Simple Mills’ Katlin Smith: From 0 to 13,000 (Stores) In Five Years

In five short years since its launch, Simple Mills has enjoyed remarkable growth with its packaged baked goods and baking products, all of which are gluten free, grain free, soy free, non-GMO, and Paleo friendly. Founder/CEO Katlin Smith will discuss Simple Mills’ rapid rise next Tuesday (June 19) at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference in Chicago, on a panel titled “Breakthrough Entrepreneurs Talk Innovation.”

Financing Fair Provides Face Time For Food Startups And Investors

FamilyFarmed’s 8th annual Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference — to be held June 19 in Chicago — is the Midwest’s premier business and investment event focused on local and sustainable food. And as usual, the Financing Fair is the heart of the Conference’s entrepreneurial programming. This article will introduce you to the 38 companies who will participate in this year’s Financing Fair.

Oh Baby: Former Annie’s CEO Brings Good Food To The Small Set At Once Upon A Farm

During his more than a decade and a half leading Annie’s Inc., John Foraker played a pioneering role in creating the market sector for organic versions of popular consumer packaged goods (CPGs) such as macaroni-and-cheese mix, crackers and breakfast cereals. Foraker was so successful building the Annie’s Homegrown product line that General Mills bought the company in 2014 for $820 million. So what is Foraker doing for an encore? He, with other innovators who include actress Jennifer Garner, has co-founded Once Upon A Farm, which is spearheading an effort to create a new retail category for fresh, organic, refrigerated baby food.

Where You Fit On The Good Food Consumer Spectrum

When it comes to good food, are you one of the True Believers or Enlightened Environmentalists who are really into it? A Healthy Realist or Strapped Seeker, who wants to eat better but faces budget and time constraints? Or are products defined as natural and organic just not a priority for you, as an Indifferent Traditionalist, a Struggling Switcher or a Resistant Non-Believer?

Financing Conference Pitch Competitors Are Slammin’

FamilyFarmed’s 8th Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference — the Midwest’s premier annual business and investment event in the Good Food space — is coming up Tuesday, June 19 in Chicago. And the biggest new wrinkle is the Pitch Slam, a business pitch competition in which the winners will be receive cash and in-kind prizes. We’re a little too genteel to have a man-eating beast — like a shark — as our mascot, so perhaps we’ll call this our Sustainable Seafood Tank.

Good Food Insights: What Does “Good Food” Mean?

FamilyFarmed is proud to share the first installment of our new Good Food Insights series in partnership with New Hope Network, producer of industry-leading annual events that include the Natural Product Expos (West and East) and the Esca Bona thought leadership conference (which is the platform for the Insights series). This series of articles that will unpack the dynamics driving Good Food.

FamilyFarmed

Learn From (And Meet) Industry Stars At Financing & Innovation Conference

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.

SLoFIG’s Investments Help Good Food Startups Speed Up Growth

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.

James Beard Foundation

Five Food Equity Heroes Honored With James Beard Leadership Awards

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.

Pilotworks’ New Chicago Shared Kitchen Aims To Steer Startups To Success

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.

Good Food Accelerator

How Tera Johnson Got From “No Way” To “Yes, Whey” In Near-Record Time

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. 

Good Food Accelerator

Whole Foods Exec Urges Accelerator Grads To Face Change Fearlessly

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

Entrepreneurs, Get Your Game On At The Financing & Innovation Conference

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.

Regenerative/Organic Symposium Keynotes EXPO’s Ag-Centric Programming

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

Dishalicious

How Chef Of The Year Sarah Grueneberg Broke On Through

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.

Good Food Festival

Pasta Power: Sarah Grueneberg’s Golden On Good Food Festival Chef Stage

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.

Tickets Are On Sale For The March 23 Good Food EXPO Trade Show!

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.

Spiral Sun Ventures

Spiral Sun Ventures Shines Light On Young Good Food Businesses

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.

No Denial

No Denial, Yes To Indulgent And Health-Conscious Treats

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

For Gut Health, A Whole Lotta Cultured Love

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.