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[…]
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.
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.
FamilyFarmed’s annual Giving campaign is under way, and to highlight the work we do to build a better food system, we are running a series of profiles of great businesses that have participated in our programs. Today we look at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator through the eyes of Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies, who graduated in April in the program’s 3rd cohort of entrepreneur Fellows.
FamilyFarmed’s most recent Urban Ag Bus Tour tour took place on Saturday, Oct. 14. Now, the weather is the one thing you can’t control when you plan an outdoor event, and it rained, and rained, and rained. But nothing will stay a local food advocate from making the rounds of urban farms. People piled into the bus, and thoroughly enjoyed the visits to Garfield Produce, Chicago Patchwork Farms and the rooftop farm at McCormick Place, the city’s (and nation’s) biggest convention center. Giant puddles be damned.
FamilyFarmed invites rising food entrepreneurs to apply for a Fellowship in our Good Food Accelerator (GFA). The application period begins today (Aug. 14), and we will have scheduled a GFA Application Celebration and Networking Event on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 1871 in the Merchandise Mart.
by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed Until now, the only “rhubarb” at Chicago’s Wrigley Field would have been a heated argument between a baseball manager and umpire. But a new evening farmers market, being launched this Thursday (June 14), will bring real rhubarb to the brand-new Park at Wrigley, located just outside the home field of the Read more about Buy Me Some… Rhubarb and Strawberries?: A Farmers Market Comes To Wrigley[…]
Butcher Rob Levitt’s status as a Good Food leader in Chicago crystallized after he and wife Allie opened The Butcher & Larder in 2011. But Rob also is an outstanding chef who met his wife Allie while they were training at New York’s Culinary Institute of America. And it will be in that chef role that Rob will be taking part in the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration, a joint fundraiser for Chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Farmer Foundation and FamilyFarmed, which will take place on Sunday, April 30 at the Art Institute of Chicago.
‘Laine’s Bake Shop is an artisan bakery with a social mission. “Our mission is to be a catalyst for revitalization in urban communities, beginning in the South Side of Chicago,” said Rachel Bernier-Green, who co-founded the company with husband Jaryd Bernier-Green in 2013. That social mission is why she will be sharing her experiences on a panel titled Urban Impact Investing and Community Revitalization on Thursday morning, at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference at Chicago’s UIC Forum.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken’s combination of delicious food and elevated social values merit FamilyFarmed’s 2017 Good Food Chef of the Year Award. Chef-owners Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp will receive the award at our Good Food Festival at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, March 18.
Farmhouse Chicago, located at the west end of downtown, is a genuine farm to table restaurant that sources most of its ingredients from the states that border on Lake Michigan: Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. Since its opening five yeas ago, Farmhouse Chicago also has been a friend of Family Farmed. So it is no coincidence that an event scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 3 — at which Farmhouse will introduce its five new proprietary hard apple ciders — is also a fundraiser for our nonprofit, which will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the tickets sold.
Here’s the best Good Food news we’ve read this week. Enjoy! Midwest Good Food To meet booming tofu demand, Edgewater-based Phoenix Bean plans $1.7 million expansion (Phoenix Bean is a graduate of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator), Chicago Tribune A Tale of Ten Acres – UNFI’s Agrarian Journey of Soil health, UNFI City Farm Chicago Aspires Read more about Weekly Link Roundup – July 8[…]
Here’s the best Good Food news we’ve read this week. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday! Midwest Good Food Impact Engine raises $10 million fund, ends accelerator, Chicago Tribune New tool by SPINS and IRI to give natural channel retailers ‘unprecedented advantage’, Food Navigator How consumer demand is resurrecting ancient grains Read more about Weekly Link Roundup – July 1[…]
Here’s the best Good Food news we’ve read this week. Enjoy! FamilyFarmed in the News ConAgra’s new Chicago headquarters is getting final touches before move starts June 23, Omaha.com Midwest Good Food ‘Locally Laid’: A Humorous Memoir To Cure You Of Farming Fantasies, NPR How Chicago preps vacant land for farms, Chicago Farm Report Read more about Weekly Link Roundup – June 17[…]
Building the consumer market for Good Food by helping food and farm entrepreneurs start up and scale up is a core principle of FamilyFarmed. It is also the reason why FamilyFarmed in 2014 launched its Good Food Business Accelerator.
So it is no surprise that the competitively selected Fellows who participate in the Good Food Business Accelerator have a high profile at the Financing & Innovation Conference that makes up the first day each year at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival & Conference.
A Good Food trade show retains its traditional place as a centerpiece of FamilyFarmed’s 12th annual Good Food Festival & Conference, March 24-26 at Chicago’s UIC Forum. But the day’s programming expanded greatly over time to include panels and discussions of a wide range of Good Food business and policy issues — and this year it steps to a new level with a panel of all-star chefs presented by the James Beard Foundation (JBF).