Talk Title: Building Markets That Support Small Producers
Talk Description: Whether you have just started selling products or are the seasoned owner of a well-established business, you can’t help but wonder how to expand sales. This talk will focus mainly on how to reach out to restaurants and retail shops accounts, how to manage those relationships once they are created, and how to deal with the pitfalls and issues that arise when you’re a small producer moving from direct sales into a wholesale.
Soul Food Farm
In 2005 Alexis and her Husband Eric Koefoed started Soul Food Farm. For many years they were the leading producers of pastured poultry and eggs Northern California. Although neither of them knew much about farming, through experience and self-education, they worked hard to develop a management system that blended proper animal management principals with their own ethical standards. The result was a holistic based management program that put the health and wellness of the animals, and themselves, before all else. They continued to invest in their business as they approached and developed new markets, created added value products and holistic poultry care techniques. They taught classes to new farmers, brought in chefs, writers, and industry leaders to give lectures to the community, and continuously strived to find new ways to connect with the community around them.
In 2012, after much consideration, they decided to redesign the farm. After a year of stargazing and developing a plan on how to make Soul Food Farm relevant to changing markets Alexis and Eric found their solution. Diversity. For so many years Soul Food Farm depended solely on the success of the poultry operation -one hiccup in the weather, or a random fire, and the operation would suffer. Diversity was the answer. Today, Soul Food Farm is the home base to several new projects including an olive oil company, an essential oil company, a new Flower CSA program, as well as a culinary and event venue. Although you won’t be able to find the famous Soul Food Farm meat bird, fresh eggs are still for sale up at the roadside stand. The honor system still in place.
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