In March 2020, amidst a global pandemic, the need to focus on food-related businesses grew more than ever. Business Impact NW tailored and launched a program to support food business entrepreneurs in launching, growing, and pivoting their businesses.
This is what became known as the Food Business Resource Center, or the FBRC.
The intention of the FBRC is to be a one-stop-shop for Washington State food entrepreneurs to access skills, resources, networks, and marketplace opportunities needed to launch, fund, and grow a successful food-related business. The ‘Food Biz Day’ event by Business Impact NW was hosted alongside the launch of the FBRC. The event proved incredibly successful. It demonstrated the need for a space to bring together food and farm entrepreneurs to learn from each other. The ‘Food Biz’ conference became a support system of varied experiences that business owners could depend on.
Almost a year later, across the region, there has been dedicated and continuous engagement with food and farm groups, community organizations, and resource providers. The FBRC grew equipped to understand and support the immediate and changing needs of the food and farm sector. Many lessons came out of last year’s event. With input from the community – the FBRC set out to build an even better event in 2021.
This year, the conference will take on the name ‘Food Biz Week’
It will be an extended, week-long, virtual conference with dedicated speaker panels each day from February 22nd to February 26th. The event will contain curated presentations and networking activities for industry experts and new entrepreneurs alike. On the second day of the event, there will be a paid opportunity for attendees to participate in the Farm-To-Table Trade Meeting, hosted by Food Biz Week event partners, Seattle Good Business Network and Sustainable Connections. However, the rest of the event is fully virtual. It is free for food and farm entrepreneurs at all stages in the Pacific Northwest region to attend. Subsequently, the FBRC will continue to provide year-round programs and resources for food and farm entrepreneurs at all stages.
You can support local food businesses without being an entrepreneur yourself! You can purchase a Farm-to-Table Tasting Box to “Taste the Bounty of Puget Sound” (via Seattle Good Business Network). The boxes come in three different options to enjoy, The Fresh Box, The Pantry Box, and the Sipping Box. Learn more about the contents of each box so you can place an order here.
Business Impact NW invites you to share and learn more about the Food Business Resource Center, FBRC, on their website at businessimpactnw.org/fbrc
Certainly connect with peer food and farm entrepreneurs at the upcoming Food Biz Week virtual conference February 22nd – February 26th at businessimpactnw.org/fbw
About the author
Henry Wong is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Systems and Information Engineering. Prior to joining the Business Impact NW team, he spent 7 years working in the Strategy group at CarMax developing and implementing inventory and buying strategies. Following his time at CarMax, he spent 3 years running his own mobile food truck business and consulting other mobile food start-ups in Tennessee. After selling his food truck, he moved to Seattle where he worked briefly with a food delivery tech startup. He did contract work for some local nonprofit organizations, including Business Impact NW, before joining the organization full-time. Having grown up around a family-owned restaurant and as a former entrepreneur, Henry understands the unique challenges that small business owners face. He also knows their advantages and the incredible value they can bring. Henry is passionate about leveraging his extensive experiences in strategy and operations to support clients in any stage of their business and strategic planning from concept to growth.