Sustainable food retailing
We often highlight the potential for Good Food businesses to revitalize economically challenged communities and improve the lives of those who live there. Few businesses combine both of those elements in one person as much as Chicago’s Westside Bee Boyz. Founder Thad Smith’s beekeeping and honey company is still quite small, but he has big dreams for the company. He views it as a platform for community and young entrepreneur development in North Lawndale and other troubled communities in Chicago.
There are no guarantees for entrepreneurs launching new food ventures. But success can come amazingly fast when a food startup hits the sweet spot — or the sweet and savory spot in the case of Simple Mills, the Chicago-based company that produces a variety of nutrient-dense, grain-free baking mixes and crackers (and will be exhibiting at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Trade Show and Good Food Festival.
by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed Kitchfix, a Chicago-based company, grew out of Chef Josh Katt’s previous career preparing highly nutritious and functional meals for customers who were fighting cancer. He maintained those health-first principles as he grew his home meal delivery service and a packaged goods division centered on Paleo, grain-free granola in a variety of flavors. […]
There was an air of promise that surrounded Wednesday morning’s grand opening of the Whole Foods Market store in the troubled Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.
FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator GFBA is accepting applications through Sept. 19 for its third cohort of competitively selected Fellows in its intensive six-month program, which will run from November to April.
We at FamilyFarmed are all about encouraging our readers to become farmers market customers — if they are not already — and enjoy the super-healthy, nutritious and delicious products sold by their local and regional growers. That is why we have an annual tradition of welcoming National Farmers Market Week with an article full of tips about how to save money at farmers markets.
Jenny Yang and her Phoenix Tofu company in Chicago are shining examples of how FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator helps food and farm entrepreneurs build their businesses. Yang is launching a major expansion in response to fast-rising demand, which was the subject of a recent profile in the Chicago Tribune. We have republished an article we wrote about her and Phoenix Tofu last year, with a link to the Tribune story.
“Minimizing food waste is the next round of work that we have to do, both in the farm to table movement and in our food culture generally,” says Abra Berens, chef of Stock Cafe at the innovative Local Foods market in Chicago. Read about her devotion to locally and sustainably sourced food, and to not letting any of it go to waste, in the latest installment of our “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
Last year, FamilyFarmed welcomed the first-ever James Beard culinary awards to Chicago with an article providing the sweep of Good Food activities in our hometown. So with the JBF Awards coming back to town on May 2, the best second helping we could think of is this rundown of the biggest Good Food developments in Chicagoland over the past year.
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.
Organic Valley’s Work on Better Growing and Eating Honored With FamilyFarmed Good Food Business Award
George Siemon co-founded and heads Organic Valley, the Wisconsin-based producer of dairy products, meats and vegetables that is the nation’s biggest organic farmer cooperative. The work of the company to advance the Good Food movement was honored with FamilyFarmed’s Good Business Business of the Year Award.
The nine Fellows participating in the second cohort of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator represent a wide range of exciting entrepreneurial ventures — from bakeries to a prepared meal kitchen to an herb farm, from an apple orchard and cidery to packaged Latino food products to a kombucha maker, and more.
Vending machines. Not exactly what comes to mind when you think of Good Food… Until now, that is, thanks to companies such as Farmer’s Fridge, a business that is selling same-day-fresh jarred salads and healthy snacks from vending machines in dozens of locations around Chicago. This fast-growing company got a boost from participating in FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference and its Financial Fair.
FamilyFarmed’s 12th annual Good Food Festival & Conference is scheduled for March 24-26 at Chicago’s UIC Forum, and exhibitor registration is open. Robin Schirmer, project coordinator for the Chicagoland coalition of CSA farms, shares her experience working with and attending the event.
FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference is the oldest and largest event in the Midwest focused on local and sustainable food. At its heart are the producers, buyers, sellers and others who exhibit their businesses there. Exhibitor registration is open for the 12th annual Good Food Festival & Conference, scheduled for March 24-26 in Chicago, and there is a $100 discount for participants who sign up by Dec. 9.
FamilyFarmed has launched a fundraising campaign — titled “Help Us Grow Young Farmers!” — to support the latest expansion of its extensive efforts to train farmers across the United States so they can achieve sustainable success. The campaign, staged on the IndieGoGo crowd-funding site, is titled “Help Us Grow Young Farmers!”
Chicago has been something of a laboratory for the rise of the Good Food movement. Yet there has been one element of the movement that has been largely missing in Chicago: food cooperatives. Until now.
Foods and beverages carrying a “local” label appear poised to become the leading symbol of trust and transparency to consumers as the authenticity halo of such terms as ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ lose momentum, claims market analyst The Hartman Group — as reported by the FoodNavigator-USA.com website.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture kicked off the 16th annual Farmers Market Week Sunday, announcing a 64 percent increase in customer traffic in markets open for at least two years.