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Ahhh August. Pools and barbecues, festivals and farmers markets AND ribbons, tissue paper, winter flavors and inventory.  If you are in the business of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) then August also means holiday planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas and this is especially true for food businesses. The big players in the food industry (think any major grocery retailer or food brand) have a holiday strategy that starts 10-18 months out and you need one to.  No matter your size, a strategic holiday plan can mean the difference between ending in the red or the black at the end of the year....

The term "local food" is so much more than just eating food grown or made within a certain distance from my home. For me, it represents a sustainable and self-reliant economy, entrepreneurship, eating seasonally, appreciating artisan foods often based in historical methods, slow food, connection to place, community and savoring time with loved ones.  This may seem like a lot to wrap up into two words; this concept is what fuels my work and the passion dedicated to supporting, both with my dollars and my time, local food. I feel fortunate to be a part of the renaissance of local...

I see it time and again as a consultant with the Small Business Development Center and in my own consulting work, passionate people come in fired up about a business idea and have no idea if it is profitable.  Its like there is a sense of nobility in not making money, as long as you are doing what you love. That is hopefully where my consulting services come in, but many businesses are farther along in the business cycle than just an idea.  Unfortunately, the statistics don't paint a great picture according to the Small Business Administration 2 out of 10...

Ahhh Startup Week.  So much connection, learning, buzz and fun in one week and then it is over just like that. Thank you to those who were able to attend an Artup Week food track presentation, panel, pop-up or happy hour event.  It was truly an amazing week that will foster many new adventures, connections and ideas for the year to come. I am grateful to be a part of the Startup community and contribute with my time, talents and treasure to make an impact in other's lives and the world I live in.  The week started out with several mini-consulting sessions as part of the...

Fort Collins Startup Week is almost here (Feb 23 - March 2) and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to let you know about all the great food track sessions in addition to the general business sessions!  I am grateful for the opportunity to have Cultivate represented, with The Northern Colorado Food Cluster, as the Food Track Content Captains this year.  We felt that it was important to direct the content of the sessions to bring the most value to food business entrepreneurs, starting out or wanting to grow.It has been a bit overwhelming.  In October it seemed like...