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Actionable insights in making money in food Edible-Alpha™ is your source for actionable insights into making money in food. Hosted by Tera Johnson, we talk to a wide range of stakeholders about what it really takes to grow a successful food business. Learn more at www.edible-alpha.org

Actionable insights in making money in food Edible-Alpha™ is your source for actionable insights into making money in food. Hosted by Tera Johnson, we talk to a wide range of stakeholders about what it really takes to grow a successful food business. Learn more at www.edible-alpha.org
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Actionable insights in making money in food Edible-Alpha™ is your source for actionable insights into making money in food. Hosted by Tera Johnson, we talk to a wide range of stakeholders about what it really takes to grow a successful food business. Learn more at www.edible-alpha.org








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.


Ownership Differentiates Willy St. Co-op In A Changing Grocery Market

Willy Street Co-op is a set of cooperatively owned retail grocery stores in Madison, WI with 35,000 member-owners and about 400 employees across three stores. They have found that operating transparently and openly, emphasizing cooperative ownership and owner literacy, has provided a point of differentiation in the current marketplace.


A Food Hub’s Diverse Food Shed For A Resilient Future

Dorchesters Farm Food Hub aggregates and tries to ensure consistent supply of seafood and farm products (fruit, produce, livestock) and then redistributes to areas that are historically under-served via direct delivery of fresh and healthy food options, giving its customers lots of choice and flexibility.


Food Entrepreneurship and Resilience - A Funky Fresh Take With Trueman McGee

Funky Fresh Spring Rolls is a company that produces uniquely flavored, hand rolled spring rolls that are baked or grilled (not fried) with fresh and local ingredients. The Funky Fresh team began selling at Farmers Markets, which in addition to providing early cash flow have functioned as market research labs, allowing them to talk directly to consumers.


ReGrained, A Business Model For The Long Term And The Planet

ReGrained launched their product at scale in January 2018 after multiple iterations of their product (in the crowded bar category) and now are working with other businesses to help them produce/co-brand new products using their production facility and the expertise embedded in their proprietary process.