February 22nd - 26th  |  Virtual

Coming February 22nd - 26th, 2021

Missed this event in 2020? No problem! Click the "More Information/Register" buttons below on each panel to watch a recording or download it.

We are hoping, over the course of the next few months, to record additional webinars from the planned event and offer them for free through our Food Business Resource Center.  Stay tuned!

What is Food Biz Week?

A free opportunity for food and farm businesses at all levels of food production and food retail in the Pacific Northwest to learn from industry experts and fellow experienced colleagues through a curated week of virtual panels, presentations, and networking activities. The event will be all virtual and free so food and farm entrepreneurs are invited to attend from anywhere in the region.

This year, Business Impact NW has partnered with the Seattle Good Business Network and Sustainable Connections to host Food Biz Week. 

When you register for Food Biz Week you are given access to Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday's events, please indicate which one or all of the sessions you would like to attend.

On Tuesday, February 23rd of Food Biz Week, our partners Sustainable Connections and the Seattle Good Business Network are hosting the Farm-To-Table Trade Meeting - a half-day virtual event that invites folks working in the food and farm community to connect, create and strengthen market partnerships, and learn from each other about programs and solutions to support the needs of your business and organization in 2021. This is a paid event run by our event partners Sustainable Connections and the Seattle Good Business Network.

Learn more about the Farm-To-Table Trade Meeting and register here.

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Food Biz Week is made possible thanks to a generous sponsorship from Farmstand Local Foods.

Farmstand Local Foods helps wholesale buyers connect with dozens of farmers and food producers in their regional food system. Farmstand Local Foods makes sourcing local make sense by updating the fresh sheet to a live inventory from dozens of farms, sending one truck and one invoice. They work with #localforreal suppliers that implement regenerative and equity focused practices in Central and Southern Puget Sound. Learn more about Farmstand Local here!

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

Lunch included!

Food Biz Day Conference 8am-2pm

View Food Biz Day Program

  • 8:00 Registration & Coffee
  • 8:30 Opening Remarks
  • 9:00 Opening Panel: Diversity in Food Businesses
  • 10:00-2pm Breakout Sessions helping food entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses
    • Choose from a selection of options offereed throughout the day, made to suit what YOU want to know!
    • There are FOUR different sessions to choose from EVERY HOUR!
    • See topics and speakers below
    • 10-11am choices:
      • Starting a Catering Business
      • Starting a Home-Based Food Business
      • Meet Your Lenders: Financing 101
      • Packaging and Labeling for Retail
    • 11am-12pm choices:
      • Where Can I Make My Product? (Commercial Kitchens, Copackers, and More)
      • Exploring Sales Channels (Farmers Markets, Food Trucks, Pop-Ups, and More)
      • Navigating the Permitting Process
      • Developing Value-Added Agriculture Products
  • 12-1pm: Lunch Provided & Resource Fair
    • 1-2pm choices:
      • Meet with a Food Business Specialist: Preregistration Required
      • Getting into Retail/Grocery Stores
      • Sourcing Regional Produce / Sustainable Agriculture
      • Process Improvement Tactics and Tips
  • 2pm: Networking & FBRC Ribbon Cutting
  • FREE 2:30-4:30 Food Marketplace

Marketplace 2:30-4:30pm

  • 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 up to 25 food vendors, sampling your way through the latest and most innovative new foods

It's Happening!!!

A week of panel discussions, presentations, and networking opportunities for food and farm entrepreneurs at all stages with education, insight, and connections to help their businesses launch, grow, and thrive.

Become a Sponsor

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Watch The Food Biz Week 2021 Recordings 

Day 1: Farm Businesses

Finding Farmland 

A panel exploring various options and support for addressing land access challenges with:

  • Lily Gottlieb-McHale of Washington Farmland Trust
  • Anna Chotzen of Viva Farms 
  • Shelley Pasco of Whistling Train Farm

 

Responding to the Post-COVID Consumer: New & Emerging Markets

A panel discussion on new markets and channels that have emerged or expanded as a result of the pandemic and thoughts on how to reach consumers post-COVID with:

  • Devra Gartenstein of New Day Cooperative
  • Rand Rasheed of One Leaf Farm
  • Chris Teeny of Pacific Coast Harvest

Day 2: Packaged Food/Value-Add Businesses

Exploring Post-COVID Sales Channels

A panel exploring post-COVID sales channels for packaged food and value-add businesses. Discover what our speakers have learned works and explore new opportunities in selling packaged foods!

  • Logan Niles of Pot Pie Factory
  • Devra Gartenstein of Patty Pan Collective
  • Katie Cole of Molly Moon’s

Packaging and Labeling for Retail

A panel discussion on tips and best practices for getting retail-ready from expert businesses who have successfully gone retail with:

  • Dan Smith of RECIPE 33
  • Susan Soltes – Bow Hill Farm (former owner)
  • Kara McKnight – Timber City Ginger Beer
  • Donna Moodie – Marjorie Restaurant & Miss Marjorie’s Steel Drum Plantains

Day 3: Financing for Food and Farm

Exploring Funding Options

A panel of business owners will talk about unique ways to fund food and farm businesses outside traditional loans like crowdfunding, self-funding on a budget, grants, investors, and more!

  • Lauren Anderson – Grain Artisan Bakery + Market
  • Ray Williams – Black Farmers Collective
  • Hannah Wilson – Yes Farm, Black Farmers Collective
  • Sash Sunday – OlyKraut
Traditional Financing for Food and Farm

A panel of lenders to help you explore various pathways and options for lending in launching or growing your food or farm business.

  • Erika Lindholm – Craft 3
  • Roland Chaiton – Business Impact NW
  • Darcy Maldonado – USDA Farm Service Agency

Day 4: Foodservice Businesses

Foodservices Outlook: 2021 and Beyond

A panel exploring the current status and future outlook of the foodservice industry, from restaurants to food trucks, catering, pop-up shops, and more. We’re looking at what has worked and how it will continue.

  • Eric Tanaka of Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen
  • Jasmine Donovan of Dick’s Drive-In
  • Lilian Ryland of Naija Buka

Successful Pivots during COVID and Beyond

A deeper dive into successful pivots in food service from business owners who have launched, grown, and/or pivoted during the pandemic

  • Eric Tanaka of Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen
  • Efrem Fesaha of Boon Boona Coffee
  • Rodney Hines of Métier Brewing Company

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What to Expect Each Day of Food Biz Week

MONDAY - FARM BUSINESSES

10:00AM - 10:50AM: Finding Farmland

Lily Gottlieb-McHale - Washington Farmland Trust // Anna Chotzen - Viva Farms // Shelley Pasco - Whistling Train Farm

A panel exploring various options and support for addressing the land access challenge.

11:00AM - 11:50AM: Responding to the Post-COVID Consumer: New & Emerging Markets

Devra Gartenstein - New Day Cooperative // Rand Rasheed - One Leaf Farm // Chris Teeny - Pacific Coast Harvest

A panel discussion on new markets and channels that have emerged or expanded as a result of the pandemic and thoughts on how to reach consumers post-COVID.

1:00PM - 1:50PM: Breakout Networking Session 1 - Land Access (Washington Farmland Trust, Viva Farms)
1:00PM - 1:50PM: Breakout Networking Session 2 - Sales Channels (New Day Cooperative, Pacific Coast Harvest)

Expand your network, get advice, ask your questions, and get to know this morning’s speakers during a dynamic breakout networking session with this morning’s panelist speakers and other small business owners. Make valuable connections with business leaders and fellow small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. All breakout sessions are facilitated and moderated by Business Impact NW staff.

TUESDAY - FARM-TO-TABLE TRADE MEETING

This event will be hosted by our event partners, Sustainable Connections and Seattle Good Business Network.

Cost to attend: $25 - $75

This half-day virtual event invites folks working in the food and farm community to connect, create and strengthen market partnerships, and learn from each other about programs and solutions to support the needs of your business and organization in 2021.

We bring together 180+ farmers, fishers, chefs, grocery buyers, food artisans, processors, and distributors for valuable networking and connection opportunities, cutting edge educational workshops, a vibrant expo, and one-on-one producer/buyer consultations.

WEDNESDAY - Packaged Food/Value Add Businesses

 10:00AM - 10:50AM: Exploring Post-COVID Sales Channels

Logan Niles - Pot Pie Factory // Devra Gartenstein - Patty Pan Collective // Katie Cole - Molly Moon's

A panel exploring post-COVID sales channels for packaged food and value-add businesses. Discover what our speakers have learned works and explore new opportunities in selling packaged foods!

11:00AM - 11:50AM: Packaging and Labeling for Retail

Dan Smith - RECIPE 33 // Susan Soltes - Bow Hill Farm (former owner) // Kara McKnight - Timber City Ginger Beer // Donna Moodie - Marjorie Restaurant & Miss Marjorie's Steel Drum Plantains

A panel discussion on tips and best practices for getting retail-ready from expert businesses who have successfully gone retail.

1:00PM - 1:50PM: Breakout Networking Session 1 - Sales Channels (Pot Pie Factory, Patty Pan Collective)
1:00PM - 1:50PM: Breakout Networking Session 2 - Packaging/Labeling (RECIPE 33, Timber City Ginger Beer)

Expand your network, get advice, ask your questions, and get to know this morning’s speakers during a dynamic breakout networking session with this morning’s panelist speakers and other small business owners. Make valuable connections with business leaders and fellow small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. All breakout sessions are facilitated and moderated by Business Impact NW staff.

 

THURSDAY - FINANCING FOR FOOD AND FARM

10:00AM - 10:50AM: Exploring Funding Options

Lauren Anderson - Grain Artisan Bakery + Market // Ray Williams - Black Farmers Collective // Hannah Wilson - Yes Farm, Black Farmers Collective // Sash Sunday - OlyKraut

A panel of business owners will talk about unique ways to fund food and farm businesses outside traditional loans like crowdfunding, self-funding on a budget, grants, investors, and more!

11:00AM - 11:50AM: Traditional Financing for Food and Farm

Erika Lindholm - Craft 3 // Roland Chaiton - Business Impact NW // Darcy Maldonado - USDA Farm Service Agency

A panel of lenders to help you explore various pathways and options for lending in launching or growing your food or farm business.

1:00PM - 1:50PM : Breakout Networking Session 1 - Farm Financing (Black Farmers Collective, Farm Service Agency)
1:00PM - 1:50PM: Breakout Networking Session 2 - Food Financing (Craft3, Business Impact NW, OlyKraut)

Expand your network, get advice, ask your questions, and get to know this morning’s speakers during a dynamic breakout networking session with this morning’s panelist speakers and other small business owners. Make valuable connections with business leaders and fellow small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. All breakout sessions are facilitated and moderated by Business Impact NW staff.

FRIDAY - FOODSERVICE BUSINESSES

10:00AM - 10:50AM: Foodservices Outlook: 2021 and Beyond

Eric Tanaka - Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen // Jasmine Donovan - Dick's Drive-In // Lilian Ryland - Naija Buka

Panel exploring the current status and future outlook of the food service industry, from restaurants, to food trucks, catering, pop-up shops, and more. We’re looking at what has worked and how it will continue.

11:00AM - 11:50AM: Successful Pivots during COVID and Beyond

Eric Tanaka - Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen // Efrem Fesaha - Boon Boona Coffee // Rodney Hines - Métier Brewing Company

A deeper dive into successful pivots in food service from business owners who have launched, grown, and/or pivoted during the pandemic.

1:00PM - 1:50PM : Breakout Networking Session 1 - Foodservice (Tom Douglas Restaurants)
1:00PM - 1:50PM: Breakout Networking Session 2 - Foodservice (Boon Boona Coffee, Naija Buka)

Expand your network, get advice, ask your questions, and get to know this morning’s speakers during a dynamic breakout networking session with this morning’s panelist speakers and other small business owners. Make valuable connections with business leaders and fellow small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. All breakout sessions are facilitated and moderated by Business Impact NW staff.

Join the Food Biz Week Webinar on February 22nd, 24th, 25th, and 26th from 10:00am-2:00pm PST here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/s/87517653458?pwd=clFHQnhmRU4rNW8zYWxDS2E4TFpXdz09
Passcode: 980237

Contact fbrc@businessimpactnw.org with questions if you still have trouble accessing the event.

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COVID-19 Response

We changed Food Biz Day into a "virtual" event.  We cancelled the "marketplace" portion of the event.  This decision was based on the updated recommendations from state and local health officials due to COVID-19.

Farm-to-Table Tasting Boxes

In partnership with Seattle Good Business Network and Sustainable Connections during Food Biz Week, we are able to offer Tasting Boxes that feature samples from food producers all over the region to enjoy during Food Biz Week! Boxes will be delivered or shipped by Monday, February 22nd, 2021. Choose from the Fresh Box, Pantry Box, or Sipping box - learn more and place your order before they sell out!

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Conference Sessions

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Opening Panel: Diversity in Food Businesses

Lilian Ryland of Naija Buka, Jan Parker of Jan Parker Cookery, Jaime Mendez of Los Agaves, Moderated by Kara Martin of Food Innovation Network

Moderated panel featuring a cross-section of food entrepreneurs speaking to what they have learned owning a food business.

Speaker Bio

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Starting a Catering Business

Heather Chitty of Madres Kitchen, Lilian Ryland of Naija Buka, Jaime Mendez 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.

Speaker Bio

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2021 Food Biz Week Sponsor

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2021 Food Biz Week Event Partners

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2021 Food Biz Week Promotional Partners and Speakers

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Presenting Sponsor

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Full Event Sponsor

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Food Biz Day Event Partners

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Food Biz Day Speaking and Marketplace Promotional Partners

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In-Kind & Promotional Partner Sponsors

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Sustaining Partners

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Interested in being an Event Sponsor? View our Sponsor Guides or contact development@businessimpactnw.org

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