ACEnet Food Ventures Tenant: Red Barn Chili

ACEnet Food Ventures tenant Red Barn Chili (RBC) makes their chili from wholesome nutritious ingredients; lean meats, fresh vegetables & flavorful herbs and spices. Owner/operator Ed McGinnis has been operating in Columbus for a few years, focusing on catering and neighborhood pop-up events with his RBC Wagon, and also offers chili available for pickup.

Red Barn Chili originally came to ACEnet in 2021 to begin jarring their chili. After some intensive product development including increasing, or modifying the cooking process through the introduction of high-acid ingredients such as lemon juice or citric acid, ACEnet Food Enterprise Coordinator, Adam Kody, and RBC were able to get their vegan chili pH down into compliant levels for shelf stability.

In June 2022, Ed McGinnis & Red Barn Chili received their cannery license from the ODA Division of Food Safety. They’re currently working with silicone molds to make 16oz chili blocks that are then frozen for “boil in a bag chili.” RBC produced over 900 bricks last month!

Hosting STAR Community Justice Center Residents in ACEnet Reentry Program

“Making my Zesty Chicken Chili in Athens, OH with help from STAR residents Aaron and Aaron. ACEnet provides work transition experience to prisoners and I couldn’t have had better help. Both Aarons are looking to be released soon and both will be working in the food industry. They asked me if I would be a work reference and without hesitation I agreed. They were fantastic!

They helped me make 300 bricks of Zesty Chicken Chili. Aaron ‘Country’ with the ball cap wants to open a restaurant in his hometown of Norton while Aaron will be in the Athens area working for ACEnet clients.”

RBC chili bricks include Beef Chili, Chicken Chili & Vegan Chili, available for pickup and delivery.

 

Utilizing Kiva to Expand into Retail Markets

“Kiva.org** has been instrumental in Red Barn Chili’s development over the years. My first loan was used to start my catering company DinnerUp. The second loan was used to build and work my Red Barn Chili wagon. Both loans provided adequate cash flow to keep the business going and both were paid back.

RBC is now in two of the biggest Farmers Markets in the Columbus area and both are having record attendances (5K in Worthington and 4.5K in Dublin.) Each week, we sell out of our Hearty Beef, Zesty Chicken and Amazing Vegan chilis well before the noon closing. And it’s been like that since the beginning of May.

* ACEnet’s Reentry Program pairs Restaurant Ready graduates with ACEnet Food Ventures clients for the benefit of all parties: STAR residents have an opportunity to demonstrate the new skills and abilities they have cultivated, and have a current work reference when applying for employment in their home community upon release, and ACEnet entrepreneurs have access to additional trained help in ACEnet production spaces, and are given the opportunity to help develop a member of our regional community. Learn more here: https://acenetworks.org/reentry-work/

** Kiva is the world’s first online lending platform connecting lenders to entrepreneurs across the globe. Kiva crowdfunds loans for borrowers in more than 80 countries who are often financially excluded and can’t access other fair and affordable sources of credit. Lenders crowdfund the loans in increments of $25 or more, then borrowers have up to 3 years to repay the loans.

 

Featured Tenant by Programs & Communications Coordinator, Meggan Loveland