NJ entrepreneurs develop pizza-in-a-cone
A University in New Jersey that helped bring the Impossible Burger to the market is working with other food entrepreneurs on their own recipes for success.
These cones aren't for ice cream, they'll be stuffed with another popular treat -- a gooey mix of cheese and tomato sauce makes this a pizza cone.
Cousins Jacob and Eric Ciancaglini started making Chank's Grab-N-Go snacks after their fathers saw the concept on a trip to Italy. Betting Americans would crave the taste and convenience, they launched a food truck selling their pizza cones at events.
"We had great success there and just got better events as the years went on," Jacob said.
When it was time to expand, they connected with the Rutgers Food Innovation Center.
"It's unbelievable how complex the food industry is," said the center's Diane Holtaway.
Rutgers guides clients through the production process, from marketing to manufacturing. Holtaway says some participants come in with a prized family recipe. "How do you take an idea and scale it up and manufacture it?" she said. Others already have a product they want to grow, like Chanks Grab-N-Go. "If they have long-term and big goals, we're going to help them get there."
A staff of industry veterans, including Director Nolan Lewin, makes Rutgers' food incubator unique. "We know what it's like to stay awake at night, think about an idea and how to make it successful," Lewin said.
Chanks is currently manufacturing its pizza cone at Rutgers' facility in Bridgeton, N.J.
"They've been helping me along the whole time. They really made a big difference," Jacob said.
Now the cones are selling at college football stadiums and on Amazon.
Reporter Tom Hanson: Who knew you could streamline eating pizza?"
Jacob Ciancaglini: Apparently, you can.
Chanks Grab-N-Go is adding new flavors to their menu, with plans to place cones in more venues--and hands--across the country.