The proverb says that necessity is the mother of invention. Yet for the team who founded ready to BRANDS, it was impending motherhood — and a rare and debilitating condition associated with it — that necessitated their invention of ready to EASE, a nausea relief product that can be taken as an ice pop or liquid shot. The power of Mark Muller’s creative response to a critical situation — and the simple appeal of his organic, all-natural product — helped ready to BRANDS win a highly competitive Pitch Slam, beating out eight other outstanding business startups at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference in June.
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.
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
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.
If you want to show off that you can cook like a James Beard Outstanding Chef awardee, then Cheers To The Publican is for you. The recently released cookbook is co-authored by Chicago culinary giant Paul Kahan with writer Rachel Holtzman and Cosmo Goss, now a former chef de cuisine at The Publican. Restaurants in the One Off Hospitality group headed by Paul and his business partners — which include The Publican, Blackbird and avec — played a major role in converting the gritty meatpacking district in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood into the city’s Restaurant Row.
We are proud to present the finale of our three-part series of food and farm entrepreneur stories that underscore the impact you can have by making a tax-deductible donation to FamilyFarmed. Today, we feature our Farmer Training program, built around our Wholesale Success and Direct Market Success manuals, that has provided workshops for more than 13,700 farmers in 43 states on best practices in farm operations, handling, food safety, and marketing.
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 EXPO and Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference through the eyes of Luke Saunders of Farmer’s Fridge, the Chicago company whose fresh salad vending machines are changing the way eaters view self-service food options.
Everyone eats, and what you eat matters — which is why we at FamilyFarmed are proud of our work growing the availability of Good Food. In the coming weeks, we’ll share stories of the local food and farm entrepreneurs whose mission to produce Good Food has been served by FamilyFarmed, thanks to contributions from Good Foodies like you. We ask for your support so these programs thrive and we can continue to develop new and innovative Good Food initiatives in 2018.
Whole Foods Market has been a longtime partner in FamilyFarmed’s effort to build a better food system. So when we saw that Sustainable Food News had published a piece on Whole Foods’ top 10 trends for 2018, we knew it would be share-worthy.
FamilyFarmed salutes longtime associate Kim Bartko, and wishes her success, as she steps aside to focus on her new business venture: Outbound Lab, which seeks to advance the Good Food movement in the U.S. and around the world by forging partnerships between foreign food innovators and domestic food businesses.
Pilot Light is a nonprofit organization founded by some of Chicago’s top Good Food chefs to bring food education to students in Chicago Public Schools. And even though school’s out for the summer, Pilot Light is doing events around town to spread the word about its important social mission.
As part of its efforts to assist its small business associates, The Hatchery food business incubator held a pop-up market, sponsored by Groupon, at downtown Chicago’s Revival Food Hall on Saturday (June 17). So we dropped by to visit with a bunch of our food-making friends — and to purchase some of their delicious products, of course!