A series of three virtual workshops to provide meaningful peer-learning and partnership building opportunities across the Puget Sound regional food system in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

These workshops will spotlight new models and programs that food businesses, community members, and organizations have developed to address the negative impacts of the pandemic. We’ll identify opportunities for collaboration and contribution to support their work and explore how these new systems can help build a more resilient, sustainable, and just local food economy going forward.

New Markets & Emerging Models: How to Get Local Food to Consumers and How to Fund It

Tuesday, 12/8/20; 10am-11:30am

With the loss of restaurant and institutional markets due to the pandemic, and with the ongoing challenges posed by consolidated distribution systems, local producers of food have increasingly sought out new models to get their products to consumers regionally. Even before the pandemic, there was a growing need to build these more direct local supply chains. Now, with the increased demand for local products, there is an even greater opportunity for these kinds of projects to succeed. Many existing systems have evolved, new services have been created, and new models are emerging. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these models in meeting the needs of both producers and consumers, and how can funders and investors of all types support the growth of these new businesses?

We’ll hear about a variety of ventures, including a new seed to table social enterprise from Chief Seattle Club, an innovative pick up service from the Neighborhood Farmers Markets, and a variety of home delivery services with unique frameworks, including one that centers POC, LBGTQ+, Immigrant and Women-owned businesses, a cooperative model, a food hub partnership, and a new e-commerce platform that offers existing retailers an endless aisle of local, artisan products without ever adding to their inventory.

This session will invite speakers and participants from all food sectors, including farmers, ranchers, fishers, food manufacturers, processors, distributors, food service, retail, and consumer-direct delivery services to identify opportunities for collaboration and investment.

Lacey WarriorNative Works Manager at Chief Seattle Club

Lacey is an enrolled member of the Ninilchik Village Tribe and has worked for the Chief Seattle Club for three years. In that time, she has developed and manages the Native Works Program, a social enterprise focused on vocational rehabilitation. Lacey transformed her passion for Indigenous People’s culture and art to work for social change through a number of projects and initiatives, most recently as a collaborator for the Growing Old Project, a podcast series exploring Seattle’s urban forest and humans that live within it. Lacey also serves on the Board of Directors for Seattle Good Business Network, Red Eagle Soaring and Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery.

Damon Grady & Amber WhittenburgCo-founders and Owners of Local Yokels

Damon is a Capitol Hill Seattle native and resident and worked in the restaurant industry for 10 years before starting his own restaurant group in 2002, which opened five restaurants, Via Tribunali, between 2003-11.⁣ His family roots include his father who was one of the founders of 12th Ave People’s Co-Op (now Central Co-Op), and his aunt and uncle have owned and operated Bluebird Farm, an organic farm for over 35 years.

Amber attended The Evergreen State College from 2010-2013 and studied Art, Business and Sustainable Agriculture, learning everything she could about the local food system, sustainability, and closed loop biological and economic systems. She met Damon in 2016 and together began to conceptualize what a closed loop economic system that first does no harm then does a lot of good could look like.

Jennifer AntosExecutive Director of Neighborhood Farmers Markets

Jennifer is a Western Washington native with a passion for great food, our environment, and civic engagement. As Executive Director of the Neighborhood Farmers Markets, she leads the staff and board in their work to sustain a thriving network of farmers markets in the City of Seattle. The organization works with over 200 Washington family farms and local food businesses, providing reliable sales opportunities where businesses can meet their customers face-to-face.

Devra GartensteinCo-founder of New Day Cooperative Distribution

Devra Gartenstein is a serial entrepreneur whose most recent venture is New Day Cooperative Distribution. She also works as a consultant and mentor for small food businesses through SCORE, the City of Seattle OED, and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives.

Archie Gupta & Brent HillFounders of Bellycheer

Archie Gupta is a serial entrepreneur based out of Seattle and an avid foodie! Prior to Bellycheer Archie was founder and CEO of two successful technology companies – Root3 and Kognate. Archie also spent time as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Madrona Ventures researching opportunities in the logistics market. Archie has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he won multiple awards for innovative go-to-market strategies from companies such as Gallup.

Brent Hill is a supply chain and technology leader, with expertise in product and systems development. Prior to Bellycheer, Brent spent 10 years at Amazon, where he managed the first AmazonFresh fulfillment center, then went on to lead the global operational expansion of the AmazonFresh and Prime Pantry businesses. Before joining Amazon, Brent spent seven years at Intel in technology and product development roles. Brent has an MBA and graduate Mechanical Engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a MIT Leaders for Global Operations fellow.

Chris TeenyGeneral Manager of Pacific Coast Harvest

Chris currently leads Pacific Coast Harvest which is an online retail grocery. PCH’s vision is an equitable food system in which 30-80% of consumers’ food budget (depending on the season) goes to local food producers and those supporting them. Our mission is finding partnerships with local farmers and artisan producers, contributing expertise in last-mile logistics, technology, and consumer behaviors and expectations to create stable sales channels for market and regional sized, sustainably focused farms.

The Good Food Resilience Series is an initiative of Seattle Good Business Network’s Good Food Economy program, connecting the Puget Sound food community in order to strengthen the local food pipeline and build a resilient, sustainable, and just local food economy. Made possible with support from a Regional Food System Grant from King Conservation District.