Business Bites: Launching Your Food Product, spoon and light bulb

Business Bites: Launching Your Food Product

The BUSINESS BITES SERIES, brought to you by the Culinary Entrepreneurship program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels and networking events designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.

BUSINESS BITES: LAUNCHING YOUR FOOD PRODUCT

FROM STOVE TO STORE AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

Thursday, June 21st | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

Turning an idea for a food or beverage product into reality is a dream for many, but it takes more than a delicious product and eye-catching packaging to bring your product to the shelves. From testing your concept and researching competitors, to manufacturing, packaging and distribution, entrepreneurs face many unique challenges in today’s competitive food product space.

So what do you need to know to take your idea from stove to store?

Join us for an informative discussion with experts in entrepreneurship, branding, financing and retail to help get your food product off the ground. Our panel of business owners, brand consultants, and specialty buyers will share tips and tricks about where to start; branding, design & packaging; shared commercial kitchens & co-packers; sales & distribution strategies; and what everyone wants to know – what buyers are looking for! You’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!

Plus, learn more about the Stacy’s Scholarship for Female Culinary Leaders, a full-tuition scholarship to ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program for women who have plans to open a culinary business!

MODERATOR

Alek Marfisi, Upwind Strategies
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Entrepreneurship Instructor

Alek Marfisi is a native New Yorker with a passion for building things and helping people. After working advising small businesses for five years, Alek launched Upwind Strategies in 2015 with the mission of providing deeper and more relatable services to small businesses: the anti-business-school services firm. He previously worked with the NYS Small Business Development Center where he dove into the exciting intricacies of making entrepreneurial projects a reality. Since then, Alek has logged more than 11,000 hours working with small businesses and has been recognized as one of the top drivers of economic development in the country.

PANELISTS

Liz Alpern, Owner of The Gefilteria, Business Bites panelist
Liz Alpern – Owner, The Gefilteria

Liz Alpern is the owner of The Gefilteria and co-author of The Gefilte Manifesto. She is on the faculty of ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program and is a consultant for national non-profit, Fair Food Network.

Follow Liz: Instagram @lizalpern @queersoupnight
Follow The Gefilteria: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @gefilteria

Jill Frechtman, Brand Consultant, Business Bites Panelist
Jill Frechtman – Brand Consultant

Jill Frechtman is an entrepreneur with a passion for building inspired, authentic, and impactful brands. Jill’s unique approach to branding incorporates her 16+ years of experience as a designer, specialty food entrepreneur, and a creative strategy and brand marketing consultant. She is the founder of chocolate pretzel company, Fretzels by Jill, and is a consultant for a number of other entrepreneurs and businesses, in a variety of industries, developing, designing, and growing their brands.

Laura Heifetz, Grocery Buyer, Greene Grape, Business Bites Panelist
Laura Heifetz – Grocery Buyer, The Greene Grape

Laura Heifetz is a native New Yorker with a love of all things edible. She attended the Natural Gourmet Institute and worked as a personal chef, before discovering her passion for cheese and specialty foods. Having worked behind some of NYC’s most famous cheese counters for 5 years, she took over as Grocery Buyer in 2014 at the Greene Grape, where she keeps the shelves stocked with some of the world’s best foods. She regularly works with local small batch producers to help develop their products from concept to shelf.

Follow Laura: Instagram @cheflaura126 | Twitter @curdbird
Follow The Greene Grape: Facebook @thegreenegrape | Instagram & Twitter @greenegrape

April Wachtel, Owner of Swig + Swallow, Business Bites Panelist
April Wachtel – Founder/CEO, Swig + Swallow

April Wachtel is a passionate educator, an experienced mixologist, a cocktail and spirits instructor, and founder of Swig + Swallow, the cocktail mixer company. She is a 22 year veteran in the beverage and hospitality industry, working in every role from busser to bartender to beverage director, to brand ambassador to beverage consultant. April has appeared on The Today Show, and Fox & Friends, as well as The Pitch Podcast, The Travel Bite, Tech Bites, The Main Course, Sharp & Hot, and more.

Follow April: Instagram @aprilwachtel
Follow Swig + Swallow: Facebook & Instagram @swigandswallow | Twitter: @swig_swallow

Start Up Business Tips: Facility Design

Provided by the Culinary Entrepreneurship Program Instructors

Bradford Thompson
Founder of Bellyful Consulting Inc
Bellyful Consulting, Inc.
is a full service culinary consulting company behind multiple new restaurants, events, catering jobs, TV and film productions and major consumer brands. Bradford and his team have spearheaded projects including Southern Hospitality, Miss Lily’s Favourite Cakes and Grimaldi’s Coal Burger.

Facility Design Tip: Design with sanitation in mind – studies show more labor hours [which means $$$] are spent cleaning than actually preparing food in virtually every type of food service facility.