Airs Friday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. on ABC
— Evan Delahanty, founder of Peaceful Fruits, will be featured on an upcoming episode of ABC’s Shark Tank celebrating “America’s Heroes.” To coincide with the airing, Peaceful Fruits will host a Watch Party and Q&A Feb. 10, from 8 to 10:30 p.m. at the Highland Square Mustard Seed Market & Cafe on West Market Street.
Peaceful Fruits is an Akron-based fruit snack company that promotes eco-friendly development for communities in the Amazon rainforest, while providing jobs for people with disabilities in Northeast Ohio. Delahanty partners with the Blick Center and Hattie’s Food Hub (a work-training program at Hattie Larlham) to employ individuals with disabilities in Akron to produce his fruit snacks.
After two years serving with the Peace Corps as a project manager and community economic development specialist in the Amazon, Delahanty was determined to start a business that would be fully competitive in the market, but still stimulate social change.
“By partnering with the local communities in the Amazon to harvest the wild acai used in our snacks, we found a way to both promote rainforest conservation and improve our workers’ standard of living,” said Delahanty.
Since pilot production began in late 2015, Peaceful Fruits has sold more than $25,000 of snacks online and through local retailers such as Mustard Seed and Kriegers Market. The 2017 production year promises rapid growth from developing partnerships with larger brands such as Whole Foods and Giant Eagle. A full list of retailers can be found at www.peacefulfruits.com.
Delahanty is a client of The Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI). Upon launching Peaceful Fruits in 2014, Delahanty was selected to participate in ECDI’s food-based business training program at the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen. Delahanty also participated in the SEA Change social enterprise accelerator where he was named one of the top social enterprise startups in Ohio and awarded a grant of $20,000. In addition, Delahanty worked with GLIDE and MAGNET to further strengthen the business side of his mission-driven but for-profit enterprise.
“The ecosystem in NEO allows entrepreneurs to ask for help and get it—something that isn’t true everywhere,” says Delahanty on navigating the entrepreneurial environment.
Be sure to watch Delahanty and Peaceful Fruits – product of Akron and the Amazon – on Friday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. on ABC or join the watch party at the Mustard Seed. Seats are limited so please register at Eventbrite.
Find out more about ECDI at www.ecdi.org.