Virtual Food Biz Week

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?

An 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, so food and farm entrepreneurs are invited to attend from anywhere in the region.

The Farm-To-Table Trade Meeting is 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 partner Sustainable Connections.

Preview of Daily Events:

  • Monday February 22nd – Farm Businesses
  • Tuesday February 23rd – Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting
  • Wednesday February 24th – Packaged Food/Value-Add Businesses
  • Thursday February 25th – Financing for Food & Farm
  • Friday February 26th – Foodservice Businesses

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
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It's Happening!!!

A week of panel discussions, presentations, and networking opportunities aimed at supporting 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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On-Demand Recorded Webinars Available Now (Click More Info/Register to View):

Click the green [More Information/Register] button to register and view the recorded webinar(s) content on-demand. Upcoming live webinars and new recorded webinars will be posted here as they are planned and become available on-demand.

passed appetizers

Starting a Catering Business

Heather Chitty of Madres Kitchen, Lilian Ryland of Naija Buka, Christian Morales of Ventures Nonprofit, Kerrie Carbary of Food Innovation Network

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.

food packaging

Packaging and Labeling for Retail

Dani Cone of Cone & Steiner, Dylan Randolph of Bonnie B’s Peppers, Harley Soltes of Bow Hill Blueberries

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.

crowded market

Exploring Sales Channels (Farmers Markets, Food Trucks, Pop-Ups, and More)

Dani Cone of Cone & Steiner, Devra Gartenstein of Patty Pan Cooperative, Jan Parker of Jan Parker Cookery, Sam Greene of Ahab Shipping/Little Rae’s Bakery

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.

produce boxes

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. For farmers, this session will also highlight resources available to help build an economically viable farm business.

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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.

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Conference Sessions

cheers

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

passed appetizers

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

cooking at home

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.

Speaker Bio

financial planning

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.

Speaker Bio

commercial kitchen

Where Can I Make My Product

Jan Parker of Jan Parker Cookery, Heather Chitty of Madres Kitchen, Sam Greene of Ahab Shipping/Little Rae’s Bakery

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.

Speaker Bio

crowded market

Exploring Sales Channels (Farmers Markets, Food Trucks, Pop-Ups, and More)

Leigh Newman-Bell of Pike Place Market, Dani Cone of Cone & Steiner, Roz Edison of Marination, Devra Gartenstein of Patty Pan Cooperative

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.

Speaker Bio

rules and regulations

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.

Speaker Bio

canning and pickling

Developing Value-Added Agriculture Products

Griffin Berger of Sauk Farm, Harley Soltes of Bow Hill Blueberries

Geared towards farmers, this session will include how to develop and market new value-added ag products.

Speaker Bio

business model canvas

Meet with a Food Business Specialist

Phon Sivongxay of StartZone, Beverly Emerson of Olive Tree Product Development, Devra Gartenstein of Grit & Savvy, 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.

Speaker Bio

grocery cart

Getting into Retail/Grocery Stores

Sam Greene of Ahab Shipping/Little Rae’s Bakery

Learn about the process for getting your product into grocery stores including how to connect with a buyer, packaging considerations, maintaining relationships, and more.

Speaker Bio

produce boxes

Sourcing Regional Produce / Sustainable Agriculture

Heather Chitty of Madres Kitchen, Sam Kielty of Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets, Bobby Butler of Highline College

Learn about the process and benefits of sourcing regional produce and how to determine whether it can be advantageous to your business. For farmers, this session will also highlight resources available to help build an economically viable farm business.

Speaker Bio

con continuous improvement stock

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.

Speaker Bio

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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 Sponsors & Partners

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Interested in being an Event Sponsor? View our Sponsor Guide or contact alyssap@businessimpactnw.org

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