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Aida Foods Cooks Up Ways To Move Forward

AidaPieTamale.jpeg
AidaFoodCompany.com
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Veneta-based entrepreneur Aida Lough makes pies, tamales and vegan salsas and sells them online and at farmer’s markets as Aida Foods. Lough doesn’t let things like a pandemic stop her.

Aida Lough was ready to hire someone to package her products so she could sell them in stores. Then COVID-19 happened. “We found a fabulous co-packer but they’ve shut down," says Lough. "So instead of being placed on hold I thought I’ve gotta move forward so I just have to do it myself!” 

AidaSalsa_0.jpeg
Credit AidaFoodCompany.com
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Aida's vegan salsas include smoked carrot and smoked beet.

Lough needs a certification to make her foods shelf stable. It’s expensive, so she applied for a loan through Springfield-based Community Lending Works, after she heard about it through venture catalysts at Oregon RAIN. The portal opened at noon on a Sunday. Lough says, “I jumped on it with a slow computer, got it in by 12:20. I was approved and I was funded in three days. It was awesome.” 

 

Meantime, Lough and several Veneta- and Springfield-based start ups created “East Side West Side Meals and More,” to sell and deliver their products together. In addition, Lough has applied for several grants and hopes to hire a couple of employees some time soon.

Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.
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