Team of First-Year MBAs Takes on Food Deserts

Congratulations to Kat Cook, Fahria Omar, and Sarah Spoto, 2017 MBA candidates who recently nabbed Simon’s best finish yet at the NYS Business Plan Competition! The trio competed as “Oasis Foods” and won first place and a $10K award in the social/nonprofit category.

Fahria Omar, Kat Cook, and Sarah Spoto (pictured above with Prof. Michael Wohl) hope to alleviate food deserts in Rochester with their frozen food vending machines throughout the city.

Fahria Omar, Kat Cook, and Sarah Spoto (pictured above with Prof. Michael Wohl) hope to alleviate food deserts in Rochester with frozen food vending machines throughout the city.

The team’s business plan focused on alleviating food deserts — urban areas where it is difficult to buy affordable, nutritious fresh food — with healthy frozen foods. As part of a project in their Urban Impact and Social Entrepreneurship course taught by Professor Michael Wohl, associate director for social entrepreneurship, the team worked closely with Foodlink to devise a plan to make affordable nutritious frozen meals available in strategically placed vending machines throughout the City of Rochester.

“We’re motivated to do more than just make profits with this business,” Spoto said. “We really want to make a difference here in the Rochester community.”

Oasis Foods plans to enter more business plan competitions with the goal of securing funding for a pilot project to test the vending machines in the Rochester community.

Sarah Spoto is an Admissions Ambassador for Simon Business School. If you have questions about Oasis Foods or about any aspect of the Simon experience, feel free to contact her.

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