The Chicago suburb of Mundelein isn’t quite yet famous for kombucha, a fermented tea with healthy probiotic properties that in recent years has drawn a growing consumer base. But if hard work and passion are the keys to entrepreneurial success, then Susan Fink’s Karma Kombucha is going to turn Mundelein into a kombucha capital.
When U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered the keynote address at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival & Conference March 24, he spoke three little words that are close to the hearts of the Chicago nonprofit organization and its community of like-minded advocates: Good Food movement.
FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference is coming up Thursday at Chicago’s UIC Forum, and it is a must-do for anyone with an interest in the business of the fast-growing Good Food movement. The event — which makes up the first day of the three-day, 12th annual Good Food Festival & Conference — has an amazing lineup of farm and food entrepreneurs, industry leaders, thought leaders and policy makers.
Josh Katt, a Chicago chef, came up with the idea for his eight-year-old Kitchfix company while working as a personal chef and creating healthy meals — made from anti-inflammatory superfood ingredients — for customers who were fighting cancer. Kitchfix enabled him to expand the concept to a broader customer base. He grew a business that delivers prepared meals to homes and dropoff points, does catered events, and even has a small store in the Gold Coast neighborhood just north of downtown Chicago. Along the way, Katt and his team hit upon a product they learned had serious commercial potential: a grain-free, superfood-loaded variant of granola. His desire to grow this part of his business led to his participation in FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator.
FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator is now accepting applications from food and farm entrepreneurs who want to participate in the program’s second year of mentoring and learning experiences.
Even in the Internet age, it can still be challenging for Good Food buyers and sellers to find each other and do business. That is why FoodTrace, founded in 2014 by young Chicago entrepreneur Riana Lynn, is drawing so much positive attention for its technology-based platform, designed to enable producers and food businesses to connect.
by Sustainable Food News, guest contributor Sustainable Food News reported on June 17 about the Michigan Good Food Fund, which is expected to raise $30 million to provide capital to and assistance to businesses working to expand access to Good Food in underserved communities. This program, created with initial funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Read more about Sustainable Food News: Michigan Good Food Fund to Put $30 Million into Expanding Access[…]
[The original version of this article was published May 1 on the Huffington Post website.] As FamilyFarmed prepared for the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on May 4, we decided to welcome out-of-town attendees with an article providing “10 delicious facts” about the blossoming Good Food scene in our hometown. We found we had created a pretty sweeping guide to Chicagoland Good Food, so we’re making it a standing feature. And we’d love to hear about the Good Food scene where you live — let civic pride rule!
What happens when a group of very committed Good Food activists gets together to discuss ways in which philanthropy and personal action can advance the goals of the movement? It can get personal… but only in the best way.
The Good Food movement is playing a major role in Detroit’s rising reputation as a “comeback city.” Eastern Market, one of Detroit’s oldest and most historic institutions, is at the core of these efforts to build a thriving local food system, and it recently opened a community kitchen to provide resources for food entrepreneurs.
Chicago on Monday hosted the annual James Beard Foundation culinary awards ceremony, and Rick Bayless was one of the event’s co-chairmen. Famed for popularizing regional Mexican cuisine in the city, he is a celebrity chef with a long-running TV show, and he has just added to his long list of cookbooks. But to many in the Good Food movement, it is his history of helping building the region’s local food system that is his biggest starring role.
by Jim Slama and Bob Benenson, Family Farmed [Note: This article was first published on the Huffington Post news website.] As advocates of the Good Food movement in Chicago, we are honored that the James Beard Foundation Awards are coming to town. The Foundation was created to honor the legacy of chef James Beard. After Read more about Welcome to Chicago, James Beard Foundation: 10 Delicious Facts About the Windy City[…]
By Joel Blechman, FamilyFarmed When I tell people I’m the director of the Good Food Business Accelerator, which FamilyFarmed launched last fall, I’m frequently asked, “What does that mean?” Accelerators — which provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and other assistance to promising entrepreneurial businesses — compose a fast-rising sector that is promoting economic development in the Read more about Good Food Business Accelerator Fellows to Show Their Skills at April 27 Demo Day[…]
by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed There is ample statistical, financial, and anecdotal support for the contention that the Good Food movement is, indeed, a movement — one that is expanding markets for healthier food, produced more sustainably, more humanely, and with greater fairness to small farmers, entrepreneurs, and farm workers. This Good Food sector is engaging the interest and participation of millions of Read more about Policy Makers Increasingly Recognize That Good Food Is A Movement[…]
There are plenty of business success stories that emerge in the food world. To be a Good Food success story — like the four featured at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference in Chicago Thursday — has a special requirement: a commitment to the values of local, sustainable, natural, and healthy food that is the foundation of the fast-growing Good Food movement.
Finding sourcing for financial capital has been one of the major dilemmas that many startups (and even some better-established players) face in the fast-growing Good Food movement. Fortunately, the money gap is starting to be filled by venture capital groups that see the business potential in the Good Food movement. Chicago’s SLoFIG, an acronym for Sustainable LOcal Food Investment Group, was one of the first to see — and seize — the opportunity.