EDENS Announces Three Finalists to Launch Next Generation in 2018/2019 Retail Challenge


WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — EDENS, a leading national retail real estate owner, operator and developer, is pleased to share the announcement of three finalists for its 2018/2019 Retail Challenge, an annual pitch competition to discover and launch the next generation of retail.

The five finalists include:

  • Turner Hoff and Ariane Valle of Vegetable + Butcher: This subscription-food service delivers chef designed, dietitian approved prepared meals to home or office.
  • Mike and Dan Friedman of Tall Order (University of Virginia): These two brothers produce unique socks for men with larger foot sizes while supporting families of trauma.
  • Jessica Holton of Blaze Skincare (Stanford University): This daily-dose skincare company offers simpler, more efficient, effective and inclusive products.

“EDENS has a tradition of supporting and celebrating entrepreneurship and innovation in the retail industry,” said Jodie W. McLean, CEO of EDENS. “A primary differentiator of the EDENS Retail Challenge is the focus on mentorship and access to a network of experts as the next great retail concept is executed. I commend all of the finalists on their innovation, passion and hard work. We look forward to watching these concepts evolve.”

Previous winners include Rhoback (2016), a high-end, activewear lifestyle brand; Jules and Jim (2015), A craft cocktail and bottle shoppe; Joe Cut (2014), a mobile hair salon; Follain (2013), a wholesome beauty store curated with health-focused products; and Artis (2013), coffee retail store and café introducing America’s first live-roast experience.

This year, the EDENS Retail Challenge spanned 29 universities and is open to all full- or part-time graduate students, as well as entrepreneurs with a retail or consumer-packaged good concept, idea or pre-seed stage company. These concepts were evaluated on a variety of criteria based on creativity, financial viability, leadership potential, consumer demand and market potential, presentation and business plan clarity.

The finalists will work with captains of industry, renowned business mentors, and EDENS leadership for mentorship, concept innovation and business plan development and refinement.

The Retail Challenge will culminate in a live pitch and presentation competition hosted in the Union Market District in Washington, DC in March 2019.

EDENS is a retail real estate owner, operator and developer of a nationally-leading portfolio of 125+ retail places. Our purpose is to enrich community through human engagement. EDENS has 250 employees across offices in key markets, including Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas, Columbia, Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, Houston and Denver. For additional information about the company and its retail real estate portfolio, visit



For further information: Meghann Klein, Communications + Culture Director, EDENS, 202.902.2658