Journey of Manolo's Best
Welcome to Manolo’s Best Farmstand Chili and Soups, the creator of healthy and nutritious vegan, gluten-free and soy-free chili and soup recipes as well as Whole Foods supplier of shoppers’ favorite ready-to-eat vegan foods. Our mission now and since our founding days, is to bring joy to our community through delicious food.
Our story begins in 2010 when Mitch Wolinsky, now better known as Chef Manolo, on a quest to improve his diet through plant-based food, discovered that the selection of ready-to-eat prepared vegan dishes in stores was quite disappointing. And so, at the encouragement of his corporate executive wife Yvette, he started to work on his own recipes. He created a nutritious plant-based chili recipe prepared with high-quality ingredients that was vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. He also developed a recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with reduced sugar and sodium. The soup was vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free as well! Thanks to this innovation, Chef Manolo’s dishes were perfect not only for vegans, but also for people with food allergies since they were designed to be free of the top eight most common allergens.
Chef Manolo started volunteering at local charity drives, and nearly everyone who tried his food asked if it was available in the local Whole Foods Market. Manolo’s became so popular that it was time to expand into local grocery stores. He met with food scientists, consultants and Rutgers University [Food Innovation Center], and became a part of Whole Foods Incubator program in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Not long after, in January of 2017, that store started to sell his products at the store’s soup bar. In 2017 alone, Manolo’s Best Farmstand Chili and Soups gained enthusiastic customers in seven other Whole Foods stores in the greater Philadelphia region. By the end of 2018, every store in the Philadelphia region from Lancaster, PA to Cherry Hill, NJ sold Manolo's. Quickly becoming bestselling new products in the greater Philadelphia region, these unique products sold almost faster than Chef Manolo could make them!
But new opportunities kept appearing. In 2019, Mitch partnered up with Winter Gardens Quality Foods to produce and co-pack his famous chili and soup, becoming the only company produced and distributed by Whole Foods’ Market Co-Packer. That same year, Chef Manolo’s products appeared on the shelves of sixty stores across seven states!
One critical ingredient in the amazing success of Manolo’s Best Farmstand Chili and Soups, of our growth and this unforgettable journey is being from the very start a dedicated member of the local vegan and vegetarian community. That affiliation and its attendant support, guidance, and encouragement allows us to have impact on similar communities across the nation. We are the smallest soup company on three continents to be fresh-packed in the to-go refrigerators. We offer one of only three available fresh and ready-to-eat selections in the soup category, and one of two vegan-certified fresh pack soups available. In the coming years, we hope to achieve even more.
Manolo’s Best Farmstand Chili and Soups – the story of your perfect bowl of chili starts with us.