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Conference & Marketplace
Saturday March 7 | 8:00am-4:30pm
Des Moines, WA – Highline College Student Union Building
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Food Biz Day is a daylong event focused on providing insight, education, and networking for food entrepreneurs. The day will be a combination of speakers, breakouts, and panel discussions followed by a food entrepreneur’s marketplace where newbies can table their products alongside more seasoned food business owners. The following is a breakdown of the day's activities:
Food Biz Day Conference 8am-2pm
- Registration and Coffee
- Opening Remarks and Food Business Resource Center Ribbon Cutting
- Opening Panel: Diversity in Food Businesses Hear from a panel of entrepreneurs and leaders working to break down barriers and expand diversity in the food industry.
- Breakout Sessions will focus on helping food entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses. Topics to include:
- How to use market research to grow your business
- Building a solid business plan
- Understanding financials and knowing your margins
- Navigating the permitting process
- Introduction to lean manufacturing introduction
- Starting your catering business
- Home-based food businesses
- Packing and Labeling - tips and tricks from a graphic designer
- How to source regional produce
- Food Truck 101
- Grocery buyers tell all: what they look for and what they need from you
Food Biz Day Conference 8am-2pm
- Opening Panel: Diversity in Food Businesses
- Breakout Sessions helping food entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses
- Choose from a selection of options
- See topics and speakers below
- Followed by the pay-to-vend, free-to-attend Marketplace
- Designed for startup and early stage small business owners
- A chance for businesses to provide samples and sell products in exchange for feedback and vending experience
- Open to the public - visit 25 food vendors, sampling your way through the latest and most innovative new foods
A day of insight, resources and product sharing for new and established food businesses.
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Opening Panel: Diversity in Food Businesses
Lilian Ryland of Naija Buka, Jan Parker of Jan Parker Cookery, Jaime Mendes of Los Agaves, Roz Edison of Marination
Moderated panel featuring a cross-section of food entrepreneurs speaking to what they have learned owning a food business.
Starting a Catering Business
Heather Chitty of Madres Kitchen, Lilian Ryland of Naija Buka, Jaime Mendes of Los Agaves, Christian Morales of Ventures Nonprofit
Overview of what it takes to start a catering business from both a technical assistance perspective (i.e. common mistakes, best practices, etc.) and from an entrepreneur’s perspective.
Starting a Home-Based Food Business
Logan Niles of Pot Pie Factory, Kerrie Carbary of Food Innovation Network
General overview of what it is required to start a home-based food business from both a technical assistance (i.e. things to consider, success stories, best practices, etc.) and entrepreneur’s perspective.
Meet Your Lenders: Financing 101
Scott Bossom of Columbia Bank, Saif Hakim of Craft3, Roland Chaiton of Business Impact NW, Erin Williamson of Ventures Nonprofit
A diverse panel of lenders will talk about various funding options for all business stages, and key criteria food businesses should focus on when seeking capital.
Where Can I Make My Product
Heather Chitty of Madres Kitchen, Dawn McCausland of Fruition Planning
A moderated panel will discuss various avenues for producing your products from commerical kitchens, copackers, to getting your own space and regulatory considerations when determining which option will best fit your business needs.
Packaging and Labeling for Retail
Dani Cone of Cone & Steiner, Dylan Randolph of Bonnie B’s Peppers
General overview of things to consider with packaging and labeling your products from a entrepreneur’s perspective (i.e. lessons learned, things to consider, options, etc.). A buyer will provide perspective on key things they look for in terms of packaging and labeling when evaluating a product for a store.
Exploring Sales Channels (Farmers Markets, Food Trucks, Pop-Ups, and More)
Jan Parker of Jan Parker Cookery, Leigh Newman-Bell of Pike Place Market, Dani Cone of Cone & Steiner, Roz Edison of Marination, Devra Gartenstein of Patty Pan Cooperative, Sam Kielty of Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets
A panel of food entrepreneurs with experience selling through various channels will discuss the numerous markets and options available for food entrepreneurs and pros and cons of each channels. Market representatives will talk about other considerations and opportunities.
Navigating the Permitting Process
Phebe Rossi of Nuflours, Jeff Freshley of Washington State Department of Agriculture, Jennifer Tam of Seattle Office of Economic Development
Learn about the legal requirements of operating a food business in Washington State and the various agencies that your business will be inspected and regulated by.
Developing Value-Added Agriculture Products
Griffin Berger of Sauk Farm
Geared towards farmers, this session will include how to develop and market new value-added ag products.
Meet with a Food Business Specialist
Phon Psivongxay of StartZone, Beverly Emerson of Olive Tree Product Development, Devra Gartenstein of Patty Pan Cooperative, Christian Morales of Ventures Nonprofit
Entrepreneurs will have time to connect one-on-one to various food business specialists to strategize on the next steps for starting and growing their business.
Getting into Retail/Grocery Stores
Learn about the process for getting your product into grocery stores including how to connect with a buyer, packaging considerations, maintaining relationships, and more.
Sourcing Regional Produce
Heather Chitty of Madres Kitchen, Sam Kielty of Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets
Learn about the process and benefits of sourcing regional produce and how to determine whether it can be advantageous to your business.
Process Improvement Tactics and Tips
Phebe Rossi of Nuflours, Erin Williamson of Ventures Nonprofit
Entrepreneurs will learn about various process improvement, along with methods and tactics for making their business run more efficiently for current and long-term growth.
Bobby Butler of Highline College
Geared towards farmers, this session will highlight resources available to help build an economically viable farm business.
Food Biz Day Presenting Sponsor
Food Biz Day Event Sponsors
Food Biz Day Event Partners