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Edible-Alpha® Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

The Edible-Alpha® podcast is your source for actionable insights into making money in food.

The Edible-Alpha® podcast is your source for actionable insights into making money in food.


United States


The Edible-Alpha® podcast is your source for actionable insights into making money in food.








How Food and Farm Businesses Can Survive This Pandemic

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #62, Tera talks with Ted LeBow, cofounder and managing principle of Kitchen Table Consultants, about how small food and farm businesses can stay afloat through the current COVID-19 crisis. Because Ted works one-on-one with entrepreneurs to help them build profitable food and ag enterprises, Tera felt he’d be the perfect guest to guide listeners during these unprecedented times. Overall, Ted stressed staying as calm as possible amid the madness and practicing open...


Disrupting a Category with Innovation, Authenticity and Sustainability

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #61, Tera catches up with Sascha Dhanjal, founder and president of Saffi Foods based in Madison, Wisconsin. Launched in 2014, this innovative company provides premium oils and vinegars to top-flight restaurants and foodservice operations nationwide and to retail bulk departments regionally, with an eye toward growth. The child of two entrepreneurs, Sascha’s journey began when she moved to Chile after college to work for an olive oil farm. Like many foreign oil...


The Importance of Getting New Food Products ‘Retail Ready’

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #60, Tera catches up with consultant Alli Ball, creator of the Retail Ready online course and the Food Biz Wiz podcast. A former grocery buyer for Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, Alli struck out on her own in 2014 to follow her true passion: helping producers get into retail. At Bi-Rite, Alli had the bandwidth to nurture emerging food brands, helping them hone their offerings to maximize sales. But as she and Tera discussed, most grocery buyers don’t have this much...


Innovation and Differentiation Drive Success for Century Sun Oil

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #59, Tera talks with Dale and Pam Johnson, owners of Century Sun Oil in Pulaski, Wisconsin. They produce high-oleic organic sunflower oil on a farm Dale’s family has owned since 1882, selling at retail and in bulk to other industries. A longtime dairy farmer, Dale switched his acreage to organic in the mid-1990s, sold off his cows and began growing vegetables. But when big corporations bought up the local canneries, he and many other independent farmers lost their...


How Rural Food Businesses Can Thrive—and Revive Communities

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #58, Tera speaks with Paul Scharfman, president of Specialty Cheese Company in Reeseville, Wisconsin, known for its Hispanic and other ethnic cheeses. Since purchasing five small cheese factories in 1991, Paul has grown the business exponentially, increasing sales annually and employing 250 workers. Three decades ago, queso fresco, asadero and cotija cheeses weren’t obvious choices for cheesemakers, but Paul knew demand for these varieties was growing. Food...


Generating Income In A Small Diversified Vegetable Farm

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #57, Tera speaks with Abby and David Bachhuber from Lovefood Farm, a small, profitable, diversified organic vegetable farm in the Madison, WI area. Before starting their own farm, Abby had previous experience in the small family farm industry including her work at the Dairy Business Innovation Center and David worked as a project manager for 12 years at a neuroscience and psychology research lab: the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin - Madison....


Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirt – Creating a Diversified Agritourism Business

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #56, Tera speaks with Mary Ann Bellazzini from Campo Di Bella winery, farm and farm-to-table restaurant. Campo Di Bella is a diversified agritourism operation, rooted in the Bellazzini’s Italian heritage and located on 20 acres of rolling hills in South Central Wisconsin. Owner Background When Mary Ann Bellazzini and her family moved to Wisconsin, they didn’t plan to be farmers. She and her husband grew up in first generation Italian families and they knew food....


Franchising Food Businesses With Jason Schleip

Franchisers make money through initial franchise fee for setup costs, controlling product sales (by buying product, then selling to the stores after marking it up), and royalties, which come off of top line sales of the franchised business in return for the support and process development of the franchiser. This is often the biggest source of income for franchisers.


How SAGE revitalizes agriculture near cities

SAGE contributes to the food system by helping elevate the data around the impact of food and agriculture in a way that helps people understand the connections between this sector and the rest of society and the economy.


Visualizing The Food System With Kitchen Sync Strategies

Kitchen Sync gets different people at the table – including the private sector – using the right language to invite everyone in to a problem solving and solutions-based session that meets their values and needs, rather than trying to change minds about those fundamental concepts. In bringing those people to the table, they are also better able to visualize and communicate the multitude of actors it will take to improve the food system for the long term.


“Rolling Up Your Sleeves” – How KTC Does Effective Food Business Consulting

The heart of Kitchen Table Consultants' work is one-on-one coaching with food and farm clients, but as their work has grown they have started helping other organizations provide better technical assistance. Rather than just make plans or recommendations for clients, it is critically important to their firm’s mission and values that they “roll up their sleeves” alongside the clients to help them implement their recommendations.


Hospital-Based Farming - A Bridge To Community Health And Wellness

The farm isn’t just a physical location that grows produce - it is part of a commitment by the hospital system to extend healthcare and wellness beyond the hospital campus and empower the community to lead healthier lives. They operate a CSA, a farmers market, community events and a Product To Patients program.


Transforming a Food Pantry into an Engine for Rural Prosperity

The Livingston Food Resource Center is a nonprofit food pantry and service provider serving a county of 17,000 people in rural Montana with a food acquisition model to purchase directly from area farmers and ranchers. Kitchen rental, value-added processing, community room rental and catering all provide earned income for their operations.


Leveraging Plant Based Foods For Rural Prosperity

Great Falls is seeking to leverage its reputation as the “Golden Triangle” to grow its larger scale producers (as opposed to smaller scale, cottage food industry producers) for larger domestic markets. Consumer demand is suggesting the best path lays in fulfilling a plant forward diet.


The Chesterhill Produce Auction: A Catalyst For Produce Producers

The auction focuses on getting smaller producers in the area to the scale to where they can sell and get attention for their products. Last year the auction grossed over $300,000, with the auction taking a 16% commission for all vegetables sold.


At Evolve Brands, Strategy is Everything

Since the snack category is crowded, Evolve Brands has focused their efforts on sales and marketing to build and continually support a strong distribution footprint of around 2,500 independent, natural and co-op grocery stores. From there, they can pursue a larger go-to-market strategy.


How The Fair Food Fund’s Patient Capital Yields Great Impact

Seeded with a 2012 challenge grant of $3.75 million, the Fair Food Fund, the impact investing arm of Fair Food Network, has attracted a total of $6.4+ million in grants and program related investments from more than 20 funders. Since then, the Fund has provided more than $3.6 million in financing and business assistance to over 80 enterprises across 9 states.


Tim Keane On Golden Angels Investors’ Funding Philosophy

Golden Angels Investors advise entrepreneurs to focus on building their sales and getting as much customer feedback as they can before they risk too much with the business. This, as well as the identification of competitors, helps validate that the business has some traction in the marketplace in the eyes of investors.


Joel Solomon On How Food Businesses Can Be Part Of The Clean Money Revolution

There is a disconnect between perceptions of available money for food business and the sheer volume of individuals/funds looking to invest at various stages. And, natural food investors are starting to look at even earlier stage companies now that there is so much competition at the product, retail and investment levels of the food business ecosystem.


Peter Robertson of RP’s Pasta On Managing Growth And Changing With The Consumer

A trip to Expo West in 2010 validated the demand and uniqueness of RP's gluten-free SKUs, generating demand that spawned rapid growth of the brand on a more national level, which can be challenging to manage the customer relationships and the right equipment setup/space to match production with demand.