Third grader wins innovation award for ‘Nicolas’ Garden’

Orangevale’s farm-to-fork wunderkind Nicolas Come garnered a big honor for his “ Nicolas’ Garden” mobile app and digital platform.

Innovate North State named the 9-year-old foodie “Student Entrepreneur of the Year” at its 29th annual Regional Innovation Awards. Come accepted the award Tuesday at California State University, Chico.

Innovate North State recognizes entrepreneurs and businesses based in the “530” area code — which encompasses much of Northern California — for their game-changing innovation and impact. Past winners have included Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and

The judges cited Nicolas for his “unique, but considerable, positive impact in promoting healthy eating for and among children worldwide.” Since its launch in late May, “Nicolas’ Garden” has inspired thousands of kids to try and share healthy foods and recipes. Aimed at young eaters and beginning cooks, the app and its recipe-filled website promote the importance of farm-to-fork food choices and support healthier lifestyle choices. Nicolas also stars in You-Tube “ NG.TV” video blogs in his kid-to-kid campaign.

Said Nicolas, “I am very proud of this amazing honor. It’s the first major award I have ever received. And after seeing the other students in the competition, I know all of the finalists deserve recognition for their great innovation. Thanks to the ‘Innovate North State’ judges for selecting me. And I hope everyone will introduce ‘Nicolas’ Garden’ to their children and schools very soon to help us keep up this positive momentum!”

So far, Nicolas’ Garden has more than 5,000 downloads and has generated more than 9 million media impressions worldwide. Nicolas, who is now in third grade, was invited to the White House earlier this year and pitched his healthy eating ideas directly to President Obama. See for yourself at