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Gretchen VanEsselstyn

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    Specialty Food Association

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Gretchen VanEsselstyn's Achievements

  1. There are so many fun parts to my job as Director of Education at SFA, but my favorite is working with some of the greatest brains in our industry. It’s a thrill to call upon people whose work I’ve admired and ask them to teach our members what they know. And the best part – they say YES. With that in mind, I’m delighted to announce the next cycle in our Maker Prep series which focuses on branding. You’ll hear from the leaders of three powerhouse agencies: Moxie Sozo, Bright, and Buttermilk Creative. All three focus on specialty food and beverage brands and – if you’re an SFA member – you’ll get three hours of their combined expertise for zero dollars. It’s part of your benefits package as a member! (If you’re not a member yet, join us! And in the meantime, the whole series is $50 for you.) On October 14, you’ll learn the Fundamentals of Branding. Why are some companies beloved by consumers while others fight to be remembered? Creative agency Moxie Sozo will talk you through the process of creating a compelling and authentic brand and share four amazing case studies along the way. On November 11, we’ll delve into Building a Brand Expression with creative branding house, Bright. You’ll learn how to make sure your brand stands out in a crowded competitive set and ensure continuity and growth in the future. And on December 9, we’ll cover Package Design and Branding with Buttermilk Creative. You’ll learn how to make the most of the short time you have for shoppers to notice your product on the shelf by developing a cohesive design strategy and prioritizing messaging. I’m so pleased to make these webinars available to you. If you’re just learning about Maker Prep, please check out the recordings of our two completed series: Working with Distributors and Financing Your Business. And let us know what you need to learn more about – Maker Prep is designed for you! Reach out any time: education@specialtyfood.com
  2. Dear Tatiana, all of the programs can be viewed through the Fancy Food 24/7 Platform on the Programs page - if you didn't catch it live, the recordings are there as well. If you are not exhibiting at the event or registered as a buyer, let me know and we can help facilitate, thank you!
  3. Why do people go to business school? It’s the lectures and the homework, the research and the capstone projects. It’s the opportunity to focus on developing new skills. And for many students, it’s the connections they make with their professors and classmates that propel them toward success and serve as supports during the entrepreneurial journey. It’s the same with SFA's The Basics online workshop, taking place on October 6 & 7. In about ten hours over two days, you’ll hear talks on pricing, selling, the latest consumer research, freight and logistics, best practices in trade promotions, ecommerce, and more. You’ll get slides you can hang on to and use as reference and recorded lectures that are yours to review any time. You’ll spend time with eight incredible teachers and learn from their experience. Our instructors include founders and principals from some of the most iconic brands in specialty food, including Marich Confectionery. Renfro Foods and Dave’s Gourmet, plus exciting new brands including Hella Cocktail Co., Rumi Spice and TBJ (The Bacon Jam) Gourmet, plus our resident Amazon expert Betsy McGinn of McGinn Ecommerce Consulting. You’ll also make connections to your classmates. You’ll meet at the evening chat on Day 1 – then you’ll have your own dedicated space to chat and share stories, and stay in touch after the class is over in our SFA Community Hub. Come see what it’s like in our specialty food “business school” – and reap the rewards as your brand grows. It's just $99 for SFA members and $199 for non-members. Wonder if The Basics is right for you? Email us education@specialtyfood.com and we’re happy to talk with you.
  4. Why do people go to business school? It’s the lectures and the homework, the research and the capstone projects. It’s the opportunity to focus on developing new skills. And for many students, it’s the connections they make with their professors and classmates that propel them toward success and serve as supports during the entrepreneurial journey. It’s the same with The Basics! In about ten hours over two days, you’ll hear talks on pricing, selling, the latest consumer research, freight and logistics, best practices in trade promotions, ecommerce, and more. You’ll get slides you can hang on to and use as reference and recorded lectures that are yours to review any time. You’ll spend time with eight incredible teachers and learn from their experience. Our instructors include founders and principals from some of the most iconic brands in specialty food, including Marich Confectionery. Renfro Foods and Dave’s Gourmet, plus exciting new brands including Hella Cocktail Co., Rumi Spice and TBJ (The Bacon Jam) Gourmet, plus our resident Amazon expert Betsy McGinn of McGinn Ecommerce Consulting. You’ll also make connections to your classmates. You’ll meet at the evening chat on Day 1 – then you’ll have your own dedicated space to chat and share stories, and stay in touch after the class is over in our SFA Community Hub. Come see what it’s like in our specialty food “business school” – and reap the rewards as your brand grows. It's just $99 for SFA members and $199 for non-members. Wonder if The Basics is right for you? Email us education@specialtyfood.com and we’re happy to talk with you.
  5. Breaking into the U.S. market has never been easy – and the FSMA and FSVP regulations passed in recent years have made it even tougher. As you begin to think about selling in the U.S., you’ll need to make some key decisions about whether to work with an importer, start your own entity, or get in business another way. And once you’re in the market, you’ll need to understand how business is done here. SFA can help you get started down the path that’s best for you and your products. In our online seminar Passport to Success taking place September 1 and 2, you’ll learn from Ron Tanner and Michael Sas, two seasoned experts with deep knowledge of how to help brands succeed. Over the 6 hours of interactive sessions, they’ll cover how to sell and distribute products in the U.S. how to market and promote your brand, including trade shows like the Fancy Food Show; and how to ensure that you’re in compliance with U.S. law and import regulations. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions as well. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet and interact with your classmates right here in our SFA Community Hub. We’ll have a private group where you can continue the conversation and follow one another as you continue your journey to success in the United States. If you have any questions about whether Passport is right for you, please email us at education@specialtyfood.com.
  6. Sorry to hear that the link is causing trouble -- I will look into that now and will send you the directory directly!
  7. Hi Alyssa! I'd suggest checking out our 2021 Business Services Resource Guide where you'll find a number of packaging sources that may be able to help! Any other members out there shipping fragile cakes who can advise Alyssa?
  8. The specialty food industry is always changing—and it’s vital to keep up. Whether it’s consumer trends, innovative marketing techniques, or new sales channels, even the most successful companies need education and resources. With that in mind, SFA's In The Know webinars are designed to educate and inform established and mature companies in the specialty food community. In this ongoing series, we will bring in experts to cover the topics that are important to you as your company matures such as logistics and sourcing, export opportunities, and succession planning to name a few. Each webinar includes a Q&A session, and we also provide extra resources to keep you informed. Our webinars can be viewed live on the day they happen, or you can watch the recording any time. And you can continue the conversation with your peers and industry experts here in our Community Hub. Upcoming In the Know webinars include: Legal and Practical Considerations for Making Your Website Accessible – July 22 Place Your Products in Film and TV – August 5 Scaling Your Innovative Food Products – September 8 All webinars are free to SFA members and $19 for non-members. If you have any questions or want to learn more, please email us at education@specialtyfood.com. We look forward to seeing you at our next In the Know webinars. You can read more about other webinar tracks we are running as well, including our new series for startup companies and newcomers to the specialty food industry.
  9. At SFA, we take preparedness seriously. Providing new makers with the tools they need to be ready to do business and succeed in a tough industry is our passion. With that in mind, we’ve launched Maker Prep, an educational program that will provide the most important building blocks for new makers. In this ongoing series, we will bring in industry experts and veterans to cover the topics new makers need to know about. Each topical package will include two or more webinars, complete with Q&A sessions, plus extra resources to help you get to the next level. Our webinars can be viewed live on the day they happen, or you can watch the recording any time. And you can continue the conversation with your peers and industry experts here in our Community Hub. Our first package, Funding Your Business, debuts in early July: The First Key Steps – July 8 Working with Investors – August 12 Working with Lenders – September 9 And our second package, Working With Distributors, debuts at the end of July: The First Key Steps – July 29 Building the Relationship – August 19 Strategies for Success – September 16 All webinars are free for SFA members. If you’re a non-member, you can purchase the 3-webinar series for $50 or buy a la carte for $19 each. If you’re already a fan of our Basics program, never fear – we will continue to run The Basics: The Business of Specialty Food as our premier introduction to the industry. The next dates are October 6-7, 2021 – you can sign up now or recommend it to a friend. Have questions or want to learn more? Drop us a line: education@specialtyfood.com. And stand by for more information on other preparedness tracks we are running, including those for more established companies, and regulatory and legislative updates.
  10. On January 20 and 21, SFA will host live Industry Roundtable events where the community can come together for an open, interactive discussion of the issues that affect your business and your plans for the coming year. Please join us for one or both sessions! Wednesday, January 20 3:30PM eastern Industry Roundtable – Channel Strategy Hosted by Scott Jensen, Rhythm Superfoods Free registration here. Thursday, January 21 3:30PM eastern Industry Roundtable – Supply Chain Hosted by Megan Gusick, FOODMatch Free registration here.
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    Join your specialty food peers for an open, interactive discussion of the issues that affect your business and your plans for the coming year. Hosted by Megan Gusick, FOODMatch Pre-register for free here
  12. until
    Join your specialty food peers for an open, interactive discussion of the issues that affect your business and your plans for the coming year. Hosted by Scott Jensen, Rhythm Superfoods Pre-register for free here.
  13. until
    New year, new approach? Jump start 2021 by discussing new business strategies you plan on implementing in the new year at our January Share Group. The share group is open to all SFA members, but participation is limited -- registration stays open until an hour before the event. Register in advance for this meeting.
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