Mark Wilhelms is founder and chief executive of Red Meat Market, which retails local and sustainably produced meat online. One of his inspirations for the company was Frank Morgan, whose pioneering effort to raise grass-fed beef for the nearby Chicago market was the basis for a short film Wilhelm produced shortly before Morgan’s death.
While there has long been robust interest in food co-ops in a number of communities across the United States, Chicago has lagged a bit behind. But change is under way. Over the past couple of years, there’s been an explosion of interest in retail food co-ops in the metro Chicago area, which in turn has spawned the Chicagoland Co-op Coalition.
Across our country, more and more schools have begun to source foods locally and to provide educational activities to students — a movement often called “farm to school.” Farm to school is growing, with major benefits for children, schools, families, farmers, food manufacturers, communities, and businesses.
The Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference that kicks off FamilyFarmed’s annual three-day Good Food Festival & Conference is well established, as a dynamic event that connects food and farm entrepreneurs with investors and lenders. Businesses participating in the event have raised $11 million over the past three years.
Promising businesses in the Midwest’s local and sustainable food sector have raised $11 million from investors over the past three years by participating in FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference. Not surprisingly, this year’s event — coming up on Thursday, March 19 — has another lineup of outstanding entrepreneurs.
Rob Levitt of The Butcher & Larder began his culinary career with the aim of becoming a top chef. But he developed an expertise in charcuterie that ultimately piqued his interest in the art of butchery, and four years ago, he and wife Allie opened the Butcher & Larder and quickly developed it into one of Chicago’s favored spots among meat lovers. Now they are preparing for a big step up.
Eli’s Cheesecake has been serving up its sweet treats in Chicago for decades. As a local artisan producer that uses as many locally produced ingredients as possible, Eli’s has a prominent place at the Good Food movement’s dessert table. But the company’s commitment to expanding economic opportunity and social welfare through food is much broader than that.
by Roberta Laughlin, FamilyFarmed This is what happens when you invite top chefs who seek out local and sustainable food for their menus, match them up with farmers who produce the region’s best ingredients, and bring them all together in one place for one great night. You get Localicious, Chicago’s unique, one-of-a-kind party on March 20 that gives […]
The stories of immigrants achieving success by making the foods of their native lands are parts of the history and social fabric of the United States. But Jenny Yang of Chicago’s Phoenix Bean tofu has an immigrant food story with a modern twist. While millions of people have come to America to escape poverty or oppression, Yang first came to the U.S. from her native Taiwan a quarter-century ago in pursuit of higher education.
The schedule for this year’s 11th annual Festival & Conference, which takes place March 19-21 at the UIC Forum on the campus of University of Illinois at Chicago, has been released. We hope the details will whet your appetite for the event and persuade you to join this celebration of the fast-growing Good Food movement.
FamilyFarmed’s 11th annual Good Food Festival & Conference is coming up in Chicago March 19-21. The organization’s efforts to build the Good Food movement have helped farm and food entrepreneurs raise millions of dollars. Iowa’s Tiny But Mighty Popcorn is one of them.
There is hardly a bigger Good Food movement success story than that of Whole Foods Market. So Michael Bashaw — president of Whole Foods Market’s 48-store-and-growing Midwest region — had a very attentive audience when he spoke Monday (Feb. 2) to entrepreneurs, financiers, and others associated with FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator program.
Americans are increasingly health-conscious and concerned about what foods they are putting into their bodies. While there are plenty of nutritious and tasty whole foods out there, it is easy to fall back on the old, less healthy habits of doughnuts or candy bars or chips.
This is an issue that dailyServing, a Chicago-based food startup, aims to address.
Sometimes inspiration comes to you in a laboratory or a conference room. Sometimes it comes in the shower. And sometimes — as was the case of Raj Karmani, founder of the Zero Percent startup that fights both food waste and hunger — it comes during a routine visit to a local bagel shop.
Good Food on Every Table recently posted a story about Chicago’s Koval Distillery and its key role in establishing and growing the craft distilling industry in the city and region. But readers don’t live by words about craft spirits alone. You want recipes!
Retail outlets, restaurants, schools, and other wholesale buyers have a difficult time finding enough local food to meet the fast-rising consumer demand. FamilyFarmed is addressing that issue through its Wholesale Success program, which has scheduled workshops around the country over the course of this year.
It was just seven years ago when the married couple of Sonat Birnecker Hart and Robert Birnecker decided to give up high-level professional careers in the Washington, D.C., area, and start up their Koval Distillery in Chicago. As recent as that seems, they did not join the craft spirits movement within the city of Chicago. They launched it.
To sustain and expand on that growth, though, entrepreneurs and investors must be able to connect and build businesses that expand the supply of Good Food products in local markets. That is the goal of FamilyFarmed’s annual Financing Fair, which is currently accepting applications from entrepreneurs who want to participate.
The Good Food movement is growing rapidly in part because consumers have confidence that the products they buy are what the producers say they are. This also means that those involved across the Good Food sector need to be on guard against any exaggerated or misleading claims that could erode that consumer confidence.
The goal of creating a year-round local food culture in the nation’s northern regions is hindered by relatively short growing seasons. But the increasing number of indoor growing facilities — such as Illinois’ Living Water Farms — is helping to change that.