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Hales Corners —Amber Frymark took home the top prize at the Hottest Kitchen Entreprenuer Challenge July 20 for her start-up business Chowventions and her product Zwitchel syrup.

The entrepreneur challenge selects three start-up and three early-stage business finalists to compete at an event where their products are sampled by judges, business 'VIPs,' and eventgoers. The finalists also give a presentation on their product and business concept to the audience and answer questions from the judges.

Though nervous, Frymark said the day went better than she expected, and she feels 'very very humbled' by winning the grand prize.

'It felt like being crowned Ms. America for the food world,' she described, adding that she was not expecting to win. 'I had great competitors. Everyone belonged in that competition.'

Throughout the competition, Frymark received a lot of positive feedback on her product, as well, receiving compliments that it was 'tasty' and that people 'loved the flavor.'

'It also validates the fact that I'm not the only one who thinks my product is good, that it's actually something people are going to like,' Frymark said.

For winning, Frymark received $2,000 in seed money from Reliable Water Services, tuition for a 3-credit course at Milwaukee Area Technical College during the 2016-2017 academic year, consultation with FaB Wisconsin's director of industry growth along with a one-year membership in FaB, a booth at the 2017 Milwaukee Foodservice Expo, and a prize package worth $350 from Fein Brothers Restaurant Equipment & Supplies.

Frymark said she also appreciates the exposure that the competition was able to give her business, and hopes that the new platform will help her connect with a distributor soon.

'I think now there is really a higher chance for people to know about Chowventions, just that it exists,' she said. 'It increases the chance for them to try a 'chowvention' someday.'

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