StartupNation inspires, educates and consistently attracts entrepreneurs and small business owners from Main Street America who want to be their own bosses and live the American Dream.

It’s no surprise that the Yummiest in StartupNation’s Home-Based 100 would have “junk food” in its brand. But what is surprising and refreshing is that the product line sold by Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food, founded in 2001, is much healthier than the usual fare in this fattening food category.

That’s probably why it has earned raving fans across the nation and around the world as the guilty-no-more snack of choice.

While in medical school, Dr. Laura Trice, M.D., saw many illnesses that could have been prevented with healthier lifestyle choices. So, she decided to market the same, wholesome treats she was baking for her family to others. Now sold through major chains including Whole Foods, her baked goods are flying off the shelves like never before, making for delectable growth in revenues.

Every ingredient Trice includes is a healthier version of what you’d find in a typical, equivalent junk food product. For example, what goes into her “X-Treme Chocolate Fudge Bite-lettes” (pictured here) are rolled oats, date paste, 100% expeller pressed Canola oil, fruit juice, natural grain dextrins, chocolate chips made with dehydrated cane juice and pure vanilla, unsweetened natural cocoa, evaporated cane juice, unsweetened coconut, water, oat flour, non-GMO soy protein isolate, non-GMO soy powder, baking powder without aluminum, of course, and sea salt and natural flavorings.

From a marketing perspective, the Venice, Calif.-based Trice is shrewd as can be. True to the advice offered by last year’s Yummiest Home-Based Business winner, Sarika Singh of Matisse and Jack’s, Trice is positioning herself carefully in a crowded space. “If you’re planning to make your mark on the food world,” warns Singh, “you’ll want to understand the competitive landscape.” Trice certainly does.

To connect more intimately and to influence buyer behavior, she uploads videos to YouTube and blogs about healthy snacking constantly. She’s creating a healthy lifestyle of which her snack line is a “natural” part.

Yummiest Winners Were Diverse

The range of Yummiest winners for 2008 was broad indeed, from snack food to breathe recovery, and wine tours to ethnic cuisines.

New York City is home to some of the best Italian restaurants in the country. While their pasta with olive oil and sautéed garlic is world class, so’s the bad breath you’re left with. Enter 2008 Top Ten Yummiest winner Jacquean Products with their “eatwhatever” breath savers. Simple ingredients with natural breath freshening powers help you finish your evening with all the kissing confidence that the singles of Manhattan are known for. In addition to having a phenomenal product, their packaging was just as stellar. They’ve got some fresh breath and fresh minds at Jacquean Products, no doubt.

Another extremely clever product line and winner in the Yummiest this year was Chocolate Prescription. Capitalizing on the health benefits and passionate lovers of dark chocolate, the marketing maniacs at the Plano, TX-based company have created a weekly chocolate subscription that arrives by mail, just in time for your antioxidant—and sweet tooth—fix. Yummy positioned as healthy. Smart.

Just one more to mention before we raid the frig – Modern Day Masala. If you’ve ever been intimidated by preparing dinners in the extraordinarily flavorful but esoteric Indian cuisine, shy away no more. Modern Day Masala has created easy to prepare solutions for fabulous Indian dinners.

The special spices and recipes are all provided, made easy to cook up and enjoy. Kristin Sharma, founder of Modern Day Masala, to you we say, Namaste.