How to Find Time to Proactively Pursue Biz Dev

How to Find Time to Pursue Biz Dev

spiral time - Linked In image

Day-to-day vs. Important Business Development:  All too often in business, we focus on day-to-day needs rather than business development, our mission and profitable growth. It’s easy to become reactive instead of proactive.

“But I don’t have the time?” or “I don’t know what to do?” See advice below!

Time Can Expand: I believe time can expand and contract.  As Benjamin Franklin said: “If you want something done, ask a busy person.”

If you intend to complete one task vs. 10 in the same amount of time – you probably will. But you probably can complete many more than just one.

When my eldest daughter, Ivy, was around 5 years old, she once said she couldn’t do something. To her shock, I responded, “You’re right. If you don’t believe you can, you probably can’t…”

But then I added, “But if you believe you can, you probably can.” She smiled. Lesson learned.

Making Better Choices
When meeting with clients, teaching and / or mentoring, I often talk about the importance of looking at the world through the lens of “how can I make better choices?”

There are lots of ways to constantly assess what’s working or not in your business, to make better choices. Here are a few!

  • Advice: Ask key clients, accounts, influencers and your own team / employees
  • Sales: Track your sales and look for patterns:  leverage the good; notice, understand and improve the questionable; be willing to let go or adjust the high maintenance, unprofitable ones.
  • Costs: Check your costs and expenses, make sure you know if they are increasing, and consider how you might continue to reduce them while retaining / improving quality, e.g. get multiple quotes, negotiate better (i.e. a year’s supply of a key ingredient vs. by order).
  • Margin: Do you know your gross profit margin? Does it vary, e.g. sales channels, sales model (direct vs. broker vs. distributor)? Can you shift toward higher margin opportunities with volume potential?
  • Competition: Create / update your competitive analysis. Anything others are doing that might benefit your business? Resources, partners, media, accounts, promotions, etc. they have on their sites or in their materials that inspires you to do something new or better?
  • Industry: Further immerse yourself in the industry … at a trade show or lecture. Network with others. It’s a great way to stay on top of trends, issues and opportunities, while possibly forming partnerships, getting access to new vendors, sharing with / helping others, etc.

Questions to ask yourself can be related to any relevant aspect of your business:

  • “What’s working or not?”
  • “What can I leverage?”
  • “What opportunity or issue can this mean for my business?”
  • “How can I improve my margin?”
  • “How can I do better … while also thinking about my mission and what I can do to help others?”

Homework: Whether you’re in the concept phase, just starting out, or have a profitably growing food company –  jot down 1-3 ideas, issues or opportunities (or one of each!) you’d like to focus on, to improve your business.

  • Why do you want to focus on them?
  • What are key steps you need to take to make them happen?
    • If you’ve avoided doing them – why?
    • Sometimes breaking seemingly large tasks down into small, doable steps that you can check off every day can help make them happen.
  • Set priorities. Ranking can be fun!
  • Do you need others to help you? Agree to roles & responsibilities.
  • Define accountability – $, #, timing.
  • Get started.
  • Don’t stop!
    • Consider a friend / consultant – to check in on progress and make sure you’re moving forward, making better choices and positively growing your business…

Recommendation: Find a chunk of time (could be 5 minutes) every day – to focus on business development. Need help? Want to discuss? Please don’t hesitate to reach out!Terry@Culinest.com 212.580.2737.

12 Food Industry Megatrends You Can Leverage

 12 Food Industry Megatrends

When it comes to food trends, all too often people mention something limited. A small idea like “I want to introduce something gluten-free that tastes great.” While this captures two important MegaTrends – health & wellness and quality – it doesn’t leverage larger opportunities that can help increase volume potential by simultaneously tapping into more MegaTrends. Remember, volume and margin are the two keys to profitability!

Common trends and business concepts for food businesses my clients and class attendees regularly mention include the following – which are not the MegaTrends:

  • Local, sustainable, animal-friendly, grass-fed, cage-free
  • High protein, low fat, good fat, low sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free
  • Paleo, vegetarian, vegan, raw
  • Superfoods, antioxidants, probiotics, omegas, natural non-sugar sweeteners
  • Non-GMO, organic, fair trade, halal, kosher
  • Asian inspired, Mediterranean diet, Latin fusion, African flavors
  • Ancient grains, coconut everything, bacon everything, seaweed, crickets / insects, Sriracha, seeds, shrubs
  • Bowls, mashups, munchies, bites
  • Fermented, alcohol-infused, slow food, fast food
  • Food trucks, online-delivery subscriptions, meal kits, boxes, apps, etc.

While these can be very important, and are highly appealing to the right audience, they can also be short-lived. Fads may seem great while the trend is rising, but relying on them can be financially dangerous as they taper off and decline.

  • Remember soy? Once hugely popular for its nutritional value, it’s now an ingredient many consumers avoid, and manufacturers remodel their products to exclude.
  • Not too long ago, agave was viewed as a wonder sugar! Today, like soy, it’s highly controversial.
  • Kale and quinoa, while still highly popular, are starting to be described as “oh-so-passe.”

Terms, too, can go out of style.

Already, words like “artisanal,” “handmade” and “all natural” (which isn’t officially defined by the FDA)  are losing their meaning, raising legal questions, and starting to disappear on manufacturer’s packaging and websites.

Is a product made for thousands of stores out of one facility really “small batch” anymore?

So what are the 12 big ideas or MegaTrends that can stand the test of time?  

These dozen MegaTrends, the really large channels that all trends can fit into, include some that may seem obvious, but are very important. The more of these that you combine into one meaningful package, the greater customer resonance your business can have. And that can translate into stronger awareness, trial and repeat sales!

  1. Absolutes / Controls, e.g. 100 calories, $.99 price point
  2. Adventure, e.g. ethnic, exotic, dangerous, spicy
  3. Comfort, e.g. food you grew up with or wanted to!
  4. Convenience, e.g. ease of use, access, speed
  5. Engagement & Empowerment, e.g. customization, interactive opportunities that create involvement
  6. Grazing / Snacking, e.g. cultural applications of small plates, bites
  7. Health & Wellness, e.g. “better for you” through choice and/or need
  8. Quality, e.g. ingredients, process, branding
  9. Technology, e.g. digital world, apps, processes
  10. Transparency, e.g. source, story, process
  11. Value to the user, e.g. “worth it” – more than just price
  12. Values, e.g. mission, animal cruelty, environment, food deserts, cause marketing

In order to optimize your brand’s volume potential and long term value / relevance, try to leverage something meaningful to your target audience from each of the above MegaTrends.
Consider layering relevant, mission-consistent trends into your offering(s) – whether applied to just one product, or all! If you do – I believe you’ll increase your reasons why customers want to purchase your products and engage with your brand, again and again.

Want more insights, tips, trends and industry event discounts? Sign up now for Culinest’s free monthly newsletter!
Interested in profitably growing a meaningful food business? Please contact Terry@Culinest.com.

Food Entrepreneurship Radio Interview of Terry by Jennifer Cornbleet

How to Reach Your Goals, Resonate with Customers and Have Fun!

A Food Entrepreneurship Discussion

Terry Frishman Interviewed about Food Entrepreneurship by Jenny Cornbleet of Learn Raw Food

 

Thinking about starting a food business, but not sure how to begin? Need some advice?

I’m excited to share my recent interview with Jenny Cornbleet of Learn Raw Food – with insights on strategic planning, controlling costs, building a great concept, what makes marketing resonate with customers and more.

Get started on the road to food business success today!

Key Topics We Cover (and when they start)

Key Topic                                                                                   Start Time

What is food entrepreneurship?                                               4:29

Is food entrepreneurship for me? How do I find out?           6:29

Food trend opportunities – raw, plant-based, gluten and sugar-free, and the explosion in high quality niche products                11:14

Advice on recipe development & industry immersion       17:11

What’s your lima bean? Controlling costs.                           18:40

Why you need a point of view and how to excel!              22:00

Building a strong, resonant concept.                                    25:50

How to position and price a premium product.                  29:25

Why having fun is so important.                                            34:13

How values inform the products you create.                     35:05

Why you? Marketing & your positioning statement.          37:00

Thanks so much for tuning in!

Food Entrepreneurship Visit to the Pfizer Building

Terry Frishman, Culinest, with food entrepreneurship guest speakers Anthony Falco of Roberta's, Peter Spartos of Verticulture, David Robinov of Quinciple, Antonella Zangheri of Krumville

Terry Frishman, Culinest, with Food Entrepreneurship guest speakers Anthony Falco of Roberta’s, Peter Spartos of Verticulture Farms, David Robinov of Quinciple and Farm to People, Antonella Zangheri of Krumville Bake Shop 

Raising Money for a Food Business

Raising Money for a Food Business

Raising Money for a Food Business

Sharpen your pencil!

Biggest Food Business Challenges?
“Cash flow! Not enough capital!”

In the past two weeks, I’ve been working with three different clients in this situation, who hadn’t worked with me in the past couple of years.

  • Each has been bootstrapping.
  • Each told me they’re bursting at the seams – that sales are great.
  • Two wanted to invest in a new production facility.
  • All three wanted to hire employees
  • All three wanted an investor pitch written, NOW.

“Wait,” I cried! Three different times. “I understand you need to raise capital. But before we race after an investor – which can be like getting married to someone you don’t know, and may not be the best option for you, especially as an early-stage company – let’s first look at your business and see what’s really happening!”

Guess what? In all three situations, my new clients weren’t even sure they were making money.

  • They didn’t know their Cost of Goods Sold.
  • They didn’t know their Gross Profit Margins.
  • They didn’t have a customer history properly recorded, so they didn’t know:
    • Customers
    • Average Sale
    • Frequency of Purchase
    • Customer Acquisition Cost
    • Customer Lifetime Value.

“But we’re too busy,” they all said.

You know that expression: Even though you’re losing money on every sale, you’ll make it up on volume? It’s not true! Not if you don’t have a solid foundation and fix the problems, so you can better manage your business, rather than let it manage you.

Remember the two ways to make money in a business? Margin & Volume. Understand what drives your business and focus on that.

Production doesn’t always drive the business, and sometimes it’s better to delegate it. In the two cases where my clients wanted capital for equipment and a facility rental – they’re now excited about a different option.

  • I am going to put them in touch with a CIA chef / quality caterer / copacker with 40 employees, who wants to grow his copack business in a new 25,000 sf production facility he’s about to close on.
    • He understands it’s mutually beneficial to deliver consistent quality food while transparently minimizing costs. And he can help to make that happen.

Before running to bring in an investor – figure out what’s happening, what you really want, and what you really need. Then it can be best positioned in the most competent and confident light.

Need capital NOW? Consider other short term options for a quick fix that might tide you over, while you make sure your roof and cellar are in order. Besides family and friends, you might try:

  • Interest-free loans (up to $10K)  from Kiva Zip (they have matching loans now – email me to learn more)
  • SBA / USDBA B&I loans through someone like the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC)

Get Great Food Business Tips – Fearless Fabulous You Radio Interview

Radio Interview – Do You Have What it Takes
To Run a Successful Food Business?

Food entrepreneurship is very hot right now, with lots of competition. How will you succeed?

On Monday, June 22nd, I shared my take – on what it takes – to start and grow a specialty food brand with host Melanie Young of ‘Fearless Fabulous You’.

Missed the live broadcast? Don’t worry!

Listen on the ‘Fearless Fabulous You’ site!

stand out from the crowd

Whether you have a recipe that everyone says you just have to sell, or you already have a food business you want to profitably grow – they’re great tips to help make your dream a reality!

For 20 information-packed minutes, I highlighted key ways to:

  • Make money … and a positive impact on the world
  • Successfully launch and grow your food brand
  • Leverage packaging
  • Avoid common missteps…

Please check out the recorded version on the ‘Fearless Fabulous You’ site!


Want more food business tips? Please sign up for the Culinest newsletter, and get actionable insights, trends and the latest classes, monthly in your inbox!

 

What’s The Future of Food? – Expo Milano Recap

Recap of Expo Milano:
The World’s Fair of Food

Terry at Milan Expo

Why did I attend Expo Milano: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life?  Yes – I wanted to taste my way through new and interesting foods from 145 countries – like kumys – the sour, fermented horse milk I tried in the Kazakhastan pavilion. But mostly I wanted to be awed, inspired and better able to help others by learning about the best and brightest innovators of food trends, technology and sustainability, by country.

Well, it wasn’t exactly like that. 20% of pavilions weren’t up yet, and many were more focused on tourism and selling products. Still – lots of great learnings! The biggest takeaway for me was about the larger context of the future of the global food system. In the microcosm of the US specialty food market, it’s easy to forget that we’re part of a much bigger picture.

So, with today’s population of 7 billion people, rising to 9 billion by 2050 – what is the future of food?

  • Food Paradox – We need to balance food overconsumption with starvation and hunger.
    • There’s enough food produced to feed the planet. Yet:
      • 500 million adults and 42 million kids under 5 are obese – increased risk for diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, etc.
      • 800 million people and 200 million kids under 5 don’t know where their next meal is coming from and 3 million children annually die from starvation-related causes
  • Food Loss & Waste – We need to stop wasting food. An insane 30% of all consumable food worldwide – 1.3 billion tons – is still either lost in production, or literally thrown away.
    • Yes – there are some great organizations working hard to deal with this serious issue, by generating less waste, donating to the needy and recycling. But still – 1/3? Wow.
  • Food Shortages with causes including:
    • Climate change – impact from global warming and greenhouse gas emissions
    • Demographic shifts – increased meat consumption, especially in developing countries
    • Using food / ingredients to feed animals and meet growing meat demand, and for biofuel
    • Decreased land for food production
  • Food Security Issues – “30 crops supply 95% human food energy needs”
    • Agricultural biodiversity is key for future environmental adaptations as adverse conditions negatively impact crop survival
    • 60% daily calories from only 3 crops worldwide – maize, rice and wheat
    • Sustainable production is key
  • Genetic Erosion – reduction of agro-biodiversity / loss of varieties
    • Rice, for example, has 117,000 varieties (cultivars)
    • Germplasm banks store nearly-extinct varieties
      • Lets us hedge our bets on which cultivars can adapt to future climate change…
  • Food Distribution Injustice – “50% cereals, 75% soy feed 4 billion animals that feed 1 billion overfed people vs. those in desperate need.”
  • BioTech Food Combining science and technology
    • Not just GMOs
    • DNA barcoding – identifying species and cultivars; ensuring food traceability
There is hope! New technologies like aquaponics and vertical farming lead the way...

There is hope! New technologies like aquaponics and vertical farming lead the way…

Positive Trends for a Sustainable Food Supply

  • Vertical Farming –  Seen in many Pavilions – including the USA, Germany, Poland and Kuwait
  • Aquaponics – symbiotic environmental cycle with plants and fish, excretions taken from water and used to feed plants; 500% greater productivity than soil farming, 90% less water usage
    • We’ll be going to visit an aquaponics farm, Verticulture, in our NGI food entrepreneurship class
  • Foods for the Future
    • Insects – 2 billion people eat insects; 1,681 insect species are already consumed
    • Sorghum – ancient grain, highly weather-tolerant – for food, fuel and livestock feed
    • Fonio – small gluten-free grain, ancient cereal – mostly grown in Africa
    • Buckwheat – high protein, gluten-free, fiber rich, antioxidants
    • Wild plants – only 200 plants are regularly consumed, but >50,000 are edible
      • I went on a foraging tour in Central Park with Steve Brill and NYWCA – it’s amazing how many edible plants are in the middle of the city that go to waste!
  • Food Security Measures (Qatar’s plan)
    • Procurement, storage and distribution of staple foods at subsidized prices
    • Stabilizing prices of staple food in local market
    • Distribution of food supplies monthly via smart cards
    • Maintaining strategic food stockpiles

Call to action – what we can do:

Eat less
Eat less meat
Be more aware of our carbon footprint

NYC food scene trends: Adam Platt, David Rosengarten & others

Dishing on NYC’s Food Scene Trends:

Adam Platt, David Rosengarten, Drew Nieporent & others at Gotham on a Plate

Drew Nieporent, Adam Platt, Jacqueline Raposo, David Rosengarten & Michael Whiteman at Gotham on a Plate

Drew Nieporent (Nobu), Adam Platt (NY Magazine), Jacqueline Raposo, David Rosengarten & Michael Whiteman at the New School’s Gotham on a Plate Conference

Critics, restaurateurs and industry experts shared their views on the NYC food scene and where it’s headed at the recent Gotham on a Plate conference (proudly co-sponsored by Culinest).

Although no one recommended following trends just for the sake of being trendy, the panel members discussed the importance of trends in providing new and different customer experiences. It’s like when I recommend doing competitive analyses – knowing what’s happening in the industry and among competitors and customers helps you make better choices.

Is there a unique NYC cuisine?

  • “There’s a NY taste: 2-fisted, umami, very fusion.” – Adam Platt
  • “Story of the last decade in food: cooks and kitchen slaves took over, and took their food and music to front of house.” – Adam Platt
  • NY cuisine is what fusion is everywhere else.” – Jacqueline Raposo

Upcoming food trends…

  • Gourmet will continue downscaling to little tasting rooms for economic reasons.” – Adam Platt
  • “The comfort food revolution keeps rolling, much to my chagrin.” – Adam Platt
  • “The biggest trend is technology: 40% of people who sit down in a restaurant tonight booked online.” – Michael Whiteman
  • Developments in protein: 6 legs instead of 4, alternative proteins from seaweed, lab-cultured meat, printed meat.” – Michael Whiteman

…and why you can’t just focus on trends

  • It’s not enough to know it exists – you have to know what’s good about it. What’s a good version?” – David Rosengarten
  • I hate the word ‘trend’. One chef in Spain will create something magnificent and unique, in that one little place. You move it and you destroy it.” – Drew Nieporent

Some last thoughts

  • The dangers of Instagram: “On a screen you can’t taste the food – people know how food should look, they don’t know how it should taste.” – David Rosengarten
  • When you get out of culinary school you can cut parsley without hurting yourself. Everything else you need to learn.” – Michael Whiteman

Let Them Eat Crickets! Advice from Greg Sewitz, Exo

Let Them Eat Crickets!
Advice from Greg Sewitz, Exo

Greg Sewitz on Food Startup Business

Greg Sewitz

Exo has been generating lots of buzz with their trendy cricket protein bars, helping to create and expand this new, edgy category that now has around 20 players! They raised $55K on Kickstarter while at Brown University, changed careers to stay focused on Exo, and have since raised $2.9 million.

Co-founder Greg Sewitz – who will be guest speaking in my upcoming Food Products Business Class: Strategic Planning with his partner – recently shared advice for food businesses on how to get consumer trial of new and unfamiliar products, as well as insights into the funding process for startups and selling online:

Biggest Challenge:
Getting people to taste the unfamiliar (like bugs!)

  • If you’re in an early adopter category, you need to educate consumers
  • Find people who are predisposed to your idea – work from lowest-hanging fruit to highest
  • Flavor / taste is key – people are willing to at least try something new – then they can see there’s no weird off-taste
  • Run an influencer campaign – know and target your core audience through people / organizations they respect, e.g.  athlete and celebrity spokespeople
Cricket Exo Getting Consumers to Try Something New

Coming soon to a dinner plate or protein bar near you…

Why Bugs?

  • Insects eaten in other countries for centuries
  • Nutritional + environmental benefits: crickets are 60% protein by weight, 20x more efficient than cattle, less land, water, feed

Funding for Startups

  • Top influencers are investors in the company – incentivize to keep talking about your company; align incentives
  • A Kickstarter campaign is time-consuming work!  Pitching press outlets, drafting email updates, compiling different lists, updating funders…
  • Could have raised $50K faster than on Kickstarter – but publicity, marketing and press worth it; 1200 people talking about Exo to friends before there was even a product

Accurately / Profitably Target Customers by Selling Online

  • Direct-to-consumer sales with higher margin and targetability vs. wholesale strategy – Exo is turning down physical stores – 90% of business is selling through online store
  • It’s easier to target customers online – know where they read, what they eat
  • Find a target audience for your food product – for Exo it’s paleo, Crossfit – then find influencers in the community

Perfection & Respect: Italian Master Chocolatier, Marco Colzani

Insights from Master Chocolatier Marco Colzani, Cassago Brianza, Italy

Marco Colzani, Founder, C-Amaro

Marco Colzani explains his artisan chocolate

Italian Perfection and Respect

Italians are born artisans who care deeply about making products that “have to be perfect,” and “respect the raw materials,” according to Marco Colzani, Founder of C-AMARO and of one of only three bean-to-bar chocolate makers in Italy, who also produces outstanding small batch nut spreads (Sicilian pistachio is #1 seller), fruit and vegetable jams, award-winning roasted coffee, smoothies, candies, and more.

Liquid Orange Marmalade! In tasting Marco’s products – I couldn’t agree more! His Arancia di Sicilia nectar,  for example, is unlike any orange juice I ever tasted.  It’s bursting with ripe Sicilian oranges and only clean, simple, pure ingredients. What makes it exceptional? For 20% of the oranges, he includes the entire fruit – skin, too. The result? It was almost like drinking liquid orange marmalade! Pure fantasy.

Marco’s Advice to Food Businesses Starting Out

  • Start producing.
  • Be very curious about raw materials and machines.
  • Don’t be happy with mediocrity.
  • Be willing to experiment. Try to make your own machines.
  • When it’s good enough to be eaten as-is, don’t fuss with it and ruin it. But most importantly – have respect for the raw materials.

Insights as a Former Oenologist

Making chocolate is very similar to making wine. It’s all about respecting the ingredients while managing the acidity, fermentation, sugar, aroma and blend.

In wine, it’s 70% terroir, 30% genetic. In chocolate, it’s 50 / 50.

What is Perfection?

Marco sees his job as “respecting the different origins” and handling the terroir and genetics of each raw material.

Ingredients:

Unlike most American chocolates, Marco’s do not contain soya lecithin or vanilla, and only use two ingredients:

1. Cocoa beans he imports, hand selects and roasts based on the seasonality, crop and country of origin, e.g. Peru, Cuba, Ecuador, Trinidad, San Mateo, Dominican Republic and Venezuela

2. Cane sugar – only for sweetness, not aroma, so he imports raw cane sugar with low molasses from Madgascar and South Africa

Process:

Marco made his own equipment.

He recommends “aging chocolate for 4 to 5 months instead of conching,” to allow the tannins to mature without oxidation

To Order

To order Marco’s incredible bean-to-bar chocolates in the US, as well as his outstandingly natural Pistachio Spread and Hazelnut Spreads (you’ll never eat Nutella again) – click here for Gustiamo’s items – and let me know what you think!

Big Thanks

Big thanks to Beatrice Ughi of Gustiamo – Italy’s Best Foods – for connecting me with Italy’s Marco Colzani!

What does Mimi Sheraton See as the Next Big Food Trends?

Mimi Sheraton on Trends, Taste & Being a Critic

Mimi Sheraton Gotham on a Plate

Food author and former NY Times food critic Mimi Sheraton at Gotham on a Plate, co-sponsored by Culinest!

Mimi Sheraton shared her frank, amusing and deeply insightful thoughts on food trends, personal taste, being a critic and more at the recent Gotham on a Plate conference hosted by the New School, and happily co-sponsored by us!

On Food Trends

  • “In the next 2-3 years we’ll hear about West Africa way more on the food scene.”
  • “Expect to see fusion of Mexican, Thai, SE Asian: limi, chili, cilantro (think bahn mi on a taco).”
  • “Unfortunately, supermarkets and specialty stores have more prepared foods, less staff, less time spent with customers – because serving customers and spending time with them hurts margins.”
  • “I think too much attention is paid to the goals of the chef, not to the achievements of the chef. You don’t have to understand it, it’s dinner!”

On Being a Critic

  • “Perfection is the prize. It’s not easy to achieve – and there’s no margin for error.”
  • “Restaurant PR firms will fight it when they get a negative review soon after opening. In my opinion, as soon as a restaurant charges full price, they’re fair game!
  • There’s no point in giving an unknown restaurant a bad review – you’re saying, “Don’t go to this place you’ve never heard of.”

On Her Personal Tastes

  • “Kale? Hate it!”
  • “I tend to like the best, if I can get it. I like a little exotica from far away.”
  • “I don’t like to go downstairs to go shopping – what am I doing in this basement for a box of Wheateena?”

The Crisis of the Empty Plate: Hunger in NYC

The Crisis of the Empty Plate: Hunger in NYC

Nevin Cohen, Michael Ottley, Kate MacKenzie, Rozanne Gold speaking on a panel at Gotham on a Plate

Nevin Cohen, Michael Ottley, Kate MacKenzie and Rozanne Gold speak on hunger in NYC at the New School’s Gotham on a Plate conference, Co-Sponsored by Culinest

We live in a time of unprecedented food bounty. Yet importantly, even at this time of incredible diversity and excitement in food, 40% of food in the US is wasted, and 25% NYC children don’t know when they’re going to get their next meal at home.

A panel on ‘The Crisis of the Empty Plate’, at the New School’s Gotham on a Plate conference, which Culinest proudly Co-Sponsored, was an important reminder of the hunger that is still, sadly, a day-to-day reality for so many people in NYC and beyond.

Here are some of the startling and eye-opening facts that were shared, and thoughts on how to help:

Hunger and Waste

  • 1 in 5 people in NYC are on food stamps
  • 1 in 4 children in NYC are food insecure.
  • 40% of food produced in the US is wasted.
  • “In 2012 there wasn’t enough food on any day – every day was an emergency.” – Kate MacKenzie, City Harvest

Vulnerable Infrastructure

  • 95% of NY’s food comes over the George Washington Bridge.
  • 75% of food retail in NYC will be in a flood plain by 2050.

Solving Hunger

“The purpose of emergency food providers is to feed people every day, not in a disaster. A truly resilient city shouldn’t need any emergency food providers.

But food alone isn’t going to solve hunger.

We need to go beyond the story of feeding people tonight to bigger questions – to help connect the dots: what we eat depends on the climate, the social fabric of communities. It’s a hard story, but one we have to tell.”
– Kate MacKenzie

 

 

What is an Entrepreneur? Lessons from Barbara Roberts, Columbia Business School

What is an Entrepreneur? Lessons I share – reinforced by Barbara Roberts, Columbia Business School Fellow

The Path to Success

Well – it shouldn’t be that messy! Here’s some advice to help…

Barbara recently gave an inspiring talk on what entrepreneurship means to her, and advice on a range of topics, from getting started and setting goals, to obtaining startup capital and building a brand.

Some of my favorite points from the talk are below!

What is an entrepreneur?

  • Change junkie; dream fulfiller; system manipulator; everyday revolutionary
  • Needs passion and purpose to be successful
  • True entrepreneurs don’t start companies to be rich. There’s a myth about how easy it is to become wealthy.
  • Some people are born entrepreneurs – just have to do what they have to do. They are driven to do it.

How to get a business going

  • Not about the quality of an idea – it’s about passion and commitment to drive business.
  • Think big – a big purpose and big problem. But start small.
  • Start with something. It doesn’t have to be the best idea. The whole process is test, test, test.
  • Build processes. From the start, get everything you do in writing – it will be the start of teaching/process/HR manuals and company culture.

Mission and purpose in your business

  • Passion and purpose – what is the problem you’re solving? Why are you doing this?
  • Be sure you enjoy what you spend your life doing!

Setting goals – The Rule of 3

  • Human beings can only do 3 things at once. Pick 3 goals a year, and do 3 things each day to accomplish those goals.

Timing and success

  • What leads to an idea lasting and surviving? Timing is the most important factor in whether an idea works out.
  • Be aware of what’s happening in the world to make timing important.

Startup funding

  • Ask friends and family for money for your startup, not investors or people you don’t know.
  • Money should come from you, your team, vendors, clients and people you know.

5 pillars to build brands on

It’s critical to work on branding from Day 1.
The 5 pillars to build a brand on:

  1. People (e.g. Goldman Sachs)
  2. Product/service (Apple)
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Purpose (healthcare)
  5. Approach/process (Accenture)

10 ways to leave a business

  1. IPO
  2. Sell to 3rd party
  3. Sell to a financial buyer
  4. Sell to strategic buyer
  5. Transfer to cooperative partner
  6. Transfer to management or key employee (don’t pay capital gains)
  7. Transfer to family member
  8. Passive owner
  9. Liquidators
  10. Bankruptcy

Social Entrepreneurship – What’s Your Why?

Social Entrepreneurship: What’s Your Why?

African Moringa Alliance & UN Members with Terry Frishman

African Moringa Alliance & United Nations members with Terry after her How to Create A Social Business Plan presentation

I’m passionate about layering your mission and values into everything we do together, and help my consulting clients and students consider these factors from the beginning. After all, most people get into the food business for reasons other than just making money! Businesses with strong missions can, and do, lead to real change.

I recently had the eye-opening opportunity to teach a social entrepreneurship class at an event co-sponsored by the African Moringa Alliance, run in parallel to the 59th Commission on the Status of Women at the UN. When building a business, we normally focus on the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘when,’ ‘where,’ ‘how’ and ‘why’ – Who is it for? What to meaningfully offer and do?, and so on. In a social enterprise, we begin with the ‘why.’ Why is this needed? What problem do we want to solve, and what positive solution will our business make?

It was humbling hearing how the women present at the CSW59 event were taking different approaches to meeting challenges including poverty, climate change and lack of access to education… some of the 12 areas highlighted in the UN’s Beijing Platform for Action, with sustainable development goals.

Even if you aren’t primarily a social enterprise, I urge you to ask: Why? Why are you in business, and what can your business do to make the world a better place? What’s your ‘why’?

How to Build Your Personal Brand: Advice from Ellie Krieger, Food Network

Build Your Personal Brand: Advice from Ellie Krieger, Food Network’s Healthy Appetite 

Terry with Ellie Krieger

Terry Frishman with Ellie Krieger, star of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite, cookbook author, writer, nutritionist and healthy food advocate

Ellie shared her inspiring story and advice during an interview with me at a recent NYWCA fundraiser co-chaired with Betty Comerford.

Build Your Brand!

  • Luck + preparedness = opportunity.
  • “Find your spin or hook that is true to what you passionately and philosophically believe. What defines you? What’s the common theme you can leverage for your brand?
  • “The whole world of food media has democratized – now you can make your own platform.  It’s hard, there’s a lot of noise out there, but you can break through that noise.”
  • “Put yourself out there and do the work.”
  • “Be flexible enough to make changes or go back to the drawing board, but be tenacious in saying, ‘I’m doing this,’ and stay true to what your real beliefs are.

Pitching Ideas

  • Have enough ideas in your back pocket and hope that one sticks. I’d think about it like planting seeds. Maybe 3 will sprout seeds, and maybe 1 will grow. You literally have to keep planting seeds and don’t take rejection personally. And eventually plants grow.”
  • “The key is to know who the audience is. If you understand them, your message will be more effective. If you’re speaking, know who you’re talking to. It makes the experience richer because they’ll walk away with something they need. Be able to find out what a group of people needs – no matter what it is.”

Social Media

  • “Social media fuels you. It’s supposed to be a real exchange, not a pure marketing thing. I find it so gratifying to talk to the people who cook my meatloaf.”
  • “Social media all needs to come from your voice.”
  • If you want to write about food, you have to have a blog. It puts you on the map. It’s a place for you to hone your skills and have a voice.”

Trends

  • “Always question what you believed 10 years ago. If you’re a real scientist everything you know and learn is tentative. You can’t be dogmatic.  Be ready to say the science has changed and your opinion has changed.  Be open minded, but not so open that your brain falls out.”

Time Management

  • “If you dig your heels in and say to yourself, ‘There is no way I’m not getting this done’, you will get it done.”

Recipe Development

  • “Jacques Pepin told me the best recipes help people make a great meal. People want solutions, not showing off skills.”

 

Amanda Cohen, Chef / Owner, Dirt Candy Advises: What to Do Before Opening a Restaurant & the Future of Tipping

What to Do Before Opening a Restaurant & the Future of Tipping

Amanda Cohen Dirt Candy

Amanda Cohen

Advice from Amanda Cohen, Chef / Owner Dirt Candy, Michelin & NYT 2 Star vegetarian restaurant, which just reopened at a new, larger location 12 weeks ago: Continue reading

Daniel Ceballos, Head Chef & Chief Innovation Officer, Juice Press: Insights & Quotes

Daniel Ceballos, Head Chef & Chief Innovation Officer, The Juice Press: Insights & Quotes

Juice Press

With 24+ locations (Park Avenue South will open shortly) and a wide variety of 80+ juices / smoothies and 70+ raw food offerings, Juice Press has been rapidly growing since 2010.

Daniel Ceballos – Head Chef | Chief Innovation Officer – kindly shared his insights on Juice Press’s success, management, his personal philosophy and more: Continue reading

Food Entrepreneurs at La Marqueta, East Harlem

Lessons from Women Food Entrepreneurs – At La Marqueta

A passionate candy-maker and mom, Laurie Pauker started Laurie & Sons to provide Not-too-Sweet Snacks with a Touch of Surprise. Continue reading

What Are the Best Channels for Your Food Product?

What Are the Best Channels for Your Food Product?

At the Fancy Food Show in CA, Ian Kelleher – Peeled Snacks’ Director of Sales, Alternative Channels – discussed the pros and cons for a range of sales channels.

Ian Kelleher Peeled Snacks
Continue reading

How Should You Price Your Food Product?

How Should You Price Your Food Product?

At this week’s Fancy Food Show in CA, attended some great lectures that reinforced and sparked ideas

often say: “Volume & Margin are the 2 key ways to Make Money!” 

In his Pricing lecture, Jonathan Milo Leal of Milo’s further explained how “numbers are the language of business.”

Terry & Jonathan Milo Leal of Milo's
Continue reading

What Makes a Successful Food PR Pitch?

What Makes a Successful Food PR Pitch?

Terry with Michelle Buffardi Pitch Perfect PR

Terry (Culinest) with Michelle Buffardi (Scripps Networks Interactive).

Properly pitching your food product, business or story is key to getting great press coverage.

Michelle Buffardi (Scripps Networks Interactive – The Food Network and Cooking Channel) and Nina Elder (Everyday with Rachael Ray) shared great advice at my recent Pitch Perfect PR class for the Specialty Food Association.
Continue reading

Raising Capital – Two Equity Firms Advise

Raising Capital – Two Equity Firms Advise

Hans Heer Terry Frishman Chris Bradley equity investor food business

Terry (Culinest) with Hans Heer (Emil Capital Partners) and Christopher Bradley (Mistral Equity Partners).

When raising capital for your food business, will you know what to do – and what to avoid? Learn from the experts!

Hans Heer (Emil Capital Partners) and Chris Bradley (Mistral Equity Partners) hear lots of investment pitches. Here are their great recommendations from my recent Food Entrepreneurship class. Continue reading

Business Insights – Two Equity Firms Advise

Business Insights – Two Equity Firms Advise

Hans Heer Terry Frishman Chris Bradley equity investor food business

Terry (Culinest) with Hans Heer (Emil Capital Partners) and Christopher Bradley (Mistral Equity Partners).

Investors get pitched by a lot of businesses – so they have a really good sense of what works and doesn’t.

Hans Heer (Emil Capital Partners) and Christopher Bradley (Mistral Equity Partners) gave excellent recommendations to students in my Food Entrepreneurship class.
Continue reading

Matthew Wadiak, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Blue Apron, NGI Entrepreneurship Class

Matthew Wadiak, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Blue Apron: Insights and Quotes

Terry Frishman, Matt Wadiak, Rani Yadav (Blue Apron)

Terry, Culinest, with Matthew & Rani Yadav, Director of Marketing, Blue Apron.

For food entrepreneurs who dream about making a difference (while making money!), Blue Apron’s story is incredibly inspiring.
Continue reading

Barry Korn, Chief Ball Counter, The Meatball Shop, NGI Entrepreneurship Class

Barry Korn, Chief Ball Counter, The Meatball Shop: Insights and Quotes

Terry Frishman and Barry Korn, The Meatball Shop

Barry, The Meatball Shop, with Terry, Culinest.

Interviewed Barry Korn, Chief Ball Counter, The Meatball Shop, at Food Entrepreneurship class.

Key Insights & Quotes:
Continue reading

Is Your Business Ready? More Than Half of US Consumers Will Use Mobile Devices to Shop This Holiday Season

Is Your Business Ready? More Than Half of US Consumers Will Use Mobile Device to Shop This Holiday Season*

Mobile shopping!

Mobile devices make researching, comparing and purchasing products online easy.

How can culinary businesses take advantage of this trend and compete effectively, rather than losing customers to someone cheaper?
Continue reading

Matt Lewis, Co-Owner, Baked, 7th NGI Food Entrepreneurship Class

Matt Lewis, Co-Owner, Baked: Insights and Quotes

Terry Frishman and Matt Lewis, Baked

Terry, Culinest, with Matt, Baked.

Interviewed Matt Lewis, Co-Owner, Baked, at 7th Food Entrepreneurship class.
He and Co-Owner Renato Poliafito just published a new cookbook, Baked Occasions, and opened a new location in Tribeca.

Key Insights & Quotes: Continue reading

“Human-Grade” Dog Food at Hotel & Restaurant (IHMRS) Show

“Human-Grade” Dog Food At Hotel / Motel & Restaurant Show

Cake Pops are popular. Now, there are Cake PUPS!

Dogg Candy Cake Pups

I love that Wet Noses, Inc. is testing non-traditional and creative sales channels beyond grocery stores for different brands of 100% organic, pet specialty, “human-grade” treats. Continue reading

The Pickled Heron: Insights & Quotes

The Pickled Heron: Advice on Opening a Restaurant

The Pickled Heron

Terry with The Pickled Heron Chef-Partners, Todd Braley and Danielle D’Ambrosio. Continue reading

Bold Coast Seaweed

Bold Coast Seaweed

Bold Coast Seaweed

Beautiful bulk and packaged Maine SEAWEED – Wakame, Finger Kombu, Sweet Kombu – from Mike Pivirotto, Bold Coast Seaweed (with assistant Diana Hagadorn). Continue reading

Jessica Karp, Jordan Brown & Andrew Bonito, Hu Kitchen, 6th NGI Food Entrepreneurship Class

Jessica Karp & Jordan Brown, Co-Owners & Andrew Bonito, Director of Operations, Hu Kitchen: Insights and Quotes

Terry Frishman Jordan Brown Jessica Karp Andrew Bonito Hu Kitchen Natural Gourmet Institute

Terry, Culinest, with Jordan, Jessica and Andrew, Hu Kitchen.

Interviewed Jessica Karp, Jordan Brown, Co-Owners, and Andrew Bonito, Director of Operations, Hu Kitchen, at 6th Food Entrepreneurship class.

Key Insights & Quotes: Continue reading

Upcoming Event: Sustainability in the Wine Industry

Upcoming Event: ‘Sustainability in the Wine Industry: Italy and the U.S.’

Monday, November 10th, 6PM-7:30PM
Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang College, The New School
65 West 11th Street, #500

Eager to learn more about sustainability and the wine industry? Continue reading

Luke Holden, Owner, Luke’s Lobster, 5th NGI Food Entrepreneurship Class

Luke Holden, Owner, Luke’s Lobster: Insights & Quotes

Lauren Gibson, Terry Frishman, Luke Holden, Ali Kokot
Terry with Lauren Gibson (far left), Luke Holden and Ali Kokot of Luke’s Lobster.

Interviewed Luke Holden, Owner, Luke’s Lobster, at 5th Food Entrepreneurship class.

Key Insights & Quotes: Continue reading

Chef David Bouley Discusses Contemporary Kaiseki Cuisine: The Power of Nature & Health at the Japan Society

Chef David Bouley Discusses Contemporary Kaiseki Cuisine

Terry Frishman and David Bouley

Chef David Bouley speaking with Terry Frishman at the Japan Society

Very inspiring talk by Chef David Bouley on Contemporary Kaiseki Cusine: The Power of Nature & Health. Continue reading

Key Insights & Quotes: Susan Axelrod, Founder, Love & Quiches

Susan Axelrod: Insights & Quotes

Susan Axelrod
Susan Axelrod, Chairwoman & Founder, Love & Quiches
Key Insights & Quotes shared during Susan’s Crain’s Made in New York presentation: Continue reading

Amy’s Bread: New 30,000 sq. ft. Facility & Baking Classes

Amy’s Bread: Baking Classes & New 30K ft2 Facility

Amy's Bread

Terry with Amy Scherber & Troy Rohne of Amy’s Bread

Exciting! Amy’s Bread just opened a new 30,000 ft2 baking facility! Plus, Amy is now  teaching baking classes at Chelsea Market. Congratulations!

Liddabit Sweets: Leveraging Press

Liddabit Sweets: Leveraging Press

Liddabit Sweets

Terry with  Liz Gutman, Co-Founder, Liddabit Sweets.

Check out the iPad with a clip of Liz being interviewed… Great example of how to leverage the power of the press  at her Crain’s booth.

For help getting your own PR – consider attending my 3-part online course, Pitch Perfect! Tips to Getting Your Food Business Covered, with the Specialty Food Association.

Please click here to register!

It’s Not a Photobomb!

Crain’s Made in New York Trade Show

Attended Crain’s inaugural Made in New York Trade Show on October 23rd: great networking with NY food entrepreneurs and businesses while assessing trends and opportunities…

IT’S NOT A PHOTOBOMB:

Miguel Monica Prohibition
Continue reading

Summer Rayne Oakes, Marketing & Community Engagement Guru, Good Eggs, 4th NGI Food Entrepreneurship Class

Terry Frishman and Summer Rayne Oakes

Interviewed Summer Rayne Oakes, Marketing & Community Engagement Guru, Good Eggs – an online version of a farmer’s market – at 4th Food Entrepreneurship class.

Key Insights & Quotes: Continue reading

Massimo Bottura & Wylie Dufresne at 92nd Street Y

Massimo Bottura & Wylie Dufresne

Massimo Bottura & Wylie Dufresne at 92nd Street Y

In Italy, there are three untouchables: Football (soccer), the Pope and Mom’s recipes. Tradition rules – but Massimo innovatively and deliciously breaks the mold.

Continue reading

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