CINCINNATI— While we all wait for football season to get started, one small business is gearing up for being noticed on the big stage at Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium this upcoming season. 

What You Need To Know

  • Paycor and the Bengals hosted their first-ever Earn Your Stripes small business contest

  • The contest was open for small, local, minority-owned businesses

  • Magnificent Morsels Catering was chosen as this year's winner and will receive advertising within Paycor Stadium, on the Bengals website, and even season tickets

  • Crystal Render, owner of Magnificent Morsels, said it's great to be recognized and her hard work celebrated 

Magnificent Morsels Catering is a family-owned business. The catering company was inspired by owner Crystal Render’s mom.

Crystal's mother is a big inspiration behind the business (Spectrum News/Katie Kapusta)

“We’re in the thick of this together," Render said. "This is a teamwork makes the dream-work organization for sure.”

In over four years of business, Render has been able to grow her company — whether it’s making grits for a family reunion, or prepping lunches for kids in need.

“If they’re food insecure, they’re already suffering," she said. "Give them a real meal, don’t just give them the bottom of the barrel. So, it was just the morally right thing to do.

Crystal and her family work together to make meals for their clients (Spectrum News/Katie Kapusta)

And now, in the midst of cooking for others, the business has the opportunity of a lifetime after participating in the Earn Your Stripes Pitch Competition with Paycor Stadium and the Cincinnati Bengals. Render was chosen as one of six finalists to pitch her business

“I realized they’re serious. This is the real deal," Render said. "I get to actually pitch my business to the Bengals and Paycor, that was crazy!”

The business was chosen as the winner, something representatives from Paycor and the Bengals said was a difficult choice, but thought Render was deserving.

“They all had great business success stories, but they were also big Bengals fans and you could see their fandom and what it meant to have an opportunity to have their brand connected to ours," Emily Parker the director of communications for the Bengals said. "And so, I think the way that we can support Paycor and making this a successful contest and in turn support an amazing local business. I think that’s a win for all of us.”

Magnificent Morsels Catering advertisements will be inside Paycor Stadium this season (Spectrum News/Katie Kapusta)

“I think this is a great way to showcase to the nation how inclusive of a community Cincinnati is," Paaras Parker, Paycor Chief Human Resources Officer, said. "And how when we think about, for us building winning teams, it’s not one person, one type. It takes all types of thinking and all types of experiences.”

The contest, in its first year, focused on small local minority-owned businesses. Render said it's an honor to be seen and recognized.

“It’s hard having a small business," Render said. "And especially when you don’t have the right resources and backing, you’re just chugging through it. To have that win come through it was like 'Oh my God, it’s all worthwhile now.' Somebody sees the value of what we do.”

And as the winner, Magnificent Morsels will be featured in ads at Paycor stadium and across the Bengals website as well as get a chance to see it in person with season tickets.

“I can’t wait for that one moment when I see our names in lights, I know I’m going to have a whole moment about that," Render said.

For Render, it’s a full circle moment, making her mom’s dreams come true through her own business.

Render is always making sure every item has the highest quality (Spectrum News/Katie Kapusta)

“She’s seeing those dreams that she had come to fruition through us," Render said of her mom. "And the fact that she’s here with us to witness it, and be a part of it, that is game-changing.”

Paycor will assist Magnificent Morsels Catering with advertising and marketing, which will also be featured on the Bengals app and on Bengals radio shows, as well as sideline signage for visibility in the game.