Chris Allen and Megan Brown accepted a $10,000 check from North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. It was awarded at an honors luncheon for the finalists in the American Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. Allen and Brown gave special thanks to the Haywood Community College Small Business Center and Creative Campfire, the local production company that made their competition video. Otherwise known as Waynesville Soda Jerks, Allen and Brown entered their business in the competition in the category of Best Craft Beverage Startup. Their business model was appreciated because it sources fruits and herbs from North Carolina growers; their website expressing an intention to create a “de-vilified treat” with local ingredients and natural processes. Their lists of ingredients only include carbonated water, cane sugar, fruit, herbs, and maybe some citric acid. Some of the flavors are peach, blueberry basil, lavender lemon, and strawberry rhubarb. The Soda Jerks launched their business in 2013 and raised $7,850 from 59 backers in a Kickstarter campaign. They now prepare small, five-gallon batches for bottling, but they hope to double sales next year with the purchase of a larger tank. 572 businesses from across the United States, entered the challenge, 101 of which came from North Carolina.