Small but Mighty

For one contest, the proof is in the pudding--er, cookies

Anyone can stick a cucumber (or a condiment or preserves) in a jar and sell it online these days.

However, with the market as flooded as it is, it can be hard for the worthiest projects to receive the recognition they deserve. Enter the Next Big Small Brand Contest. Tasting Table is proud to be a sponsor of this competition of delicious entrepreneurship in which contestants face off for a chance to win tools that can help them turn a comestible hobby into a full-time job.

Last year's winner, Sweet Loren's, recently launched national shipping and is on the shelves of Whole Foods. The exposure is well-deserved: The line's "break and bake" cookie dough ($8) is great for satisfying a craving for quick homemade sweets.

Thanks to the competition, Loren Brill, Sweet Loren's founder, received free branding and design services, three months of public-relations services and a monthlong spot at the Brooklyn Flea.

This year the contest goes bicoastal, and the stakes are even higher. The best small brands of New York City will battle top competitors from the San Francisco Bay area in front of judges that include tastemakers from Tartine Bakery and Bi-Rite Market on the West Coast, and Whole Foods, Bon App├ętit and the Brooklyn Flea in the East.

Click here to submit an application (due February 5). Or if you'd rather remain a spectator, may we suggest some sweets for the show.