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Edible-Alpha®

Edible-Alpha®
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Our Mission Is To Ensure High-Quality Financial Technical Assistance For Every Food, Beverage and Value-Added Farm Business. Edible-Alpha is a project of the Food Finance Institute (FFI) and the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division of Business and Entrepreneurship.

Hospital-Based Farming – A Bridge To Community Health And Wellness

The farm isn’t just a physical location that grows produce - it is part of a commitment by the hospital system to extend healthcare and wellness beyond the hospital campus and empower the community to lead healthier lives. They operate a CSA, a farmers market, community events and a Product To Patients program.

All Organizations – Food Pantries Included – Can Innovate On Their Business Model

The business model is the sum of all the things that ensures the organization sustainably makes money and delivers on its core products, services and mission. What many food entrepreneurs don't often realize is that innovation comes not just in the form of new products or services, but also in their business model.
video

Cash Is Like Oxygen

The reason to pay attention to cash flow is that when cash goes away from you it really starts to hurt in ways that maybe you didn’t anticipate. Brands must always have realistic forecasts for sales, revenue and growth.

Transforming a Food Pantry into an Engine for Rural Prosperity

The Livingston Food Resource Center is a nonprofit food pantry and service provider serving a county of 17,000 people in rural Montana with a food acquisition model to purchase directly from area farmers and ranchers. Kitchen rental, value-added processing, community room rental and catering all provide earned income for their operations.

Forecast Templates

These helpful templates help you build your financial projections, including, your sales and distribution forecast; cost of goods sold (COGS) and other expenses forecasts; capital expenditures forecasts; and your accounts receivable (AR), accounts payable (AP) and inventory forecasts. These projections can help inform your proforma financial statements.

What is Intellectual Property, Anyway?

Patents, branding, and copyright...  If you want to protect something, or to stop someone from doing the same thing that you’re doing in your food business, the only way to do that in the United States (and abroad) is through IP law. An IP attorney will help you ensure that no one has made it before, branded it in a similar way to yours, or created it before you did.

An in-depth look into FSMA and FDA reform that will impact business

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is a complicated sweeping reform of the way food safety is regulated. This video series outlines the history, reasoning and goals behind the legislation and what your business has to do to properly comply.

Market Research Might Disprove Your Assumptions

Sometimes certain products or certain classes of products make more sense in certain markets than others. For example, heavy or perishable food items make less sense to sell online due to the shipping costs and logistics involved. But unconventional markets could make sense if location or customer data suggests it is a good idea.

Consider That Unconventional Market

Sometimes certain products or certain classes of products make more sense in certain markets than others. For example, heavy or perishable food items make less sense to sell online due to the shipping costs and logistics involved. But unconventional markets could make sense if location or customer data suggests it is a good idea.

Your Food Business Needs Multiple Strategies

Good strategies are ones that reflect current relationships with customers/partners and current market realities, and thus, can shift as those things shift. Without a well-documented strategy, even well-meaning food entrepreneurs can get distracted or fail to execute on their business’ core needs and goals.

Leveraging Plant Based Foods For Rural Prosperity

Great Falls is seeking to leverage its reputation as the “Golden Triangle” to grow its larger scale producers (as opposed to smaller scale, cottage food industry producers) for larger domestic markets. Consumer demand is suggesting the best path lays in fulfilling a plant forward diet.

The Chesterhill Produce Auction: A Catalyst For Produce Producers

The auction focuses on getting smaller producers in the area to the scale to where they can sell and get attention for their products. Last year the auction grossed over $300,000, with the auction taking a 16% commission for all vegetables sold.

At Evolve Brands, Strategy is Everything

Since the snack category is crowded, Evolve Brands has focused their efforts on sales and marketing to build and continually support a strong distribution footprint of around 2,500 independent, natural and co-op grocery stores. From there, they can pursue a larger go-to-market strategy.
Financial Technical Assistance

Why Financial Technical Assistance Is Key To Food Entrepreneurs’ Success

Access to high quality financial technical assistance is the biggest gap in accelerating the growth and success of more good food and beverage companies. Companies can transform, grow and thrive when they have access to this kind of assistance and when the founders surround themselves with the right people, including technical assistance providers.
Fair Food Network

How The Fair Food Fund’s Patient Capital Yields Great Impact

Seeded with a 2012 challenge grant of $3.75 million, the Fair Food Fund, the impact investing arm of Fair Food Network, has attracted a total of $6.4+ million in grants and program related investments from more than 20 funders. Since then, the Fund has provided more than $3.6 million in financing and business assistance to over 80 enterprises across 9 states.
Due Dilligence

Food Entrepreneurs: Investor Due Diligence is Good For You

Because food businesses tend to grow in a stairstep function rather than incrementally, most food businesses need to raise outside funding to be viable and profitable. Investor due diligence can help entrepreneurs to mature their businesses into viable enterprises because the process forces them to get clear and articulate about how they make money.
Tim Keane Golden Angels Investors

Tim Keane On Golden Angels Investors’ Funding Philosophy

Golden Angels Investors advise entrepreneurs to focus on building their sales and getting as much customer feedback as they can before they risk too much with the business. This, as well as the identification of competitors, helps validate that the business has some traction in the marketplace in the eyes of investors.
Capital Changes Over Time

Your Food Business’ Capital Needs Change Over Time

Getting proper financing for growing food businesses is one of the most challenging obstacles food business owners face, due in large part to the high bar for fundraising and financial communication when growing a food business. And, there are often many sources of capital that need to be brought together to adequately fund the growth of these food businesses.
Demystifying Funding Terminology

Demystifying Funding Terminology

Most entrepreneurs start out with friends and family funding (essentially people they know who will take a risk with them) or else they "bootstrap" their company, self-financing from the owner(s) and free cash flow. However, in food, this doesn't get you very far - food businesses need outside capital, usually from a variety of sources, to compete.
Joel Solomon Renewal Funds

Joel Solomon On How Food Businesses Can Be Part Of The Clean Money Revolution

There is a disconnect between perceptions of available money for food business and the sheer volume of individuals/funds looking to invest at various stages. And, natural food investors are starting to look at even earlier stage companies now that there is so much competition at the product, retail and investment levels of the food business ecosystem.
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