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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.








Nordik Meats Opens Mid-Pandemic and Perseveres

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #91, Tera talks to Rod Ofte, a fourth-generation farmer and wearer of many hats, whose latest venture is a small USDA-inspected meat-processing plant outside Viroqua, Wisconsin. Nordik Meats opened last July, right in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rod and Tera discuss the business’s wild first year plus the state of local meat processing nationwide. Like a lot of farm kids, Rod initially didn’t want anything to do with agriculture. He went to West Point, worked...


How This Old Farm Built a Successful Meat Processing Business

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #90, Tera interviews This Old Farm founder Jessica Roosa, who has spent the last 11 years scaling a small USDA-inspected meat processing facility and local food hub in Colfax, Indiana. They discuss the complexities, costs and rewards of entering this business, offering important insights for food and ag entrepreneurs eying the in-demand meat processing space. Jessica started organic farming some 20 years ago, committed to raising sheep and poultry responsibly....


Driftless Provisions Slices into the Charcuterie Business

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #89, Tera is joined by Ryan Wagner, Justin VerMeer and Spencer Schaller, the trio behind Driftless Provisions, an artisanal salami company based in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Since launching in 2017, the guys have grown the business steadily and smartly, recently taking production in-house. Ryan got the idea for a premium salami company several years ago, having realized the charcuterie market in Wisconsin was wide open. After business school, he moved to the Driftless...


Katie Mleziva Gets Real About Brand Strategy

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #88, Tera talks with Katie Mleziva, founder of Real Food Brands, host of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast and instructor for our upcoming Building a Brand That Stands Out training course. FFI is a strong advocate for locking down your brand strategy early on so it can be systematically and intentionally engrained in all areas of your business. As a brand strategist, Katie helps natural food and beverage companies do this through defining, aligning and...


Connoils Scales from One-Woman Op to One-Stop Shop

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #87, Tera is joined by Stacy Peterson, founder and CEO of Connoils, a manufacturer, distributor and wholesale supplier of oil and oil powder ingredients for food and beverages, dietary supplements, personal care and pet food. As a seasoned entrepreneur—and one who works on the ingredients side of food—she provides valuable insights for listeners. Kicking off the conversation, Stacy shared the history of the company she launched in 2007. It all started when her...


The Nuts and Bolts (and Benefits) of Scenario Planning

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #86, Tera sits down with Eric DeLuca, founder of Leverage Point Consulting, a market development firm focused on land-based, sustainable and socially responsible enterprises. With vast experience in organizational and food-systems development, strategy and finance, he helps food and farm businesses strategize and secure funding to scale. One of Eric’s areas of expertise is scenario planning, a proven method by which companies map out multiple potential futures and...


Mentorship and Sweat Equity Build Meadowlark Organics Value-Added Small Grain Farm Business

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #85, Tera talks with John Wepking about building Meadowlark Organics, a diversified small-grain farm enterprise on 800-plus acres in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin. Their conversation shows how mentorship and sweat equity can lead to a successful farm transition. John met his future wife and business partner Halee while working in restaurants and bakeries in New York City. Both ready for a change, they moved to John’s home state of Wisconsin and...


Expert Insights into Selling Successfully on Amazon

In podcast #84, Tera talks to Amazon expert Michael Zhang, CEO and founder of Fenrici Brands. The lifestyle company, started in 2018, sells over 50 items exclusively on Amazon generating over $4 million in sales. Combining that success with his previous experience as VP of Ecommerce and Innovation at Lands’ End, Michael has added Amazon coaching and consulting to his business portfolio. In this episode, he and Tera discuss what it takes to sell well on Amazon. Often, smaller companies are...


Breadtopia Builds off Pandemic Business Boom

In podcast #83, recorded at Edible-Alpha® Live!, Tera interviews Galen Saturley of Breadtopia, a virtual baking-education hub and seller of grains, flours and baking equipment based in Fairfield, Iowa. What started as a passion project for Galen’s mom and stepdad in 2006 is now a booming e-commerce business with an engaged national community, which have only grown stronger through the COVID-19 pandemic. From the start, Breadtopia’s main mission has been to ensure that “baking perfect bread...


Paul Willis Talks Scaling up Humanely Raised Pork

For Tera’s final Edible-Alpha® Live! famous founder interview, she spoke with Paul Willis, director and founding hog farmer of Niman Ranch. An ardent animal welfare advocate, he helped transform the pork industry by scaling up the humanely raised, free-range model. A longtime Iowa hog farmer, Paul proudly raised pigs on pasture, but by the 1990s, CAFOs were threatening to put little guys like him out of business. The message, he told Tera, was to “get bigger or get out.” Paul refused to do...


Impact Investing Fosters Organic Farmland Security

Tera’s second Edible-Alpha® Live! famous founder interview featured David Miller, co-founder and CEO of Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT. Founded in 2007, this innovative finance company provides secure land access to organic and regenerative farmers through long-term leases and mortgages. To kick off the conversation, David delved into the genesis of the company. After a 30-year career in banking and real estate financial management, he had purchased a family farm he wanted to transition to...


Gary Zimmer Shares How Healthy Soil Yields Success

Among the highlights of the inaugural Edible-Alpha® Live! event, held online December 9, Tera interviewed agriculture pioneer Gary Zimmer and his daughter Leilani Zimmer Durand. As the founder of Madison, Wisconsin-based Midwestern BioAg, Gary is considered the father of “biological farming”—essentially the first iteration of regenerative agriculture—which focuses on balancing soil biology, chemistry and structure to produce greater, higher-quality yields. When Gary started the company in...


Scaling Managed Dairy Grazing for Max Impact

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #79, Tera is joined by Joe Tomandl, Executive Director for the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA). This first-of-its-kind program launched in 2011 and trains aspiring dairy farmers on managed grazing, a regenerative system that carries major impact for the environment, food systems, and rural prosperity. Explaining the genesis of DGA, Joe noted that independent dairy farms have been declining for decades in Wisconsin, contributing to the demise of rural communities....


Urban Ag Venture Blends Business and Social Mission

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #78, Tera is joined by Mark and Judy Thomas, co-founders of Garfield Produce Co., an indoor vertical farm and wholesale food operation in Chicago. The “failed retirees” started this for-profit business/social enterprise in 2014 to provide job opportunities for people with employment barriers. Following successful careers—Mark as a newspaper production leader, Judy as a corporate lawyer—the Thomases volunteered at a food bank and shelter in East Garfield Park, one of...


Transparency and Trust Fuel The Honest Bison’s Rapid Growth

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #77, Tera talks with Sean Lenihan, founder of The Honest Bison, a direct-to-consumer purveyor of 100% grass-fed bison and other meats. Committed to total transparency, The Honest Bison gives consumers easy access to premium, nutritious, ethically and sustainably raised nutritious animal proteins as an alternative to conventionally raised, grain-fed red meats. While starting the company as a side hustle in 2012, Sean spent two years visiting ranches and...


Lost Creek Farm Shares the Stories Behind Food

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #76, Tera talks with Mike Costello and Amy Dawson, owners of Lost Creek Farm in Lost Creek, West Virginia. Although Mike officially holds the titles of chef and farmer while Amy is farm manager and baker, the duo does everything in tandem, from restoring the long-vacated family farmstead to sharing the rich cultural heritage of their Appalachian-inspired farm-to-table cuisine. Both Mike and Amy grew up on farms in West Virginia, but neither started their career in...


For Atlantic Sea Farms, Mission Drives Market

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #75, Tera interviews Briana Warner, CEO of Atlantic Sea Farms, the nation’s first commercial seaweed farm, based in Saco, Maine. Since Briana took the reins in 2018, the company has developed a dynamic mission-based brand around promoting kelp consumption, diversifying the coastal economy and mitigating climate change. Although nutrient-rich kelp has gained popularity in recent years, Briana explained that 98% of it is grown in Asia, often in dirty water, then dried,...


Brix Cider Pivots to Food Hub to Withstand Pandemic

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #74, Tera chats with Marie Raboin, co-founder with husband Matt of Brix Cider in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. Four years after launching a wholesale cider business and a year and a half after opening a taproom and farm-to-table restaurant, Marie explains how her company pivoted strategies in response to COVID-19. Before delving into the pandemic’s impacts, Marie shares their struggles securing a building for the taproom. Once Brix Cider found its home in downtown Mount...


Regenerative Goat Dairy Explores Silvopasture

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #73, Tera chats with Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell, Ph.D., co-founders of Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery in Champaign, Illinois. The Animal Welfare Approved farm and farmstead is home to an organic fruit orchard and more than 100 milking goats that graze and browse on a diverse landscape. They also make and sell goat cheese and gelato onsite and run a thriving agritourism business. Both soil scientists, Leslie and Wes left Madison, Wisconsin, in 2003 to pursue...


Bread SRSLY Puts People Ahead of Profit

In Edible-Alpha® podcast #72, Tera talks to Sadie Scheffer, founder and CEO of Bread SRSLY, a gluten-free, vegan sourdough bread company based in San Francisco. Sadie began experimenting with gluten-free sourdough recipes in her apartment back in 2011 in attempt to woo her gluten-intolerant crush. Her baking not only won Jesse’s heart—it also led to a successful wholesale and e-commerce business rooted in values. In the early days of Bread SRSLY, Sadie offered a rotating menu of sourdough...