GREAT FALLS – Good food should cost less – less money, less impact on your health, and less harm to the environment.
The idea scored 16-year-old Hallie Thompson a second place title and scholarship at the Electric City Shark Tank competition.
Now, less than two months later, she’s taken it to market.
Wholesome Hal’s, Thompson’s healthy food business that specializes in smoothie bowls and protein balls, is now a licensed vendor at the Great Falls Farmers’ Market.
Before her smoothie bowls spun into an official business, Thompson was just a regular student with hopes of bringing healthy food to Great Falls.
“My goal is kinda just to help people see that healthy food doesn’t have to be like gross or super expensive. It can be pretty cheap and delicious,” Thompson said.
Last fall, Thompson took a business course at Great Falls High School in which students had to come up with a business idea and participate in a school version of Shark Tank.
Thompson took the challenge a step further and presented her business plan at the Electric City Shark Tank. She won second place among six students.
With her win came a $500 scholarship for her to move Wholesome Hal’s out of the classroom and into the public eye.
Saturday morning, Thompson debuted Wholesome Hal’s at the farmers’ market to see how her food would fare. Within hours, dozens of customers stopped by her stand for a superfood smoothie.
Market-goers customized their smoothie bowls by choosing between four superfood flavors (strawberry banana, mango, peach raspberry, or blueberry cardamom), and sprinkling them with three of their favorite toppings (coconut flakes, chia seeds, slivered almonds, banana, hemp seed, or flax seeds).
With the support of Great Falls customers, Thompson hopes to one-day open a Wholesome Hal’s food truck.
To follow Hallie’s journey, you can like her page on Facebook or look for her at the Farmers’ Market from July 20 until the end of the summer.
-Reported by Lindsie Hiatt/MTN News