FamilyFarmed, a leading nonprofit advocate for a better food system, is happy to introduce you to the program for its 8th annual Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference. The Midwest’s premier business gathering focused on locally and sustainably produced food will be held Tuesday, June 19 at the Morgan Manufacturing event space in Chicago’s West Loop — and it has its strongest-ever lineup of industry experts discussing cutting-edge issues.
The Chicago-based Sustainable Local Food Investment Group, better known as SLoFIG, was one of the first groups focused on making equity deals and loans specifically to Good Food business startups. That underscores just how recently the Good Food sector has been recognized as a promising and profitable place to invest — since SLoFIG itself has been around only since late 2010.
The technology behind blockchain is complicated, but its potentially enormous benefits to food businesses are simpler to explain. Blockchain enables producers to prove their product claims and, via an app, provide that information in an easily accessible form to consumers who care deeply about where their food comes from. It also provides near-instant traceability that can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to pinpoint the source of a food safety problem.
It was a proud and happy moment for FamilyFarmed when Ferd Hoefner, the longtime face and voice of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) took to the podium Saturday night in Chicago as the first of five recipients of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards — all of whom have devoted their lives to more fairness and equity in the American food system.
Shared kitchens provide often-crucial workspaces to food entrepreneurs who have products they think will sell, but lack the money to either build their own production facilities or contract with co-manufacturers. Now, Chicago startups have an important new resource with the May 3 grand opening of Pilotworks’ new shared kitchen and business incubator.
About a decade ago, Tera Johnson raised millions of dollars to build a state of the art “green” factory to produce organic whey powder, and even though it opened in 2009 at the depths of the Great Recession, that market for her Tera’s Whey turned out to be huge. By early 2013, less than four years after opening, Johnson sold Tera’s Whey to Omega Protein for more than $26 million. This kind of meteoric entrepreneur experience may be the exception, but it happens… which is why the owners of eight early-stage food businesses hung on every word on April 23 when Johnson delivered an engaging talk at the graduation ceremony for the latest cohort in FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator program.
Michael Bashaw of Whole Foods Market knows all about change. During more than two decades with the company — rising from meat cutter to Midwest regional president, a position he has held since 2009 — Bashaw was part of Whole Foods’ development into the nation’s biggest natural and organic food supermarket chain. And for nearly a year, he has been managing change as Whole Foods adjusts to Amazon’s purchase and takeover of the company. So Bashaw chose change as the subject of his talk at the recent graduation ceremony for the fourth cohort of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator program
by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed FamilyFarmed always approaches the graduation of its latest Good Food Accelerator cohort with gratitude and anticipation. We are grateful that we get to work with and assist promising entrepreneurs who are seeking to grow their companies (and also happen to be super-nice people too). The anticipation is looking forward to the Read more about New Good Food Accelerator Grads Ready To Put Pedal To The Metal[…]
Attention, Good Food entrepreneurs! FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference is coming up on Tuesday, June 19 in Chicago — and you can apply to compete for cash prizes and in-kind services in our 2018 Good Food Pitch Slam… and to participate in the annual Financing Fair.
by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed Another great Good Food EXPO — the 14th annual rendition of FamilyFarmed’s biggest annual event — is in the books. Thanks to all the participants — speakers, panelists, industry experts, farmers, food product makers, buyers, sellers, investors, and more than 5,000 members of the public — who presented, exhibited, did demos Read more about 2018 Good Food EXPO Success In Words and Pictures[…]
Nature’s Path co-founder Arran Stephens and his wife/co-CEO Ratana Stephens are longtime advocate for organic farming, and leveraged that passion to build the largest independent organic breakfast and snack food company in North America. So it was natural for FamilyFarmed to present Nature’s Path and Arran Stephens with its 2018 Good Food Business of the Year Award at its Good Food EXPO on March 23 in Chicago.
Do you love how vinegars improve and heighten the flavors in food? Do you want to learn more about the wide range of vinegars from around the world, and how you can use them in your cooking? Then you should buy a ticket to the Master Class on culinary uses of vinegar, which FamilyFarmed is presenting on Saturday, March 24 (9 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.) at its Good Food Festival — the second day of its two-day, 14th annual Good Food EXPO. The Master Class and cooking demo features Michael Harlan Turkell, the food photographer, podcaster and author who wrote the wryly named book Acid Trip: Travels in the World of Vinegar. He will be joined by Chef Abe Conlon and Adrienne Lo, co-owners of Chicago’s popular Fat Rice restaurant, which focuses on the Portuguese-influenced cuisine of the Chinese island of Macau.
Regenerative and organic agriculture are among the most-discussed topics in the Good Food farming world. With interest and debate on these issues growing, FamilyFarmed is taking the lead in presenting a robust discussion of regenerative and organic agriculture on Friday, March 23. This panel discussion will be the Opening Symposium of the Good Food Trade Show: Production, Policy & Industry Exchange — the first day of Family Farmed’s two-day, 14th annual Good Food EXPO at Chicago’s UIC Forum. And the EXPO’s overall lineup of farm-centric programming is truly extraordinary
Chef Sarah Grueneberg’s passion for pasta at Monteverde restaurant has earned her the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes and the Jean Banchet Award for Chicago Restaurant of the Year… just within the past year. FamilyFarmed is proud that Sarah will also accept our 2018 Good Food Chef of the Year Award at our Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 24 — and will conduct a cooking demo at our Chefs at Play stage. Enjoy our interview with Sarah, one of Chicago’s best-respected and best-loved chefs.
Sarah Grueneberg, award-winning chef-owner of Chicago’s award-winning Monteverde restaurant, will receive FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Chef of the Year Award — and conduct a cooking demo — at the 2018 Good Food Festival, part of our 14th Annual Good Food EXPO. And as if Sarah were not enough reason to make your way to the UIC Forum on Saturday, March 24, wait until you see the rest of the lineup for our popular Chefs at Play stage. Mind blown.
FamilyFarmed’s 14th annual Good Food EXPO is coming up March 23-24 at Chicago’s UIC Forum. Make your plans now to attend the nation’s oldest trade and consumer event focused specifically on local and sustainable food. Tickets are on sale for the Friday, March 23 programming: The Good Food Trade Show: Production, Policy and Industry Exchange. These affordable tickets can be purchased on this linked page. The Good Food Festival, FamilyFarmed’s big annual public celebration of the fast-rising Good Food movement, will follow on Saturday, March 24.
The Good Food movement has gained major ground in recent years, driven by fast-rising consumer demand for better and healthier products. One tangible proof of that is in the growing community of investors who are helping Good Food companies start up and grow. One such company is Chicago’s Spiral Sun Ventures, whose tag line is “Investing In Healthy.” Spiral Sun works mainly with small, early-stage companies. The firm also is a friend of FamilyFarmed, and they exhibited at our 2017 Good Food EXPO. More than that, there are Spiral Sun clients who also are FamilyFarmed Good Food Accelerator Fellows or regular exhibitors at our Good Food Expo.
Debbie Wood is the founder and owner of No Denial Foods, which produces sumptuous snack mixes and baked goods from grain-free, low-sugar recipes she created to address her own health issues. Debbie exhibited at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food EXPO in March 2017 and enjoyed record on-site sales. The experience prompted her to join the current fourth cohort of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator.
Cultured Love, based in Holland, Michigan, produces healthy, probiotic sauerkrauts in a variety of traditional and innovative flavors. Jodie and Paul Krumpe founded the company in 2014 after family illness led them to deeply research the connections between food and health. They exhibited at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food EXPO in March 2017 and enjoyed record on-site sales, an experience that prompted them to apply and get accepted for the current fourth cohort of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator.
Consumer demand for healthier, more sustainable and more local dining options is rising fast. And this is reflected — as it has been for the past several years — in the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot” trend predictions for 2018. The results of an annual survey of nearly 700 chefs across the country, released in December, produced the following list of the 10 hottest restaurant concepts… nearly all of them closely tied to the goals of FamilyFarmed and other Good Food movement advocates.