Venture Creations company Panacheeza reports 500 percent sales increase since launch

Plant-based Parmesan-style cheese startup now serves products in RIT dining facilities


Panacheeza founder and RIT graduate Janessa Steenberg is leading the company to skyrocketing sales as it prepares to graduate from RIT’s Venture Creations incubator.

Panacheeza, a plant-based Parmesan-style cheese startup company in RIT’s Venture Creations incubator, has seemingly perfected a recipe for success. With skyrocketing sales, a significant increase in manufacturing, and a move to a larger production facility, Panacheeza has plans to graduate from the incubator this summer. RIT is also serving Panacheeza products in The Commons and is expecting orders from The Market at Global Village in the coming weeks.

According to company founder and RIT graduate Janessa Steenberg, Panacheeza’s sales have risen 500 percent since its launch, with products sold out several times over the past few months.

“Being in the incubator not only fast-tracked Panacheeza’s launch within a year, but also provided invaluable benefits,” said Steenberg, who graduated in 2023 from RIT’s School of Individualized Study. “The access to mentors, funding, networking opportunities, and a collaborative environment significantly contributed to our accelerated growth and success.” The company was the first recipient of the incubator’s Ignite initiative, which gives promising entrepreneurs the power they need to become successful business owners.

Panacheeza is not only sustainable and draws those who identify their lifestyles as semi-vegetarian flexitarian, but it is a certified superfood and contains only five ingredients—cashews, nutritional yeast, and other spices.

This past September, Panacheeza debuted at The Plant Based World Expo in New York City where it garnered international attention, landing Panacheeza a spotlight in Germany shortly thereafter. The company has since expanded to a large-scale manufacturing plant and co-packer facility in Savannah, N.Y.

“With this new move, we are looking to expand production, fulfillment, and headcount, plus we are planning to create our own cooking channel, La Cucina Panacheeza, to foster more engagement in our community,” said Steenberg.

As for the future, Steenberg said the long-term vision involves achieving nationwide recognition in both food service and retail distribution. “We’re aiming for a comprehensive product catalog that resonates with a diverse audience. But, perhaps our most ambitious goal is to integrate as a key ingredient in the realm of snack foods, solidifying our presence as an integral part of consumers’ daily indulgences.”

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