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Updated: March 6, 2023

Kittery’s Good To-Go leverages Maine’s mentorship and capital resources

Photo / Tim Greenway Jennifer Scism, who co-founded Good To-Go with her husband, David Koorits, leveraged Maine’s resources to scale the business for nationwide sales.

Jennifer Scism, co-founder and CEO of a Kittery maker of natural dehydrated meals for active people, recalls a time early on when she was thinking about scaling from preparing 20 servings per day to 20,000.

“We were grappling with being able to keep up with customer demand,” says Scism, who co-founded Good To-Go Inc. with her husband David Koorits.

It was a learning curve but they accomplished the job, sometimes going back to the drawing board to be able to achieve scale.

“We completely deconstructed one recipe,” she says. “We had a marinara and were literally opening hundreds of No. 10 cans of Pastene tomatoes.”

The process was time-consuming and the product inconsistent. The new version uses a natural tomato powder that took a while to find for the quality and taste she wanted.

“I’m always looking for the secret sauce,” she says.

Scism is a former New York City restaurateur and “Iron Chef” winner. In Maine, she had a catering company.

Koorits’s careers include ER nurse, wilderness therapy counselor and ski patroller.

The idea sparked around 2010 on long camping trips.

“Prepacked foods at the time were pretty horrible — lots of preservatives, tons of sodium,” she says.

She started cooking and dehydrating dishes in their tabletop dehydrator to carry on the trips.

Friends loved the meals, too.

“That’s when the lightbulb went off,” says Scism.

The idea was to create a backpacking food brand to offer healthy options to the broader outdoor market.

Scism had a tiny catering kitchen, had it recertified for food production and tested recipes with an eye toward scaling up. They contacted business mentorship program SCORE Maine, connecting with Nancy Strojny.

“She was instrumental in helping us as far as marketing and sales and trying to get us on the right track,” says Scism.


Market research and business planning ensued. To buy equipment, they raised an initial round of funding from friends and family and spent $80,000 on credit. Specialists in branding, design and bag and label manufacturing followed.

They leveraged Maine’s resources, including University of Maine Cooperative Extension classes on topics such as facility design and food safety. Maine’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership helped with kitchen layout and lean manufacturing.

In 2014, they had three products — Thai Curry, Herbed Mushroom Risotto, Smoked

Three Bean Chili — and formally established Good To-Go.

In 2016, they made 14,000 meals per month and meals were in over 400 stores.

That year, In 2016, they realized that, to be competitive, they needed to scale quickly, and that required additional capital resources. They raised a $900,000 seed round, to expand the facility and add equipment, from nine accredited angel investors, who included certain family and friends – including a regular customer and a former business partner from Scism’s New York restaurant.

In 2017, they made 53,000 meals per month and won the $50,000 grant top prize in the annual Gorham Savings Bank LaunchPad pitch competition.

In 2022, the company closed on a Series A round of $1 million to enable it to scale the facility further and make strategic hires to support ongoing growth plans. Series A investors included the Maine Venture Fund, Maine Angels, CEI Ventures and Maine Technology Institute.

Along they way, they’ve also had support from Bangor Savings Bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration.


The partners knew they would be marketing to “the outdoor retail crowd” and not going to supermarkets. Their sales representative introduced them to Meriden, Conn.-based retailer Eastern Mountain Sports, which put them in about 50 stores on the East Coast early on.

A public relations specialist in the outdoor space introduced them to a trade show called Outdoor Retailer and connected them with a New Hampshire camp stove manufacturer. The two manufacturers tag-teamed, with Good To-Go doing cooking demonstrations on the stoves. A buyer from Seattle-based outdoor retailer REI swung by, tried the food and soon put in an order.

“REI was the driving force for us to become a more national brand,” says Scism.

The company has added about two distinctive meals per year until 2019, now offering 15 with Scism working on research and development for new recipes.

Today, the company’s 5-year compound annual growth rate is just shy of 21%.

Products are in all 50 states and Canada. The company also sells through Amazon and its own website. Average annual production is about 700,000 servings. With 23 employees, she expects to hire up to five more in the coming months.

What’s next? Market research is underway for natural-food and grocery outlets, with an eye toward non-outdoor consumers.

Says Scism, “We’ve had many competitors come up and say, “We’ve copied everything you do. You’re really great.’”

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