Hummus Goodness wins the 2021 “Start-Up to Watch” award at Making It In Michigan

From an at-home business in Shanghai to a 3,600 square foot commercial facility in Southfield, Hummus Goodness is a “Start-Up to Watch.”

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Hannah Awada, owner of Hummus Goodness, received the 2021 Start-Up to Watch Award at the Making It In Michigan virtual conference and Marketplace trade show. According to Mollie Woods, Director of the Michigan State University Product Center, the award is presented to a business that has shown consistent success and growth in entrepreneurial and business development, annual sales, profit, and related financial performance measures. The selection committee also considered businesses that have increased the number of employees, established a strong business culture, or exhibited a reputation for integrity and proven involvement in the local and regional business community.

Prior to starting Hummus Goodness, Awada started Hummus House in Shanghai, China in 2017, providing fresh, gourmet hummus to the expat community. In the first year, she developed over 25 different flavors of hummus and sales flourished. In June 2018 when her husband was relocated to Michigan, Awada had no intention of building a new hummus business. However, less than a year later, with the encouragement from family and friends, she began the now award-winning company, Hummus Goodness. Awada came to the Product Center in April 2019 looking for business advice and support. Initially, she was focused on a direct-to-consumer business but transitioned to retail in September with Holiday Market Select in Birmingham.

The business started by operating out of a local church in Birmingham and self-distributing to stores throughout the metro Detroit area. Growth continued for Hummus Goodness even during the pandemic. Strong sales led Awada to build a 3,600 square foot manufacturing facility in Southfield. In addition to transitioning to a new facility, she brought on partner, Lara Lozser and hired four employees. Today, Hummus Goodness has regional distribution and can be found in over 60 gourmet grocery stores in Michigan and Ohio.

“The MSU Product Center and our counselor Becky DeYoung were invaluable,” Awada said. “The advice, mentorship and guidance allowed us to take the proper steps to grow our business to where we are today. I could not be more honored to receive this award. My team continued to work hard and faced the challenges of 2020. We remained focused on the goals we created and overcame each obstacle with a game plan to succeed. Thank you to Michigan State University Extension and Product Center, all of our customers, and the grocery stores who put their faith in a small business to allow us to reach this incredible milestone.”

Tina Conklin, associate director of the Product Center and FPIC (Food Processing and Innovation Center) said, “Hannah’s drive to create innovative products impressed all of us at the Food Processing and Innovation Center. She is a savvy businessperson and a gifted chef - who knew beets could taste so good! It has been a pleasure to work with Hannah as she grows her business.”

You can follow Awada’s journey via:

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan State University Product Center assist entrepreneurs and businesses to develop products and services in the food and agriculture markets. Its team of experts consults with clients on a one-on-one basis, helping new entrepreneurs navigate from concept development to launch and beyond. The MSU Product Center also offers specialized services such as labeling, packaging, and nutritional analysis. If you are interested in business counseling from the MSU Product Center, please complete visit our website or call 517-432-8750.

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