Good Food EXPO| March 7, 2019

Five Questions for EXPO Exhibitors, Part 2

Produced by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed

The Good Food Marketplace has been the centerpiece of the Good Food EXPO since it launched in 2004. This will again be the case at the 15th Anniversary Good Food EXPO, March 22-23 at the Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. You will be able to sample and buy products from many of the Midwest’s best food and farm producers. 

We invited EXPO vendors to submit their answers to five questions. We hope you will find the responses from B & E’s Trees maple syrup, Chocolate San José, and Fufluns’ Foods CBD products sweet and relaxing.

You can purchase tickets for the Good Food Trade Show on Friday, March 22. The Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 23 is free, but pre-registration is requested.

There is still time to register to exhibit if you have a Good Food business or organization. Access a registration form at the Good Food EXPO site, and contact Lisette@familyfarmed.org if you have any questions.


B & E’s Trees

Bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup

FamilyFarmed: Elevator pitch time: Tell us in a few sentences what your business does and why.

B & E’s Trees: B&E’s crafts certified organic bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup, in collaboration with Central Waters Brewing Company, on our off-grid family farm in southwest Wisconsin. We are passionate about creating and living a life driven by integrity that fosters continuous learning and enables stewardship of the land.

FamilyFarmed: We define Good Food as delicious, produced as locally as possible, using sustainable, humane and fair practices. How does your business relate to this definition?

B & E’s Trees: At B&E’s, we create 100 percent organic, 100 percent Wisconsin, 100 percent delicious bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup. We come from long lines of farmers, and our sustainable maple practices provide a path to continue that legacy in a way that helps improve the land we love. We take care in every aspect of our business, from our shipping materials to our land management plans to care for our employees, our customers and the environment around us.  

FamilyFarmed: What do you view as the strongest short-term opportunities for your company or organization, what (if any) do you see as obstacles that need to be overcome? 

B & E’s Trees: Our company is growing quickly, and as our farm expands, we have been able to grow to meet the customer demand for our barrel-aged syrup. Each year, we are increasing our wholesale and individual base of customers throughout the Midwest, and working to provide the best experience we can for anyone coming in contact with B&E’s. The biggest obstacle we are working to overcome is increasing our scale while working with a product that ages for around one year. But each year’s crop and business growth makes it easier.  

FamilyFarmed: For first-time exhibitors: How did you learn about the Good Food EXPO? What do you hope to gain as a result of your participation?

B & E’s Trees: We learned about the Good Food EXPO while researching the food culture in the Chicago area. We hope to meet people interested in our barrel-aged maple syrup, learn about other Good Food businesses, and help grow our retailer base in Chicago.

FamilyFarmed: Finally — do you market locally, regionally or nationally and where can we find your products? 

B & E’s Trees: We currently market regionally. Our product can be found at www.bandestrees.com, as well as at Chicago area retailer Hewn in Evanston. We are hoping to grow into more locations in the Chicago region (a large portion of our online sales are going to this area), so feel free to share suggestions! 


Chocolate San José

Artisan Chocolate

FamilyFarmed: Elevator pitch time: Tell us in a few sentences what your business does and why.

Chocolate San José: Chocolate San José – Minneapolis is a family-owned business located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our plantation, Hacienda San José®, is located in Los Rios, Ecuador, an area well known for the production of the best cacao beans in the country. My sister and my brother-in-law are elaborating Chocolate San José from their plantation’s harvest.

Our chocolate offers full traceability and single-plantation origin with unique and exquisite taste, very creamy with a defined nutty flavor, a hint of vanilla and cinnamon, which enabled us to win the “Pepa De Oro” 2016 World Cacao Summit in Ecuador.

Almost 100 years and five generations of experience in growing cacao made us wonder: If we make the best cacao beans in the world, isn’t it time to make the best chocolate? And so we did. We harvest the best cacao beans from our fields and turn them into chocolate for you!.

Why? Our main goal is to share our passion in the production of the best cacao beans and the best chocolate in the world with every person, entrepreneur and chocolate maker all around the globe. We want to share our vision of sustainability, full traceability and transparency with everyone interested in knowing a little bit more about what we love to do:  Hacienda San José Chocolate

FamilyFarmed: We define Good Food as delicious, produced as locally as possible, using sustainable, humane and fair practices. How does your business relate to this definition?

Chocolate San José: Through the years we have developed a business model based on the principles of sustainability: economic growth, environmental care and social responsibility. At Hacienda San José®, we are committed to the environment, causing the least possible impact by complying with the standards of our certifications (UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified).

In addition to complying with the entire legal framework, regulations and standards required by Ecuador’s labor law, and following the standards of our certifications, we have developed strategies to help improve the standard of living of our workers and surrounding communities through two main projects: Super Barato Market & PRODETI Foundation.

Super Barato Market ensures that our employees can take homes the food they need with the best prices and payment methods.

We’ve helped to structure the PRODETI Foundation by signing an agreement to help with its annual budget, enabling them to carry out their activities for the benefit of the community, from training and nutrition talks to programs to promote association for the production of home orchards.

FamilyFarmed: What do you view as the strongest short-term opportunities for your company or organization, what (if any) do you see as obstacles that need to be overcome?

Chocolate San José: I see opportunity for my small business as a member of the Minnesota Farmer Market Association, and using resources and opportunities given to small business from Minnesota Grown and the state Agriculture Department.

FamilyFarmed: For first-time exhibitors: How did you learn about the Good Food EXPO? What do you hope to gain as a result of your participation?

My friend Sue Kakuk, CEO of Kakookies, told me about this event. I hope to make connections with distributors to distribute my products nationally.

FamilyFarmed: Finally —- do you market locally, regionally or nationally and where can we find your products (or get involved with your cause)?

I do market locally. You can find me at my web page www.chocolatesanjose-minneapolis.com


Fufluns’ Foods

Hemp extract/CBD products

FamilyFarmed: Elevator pitch time: Tell us in a few sentences what your business does and why.

FUFLUNS’ FOODS: FUFLUNS’ FOODS truly provides best-in-class hemp extract (CBD) products at a fair price, never compromising quality or the environment. We follow what leading researchers and pioneers support: good seeds, grown well and extracted naturally. This produces a synergy of pharmacological effects that occurs through the interaction of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, phenols, minerals and other phytocompounds, called The Entourage Effect. 

FamilyFarmed: We define Good Food as delicious, produced as locally as possible, using sustainable, humane and fair practices. How does your business relate to this definition?

FUFLUNS’ FOODS: Our plants are:

  • Grown outdoors, under the sun, moon and stars, as part of the ecosystem — never in a warehouse that uses excessive lighting/energy.
  • Organically and sustainably farmed using biodynamic farming practices.

Our products are:

  • Extracted naturally from only hand-harvested flower (bud), using organic cane alcohol and artisan methods.
  • Thoroughly tested by government-certified labs for cannabinoids, terpenes and contaminant (pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins and microbials.)
  • All-natural and untampered with.

Our company is:

  • Locally owned by native Chicagoans who partner with like-minded, small family farmers and artisans who are well intentioned and truly care about health and the environment. We strive for a positive social impact and meaningful interactions with customers and partners.

FamilyFarmed: What do you view as the strongest short-term opportunities for your company or organization, what (if any) do you see as obstacles that need to be overcome? 

FUFLUNS’ FOODS: We launched this January 2019 with a handful of SKUs to test the market; applied learnings and expanded product line in February; and plan to be full speed ahead by March.

Our largest challenge is educating consumers and retailers to differentiate our product quality in a sea of “fakers” who are all, in essence, selling the same thing, just slapping a different label on it.  

The focus is on accelerating the sales effort by partnering with like-minded retailers, food manufacturers and knowledgeable sales reps.

FamilyFarmed: For first-time exhibitors: How did you learn about the Good Food EXPO? What do you hope to gain as a result of your participation?

FUFLUNS’ FOODS: We attended last year as part of the due diligence effort of starting the company, and loved it. We are hoping to gain public exposure, make a few sales and network with retailers, food manufacturers interested in producing CBD edibles, and the farming community.

FamilyFarmed: Finally — do you market locally, regionally or nationally and where can we find your products.

Our focus is on the Chicagoland market. We are in South Loop Market, Village Herbalist, Canni Hemp Co. and Botanica CBD, and have a few queued up waiting on our full product line.

Category

Good Food EXPO


Author

Bob Benenson


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