Creating Social Value Blog / Food

Community Table was a Buffet Line of Food System Innovators Yesterday

Food Sol’s last Community Table of 2013 was a huge hit.  We welcomed 7 food-system entrepreneurs representing 5 food enterprises from 4 states across the Northeast.  The entrepreneurs arrived at Babson on Monday for the Fair Food Network Business Bootcamp.

Yesterday, they took their lunch break with us – before racing back to Knight Auditorium to take the stage in a rocket pitch competition for a grand prize of $10,000 in consulting services – to share with our community a bit about their food-system enterprises and their experience entrepreneur-ing at Babson.

Community Table 1

In addition to the Fair Food Network entrepreneurs, also in attendance at our Table were:

  • Babson undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff – and alumni
  • Program designers from the Museum of Science
  • Seafood entrepreneurs from Open Ocean Trading
  • The newly appointed manager of Boston’s new food-innovation space The Food Loft
  • Investors from Slow Money Boston, the John Merck Fund and Fresh Source Capital

As Food Sol grad assistant Suzy Costello astutely observed:  “So many people came who are doing really cool hands-on food system innovation.  Halfway through introductions, I knew this one would be good.”

Indeed, the action tank really hummed yesterday.  In the mere 60 minutes we had for open dialogue, we ran the length and breadth of the food supply chain, touching:

  • Seafood traceability and catch-volume concerns
  • Forward contracting with institutions
  • The burdens of becoming an “accidental distributor”
  • Profit margins on multi-farm CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) versus restaurants
  • Software solutions for economizing supply chain transactions

No one wanted it to end.  Unfortunately, Community Table has wrapped for the semester.  However:  we are back with our regular weekly Table starting in late January.

You can look forward to Table discussions on coffee, restaurant trends, molecular gastronomy, food apps, raw milk, recipe publishing – and more!

Until then, Food Sol wishes you Happy Holidays and a very Happy (and delicious) New Year.