Newport Chowder Company. Submitted photo.

Submitted by Andrea McHugh/Andrea McHugh Media

Sept. 23, 2022 (Warren, R.I.) – Samuel Adams philanthropic program, Brewing The American Dream, brought together six Rhode Island-based food and beverage entrepreneurs at culinary business incubator Hope & Main in Warren in late August to vie for a $10,000 award in their annual pitch room competition. The competition was then narrowed down to just two small businesses: Newport Chowder Company and The Perfect Empanada. Both brought samples of their creations to Hope & Main’s annual Schoolyard Twilight Party on Saturday, Sept. 10th where attendees cast their vote for one of the two competitors and by night’s end, Hope & Main founder, Lisa Raiola, announced the top vote getter was Katie Potter’s Newport Chowder Company. 

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“I can’t express enough how grateful we are,” said Potter, who has made thousands and thousands of pounds of her chowder based on her mother Muriel Barclay de Tolly’s recipe. “We’ve worked tirelessly over the past 4 years to grow this little company from retail spice packets to a fleet of two food trucks and a food cart because we never stopped believing in it. I put it all on the line when I quit my full time job this summer to make Newport Chowder Company’s footprint grow, and it feels like all the 18+ hour days and sleepless nights have been worth it. None of it would have been possible without Hope & Main — I feel lucky to be part of such a talented community of fellow makers and dreamers.”

Raiola calls Potter an “inspiration” to the Hope & Main community. “This was in no way a lucky victory for Newport Chowder Company. Katie and her team worked for this moment,” said Raiola. “They had the drive and the persistence to stick with their vision of business growth and innovation. The Sam Adams win was a culmination of hard work and courage of conviction.”

Potter plans on using the winnings to finally have a headquarters for the business and commercial space to park the food trucks and cart. “I have run this business out of my home and car and we’ve outgrown this model considerably. Having a designated space to work and run our operations has been something we’ve known we needed for a really long time.”

Potter, along with her fellow finalists, will also receive business coaching from the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream team.


Newport Chowder Company was founded in 2019 by Newport native Katie Potter. Inspired by her mother, legendary Newport restaurateur Muriel Barclay de Tolly, who owned and operated Muriel’s restaurant for nearly 15 years, Potter launched the company with Newport Chowder Company spice packs featuring the key spices used to make her mother’s seafood chowder, which won top honors at the Newport Chowder Cook-Off for three consecutive years, landing the chowder in the Hall of Fame in 1989. Today, in addition to the spice packs which are sold at retailers throughout Rhode Island, Newport Chowder Company includes two full-service food trucks as well as a food cart. The fleet serves award-winning seafood chowder in addition to other seafood specialties at special events, private parties, weddings, corporate events and other locations throughout the Ocean State.