in a statement. “It was difficult to narrow down the competition to the top three businesses, so we decided to invest in the top four and award grants to the remaining semifinalists.”

Terranean Herbs & Spices owner Tina Chamoun makes authentic, filler-free za’atar seasoning and snacks like the ones she grew up enjoying when she visited her parents’ native Lebanese village each summer.

The three second place winners are CHVD JUSTIN, a retail bag and apparel company designed by a student in his dorm room; Fuego Fermentations, creator of high-quality premium sauces, specializing in fermented hot sauces and BBQ sauce; and Micah Specialty Foods, a manufacturer of authentic Ghanaian/African spices, sauces and beverages.


Season 5 Cleveland Chain Reaction - Pitch Day Recap from Greater Cleveland Partnership on Vimeo.


The 16 remaining semifinalists received $1,800 grants funded by Cleveland Chain Reaction partners Bedrock, JumpStart, KeyBank, and MAGNET, as well as Bedrock’s free tenancy offer.

“Bedrock’s partnership with COSE and the Cleveland Chain Reaction competition helps us to empower entrepreneurial talent to continue to grow Cleveland,” said Ivy Greaner, chief operating officer at Bedrock. “We’re dedicated to supporting the downtown community through our efforts with our Cleveland community partner organizations that support companies through all stages of planning, helping to bring diverse business to the people of Cleveland.”

The 20 Chain Reaction semifinalists participated in a four-week bootcamp hosted by JumpStart where business experts advised them on how to pitch their business, create a business plan, place value on their business and appropriately invest capital to take their business to the next level.

Last week the entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a panel of judges for the opportunity to win a capital investment. Watch the pitch days recap video.

“Small business education and advising is mission critical for JumpStart and it’s been a privilege to extend that support to Chain Reaction finalists,” said Patty Ajdukiewicz, JumpStart’s director of small business services. “Most entrepreneurs are experts in their field but need help understanding the nuances of running a business. We’ve seen a lot of progress over the past four weeks and can’t wait to see these entrepreneurs continue to grow.”


The 16 semifinalists are:
FreshWater Cleveland is Cleveland Chain Reaction’s digital publication partner.