RealEats Grow-NY Grand Prize Winner

GENEVA, NY – Geneva-based meal delivery startup, RealEats, took home the $1 million Grow-NY grand prize for innovation in food and agriculture. The annual global competition is open to businesses that plan to execute bold plans to grow jobs, connect with local industry partners, and contribute to a thriving Upstate economy in the Finger Lakes, Central New York or the Southern Tier. RealEats impressed the Grow-NY judges with an airtight business plan and a strong brand identity.

29 Design Studio has worked with RealEats consistently as the brand has grown. The food startup’s cohesive brand identity and smart marketing strategy have not only helped the company gain customers but they became the foundation for its award-winning pitch.

RealEats Founder and CEO, Dan Wise remarked, “29 Design Studio has become an extension of our marketing team. The capabilities of Maureen and her team go well beyond design. We count on their help for brand and marketing strategy, and they never fail to exceed our expectations.”

“RealEats’ mission to make it simple for people to eat real food really resonates with us,” says Maureen Ballatori, Founder and CEO of 29 Design Studio, “We love their commitment to hiring local talent, supporting local farms and driving economic development in our community.” 

Working collaboratively with RealEats, the 29 Design Studio team spent months building their visual design and marketing strategy. Leveraging email marketing, social media, and regional media relations, the team helped grow the brand on a national scale.  

“We understand food and agriculture businesses because we are from the Finger Lakes. Farmers are our friends and neighbors. We can tell the food story better than anyone because we understand it,”  Ballatori adds.

Ballatori’s history is rooted in agriculture. She grew up on her family’s dairy farm in the Finger Lakes. Building on her experience as a designer and strategist, she started 29 Design Studio to help businesses of all sizes tell their stories.

“RealEats business is a great fit with our knowledge of food and agriculture. They never compromise on quality, which helped us build brand awareness and loyalty with customers,” says Ballatori.


RealEats was founded in 2017 by Dan Wise with a mission to make it easy for anybody to get and enjoy real food and rise up against fake food. Celebrity Chef Aliya LeeKong leads the company’s culinary efforts, developing seasonal menus that incorporate fresh, local produce that is clean, sustainable and nutritionally dense. RealEats currently serves 22 states.

29 Design Studio is a boutique branding and marketing agency in Upstate New York. The small but nimble agency brings together a dedicated team who enjoys working with clients nationwide to help deliver smart results executed with strategic marketing and thoughtful graphic design.