WCOB senior Emily Haas presents Food U

Emily Haas

A native of Boone, NC, senior Hospitality & Tourism Management and Entrepreneurship major and Nutrition minor Emily Haas recently presented her unique business idea, Food U, at the Boone Discovery Forum.

The Oct. 7 forum brought together young professionals in the Boone community interested in social entrepreneurship for a night of learning, networking and inspiration.

Haas' business idea, Food U, proposes a mobile food truck that partners with middle schools and high schools across North Carolina to teach children basic culinary skills.

When asked how she developed the idea for her business, Haas explained, "I was making muffins with my friends at my apartment. They had no concept of reading a recipe correctly or how to measure the ingredients. It was humorous in the moment, but as I was reflecting on the day it was actually kind of sad. Cooking is my passion, and, in that moment, I realized that this is not just an issue among my friends, but the United States as a whole."

Emily Hass presentationHaas's was one of three Appalachian business ideas that earned a top spot in the Oct. 7 Boone Discovery Forum. Next, they will attend a leadership symposium to be held at the NC State University Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) Spring 2016. At the symposium, the three finalist teams will have the opportunity to refine and pitch their projects to a panel of experts. The winning team will receive a grant of $10,000 to help take the business idea a reality.

The mission of Food U is to "feed the minds of tomorrow." The concept is focused on giving students the knowledge and tools to sustain themselves and the ability to prepare basic and nutritious meals.

Haas hopes to bring a food community to the students, where they can see the produce from the local growers and then learn how to create a dish with the ingredients. Simultaneously, the company will aim to teach children about nutrition, how to read a recipe, and inspire creativity in the kitchen.

Unique to Food U, the organization will be mobile. "We are not just focused in one area, but are able to spread our mission across the state and potentially US," stated Haas.

Haas has lofty aspirations. She aims to promote skills and spread knowledge that can span generations and create a community around healthy food and proper cooking techniques spanning not only a wide array of locations but also inspiring a wide range of individuals.

For more information on Emily and other Appalachian student entrepreneurs, visit the Walker College's Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship website.

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at N.C. State, the BB&T Student Leadership Center and the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship are collaborating on this event and invite members of the Boone community to submit ideas.

The IEI partnered with BB&T to create the first Discovery Forum in Raleigh in 2011, and has since expanded to develop the leadership potential of young adults in Boone, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greenville, Wilington and Raleigh in 2015.

Emily Hass presentation
Published: Oct 26, 2015 1:00pm