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Exam Code: FSMC Food Service Manager Certification availability January 2024 by Killexams.com team

FSMC Food Service Manager Certification

Exam Details:
- Number of Questions: The number of questions in the Food Service Manager Certification (FSMC) test can vary depending on the certifying organization or program. Typically, the test consists of multiple-choice questions, and the exact number may range from 100 to 150 questions.

- Time: Candidates are usually given a set time limit to complete the FSMC exam, which is typically around 2 to 3 hours. It is important to manage time effectively to ensure all questions are answered within the allocated time.

Course Outline:
The FSMC certification program is designed to assess the knowledge and skills required to effectively manage and operate food service establishments. While the specific course outline may vary depending on the certifying organization, the test generally covers the following key areas:

1. Food Safety and Sanitation:
- Principles of food safety and hygiene
- Proper handling, storage, and preparation of food
- HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles and implementation

2. Menu Planning and Nutrition:
- Menu development and design
- Nutritional considerations in menu planning
- Special dietary needs and restrictions

3. Kitchen and Equipment Management:
- Kitchen organization and workflow
- Equipment selection, maintenance, and safety
- Inventory control and purchasing practices

4. Staff Management and Training:
- Recruitment and selection of personnel
- Training and development of staff
- Employee scheduling and performance management

5. Customer Service and Communication:
- Effective communication with customers and staff
- Customer satisfaction and complaint resolution
- Service standards and etiquette

6. Financial Management:
- Budgeting and financial planning
- Cost control and analysis
- Pricing strategies and profit maximization

7. Regulatory Compliance:
- Compliance with local, state, and federal regulations
- Licensing and permits
- Food safety inspections and audits

Exam Objectives:
The objectives of the FSMC test typically include:
- Assessing the candidate's knowledge of food safety and sanitation practices to ensure the safe handling and preparation of food.
- Evaluating the candidate's ability to plan nutritious and well-balanced menus that cater to various dietary needs and restrictions.
- Testing the candidate's knowledge and skills in effectively managing kitchen operations and equipment to ensure efficiency and safety.
- Assessing the candidate's ability to recruit, train, and manage staff members effectively.
- Determining the candidate's understanding of customer service principles and their ability to provide a positive dining experience.
- Evaluating the candidate's financial management skills in budgeting, cost control, and pricing strategies.
- Testing the candidate's knowledge of regulatory compliance requirements in the food service industry.

Exam Syllabus:
The specific test syllabus for the FSMC may vary depending on the certifying organization. However, the following syllabus are typically included:

1. Food Safety and Sanitation:
- Foodborne illnesses and prevention
- Proper handling and storage of food
- Cleaning and sanitizing procedures

2. Menu Planning and Nutrition:
- Menu development and analysis
- Nutritional considerations and labeling
- Special dietary needs and menu adaptations

3. Kitchen and Equipment Management:
- Kitchen layout and workflow
- Equipment selection and maintenance
- Inventory control and purchasing practices

4. Staff Management and Training:
- Recruitment and hiring procedures
- Staff training and development
- Performance management and scheduling

5. Customer Service and Communication:
- Effective communication with customers and staff
- Service standards and customer satisfaction
- Handling customer complaints and feedback

6. Financial Management:
- Budgeting and financial planning
- Cost control and analysis
- Pricing strategies and profit margins

7. Regulatory Compliance:
- Local, state, and federal regulations
- Licensing and permits
- Food safety inspections and audits

It is important to note that the specific syllabus and depth of coverage may vary depending on the certifying organization offering the FSMC certification. Candidates should refer to the official guidelines and study materials provided by the certifying organization for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Food Service Manager Certification
Food Certification availability

Other Food exams

ACF-CCP ACF Certified Cooking Professional
FSMC Food Service Manager Certification
IFSEA-CFM IFSEA Certified Food Manager
NRA-FPM NRA ServSafe Food Protection Manager

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Food Service Manager Certification
Question: 72
The chef decided to make a slow cooked tomato sauce that requires the overnight
cooking of the sauce on the burners. The manager hears about the chef"s decision
and should:
A. Taste the sauce
B. Tell the chef not to do that again
C. Use the sauce as a daily special
D. Throw the sauce away
Answer: D
If a chef creates a tomato sauce that required the overnight cooking of the sauce,
the manager should throw the sauce away. This is because the sauce will have
been cooking in the Danger Zone for over the allowed amount of time, making
the sauce a hazardous food.
Question: 73
Foods that have a pH of 4.6 or above are considered:
A. Acidic Foods
B. Potentially Hazardous Foods
C. Pickled Foods
D. All of the above
Answer: B
Potentially hazardous foods are foods with a pH of 4.6 or above. Foods below this
pH are not considered a hazard since the pH is too low for any food pathogen to
survive. Examples include soda and vinegar.
Question: 74
To avoid any chance of food borne illness due to fry oil, the optimal frequency of
changing fry oil is:
A. Every night
B. Every two days
C. Every week
D. Once a month
Answer: A
Changing fry oil every night is the best way to reduce the chances of food borne
illness due to fry oil. While fry oil reaches high temperatures during the day, as
the oil cools and residual food grows in the oil over night, the chances of food
borne intoxicants growing to dangerous levels increases significantly.
Question: 75
To avoid foods spoiling in the refrigerator or freezer, which of the following
actions is always recommended?
A. Placing the oldest product on top of newer product
B. Ordering foods for a few days at a time only
C. Placing a date of arrival on all foods
D. Smelling the food to make sure it is fresh
Answer: C
Placing a date of arrival on all foods that enter the restaurant helps to avoid food
spoilage since it gives you a firm answer as to when the food arrived. From here,
you can determine the shelf life of the individual ingredient so that there is no
question as to the freshness. While the remaining answers might have some merit,
they are incomplete and do not assure the date of entry into the restaurant.
Question: 76
For any workstation within a kitchen, the following article(s) should always be
A. Plastic hand gloves
B. Red bucket filled with diluted bleach water
C. Head gear
D. All of the above
Answer: D
All of the above. To prevent contamination from your hands to raw foods served
to your customers (such as salads), it is important to always have plastic gloves at
each workstation in the kitchen. To prevent surface contamination of microbes, a
red bucket full of diluted bleach should be at each station as well. No other red
buckets should be found in the kitchen so that only red buckets are recognized as
sanitation buckets. Finally, some form of head gear, such as plastic, paper, or
mesh hats should be placed at each station to prevent hair from falling into the
Question: 77
Which of the following is a potentially hazardous food?
A. Dry rice
B. Canned soda
C. Ice cream
D. Caraway seeds
Answer: C
Ice cream is considered a potentially hazardous food. In addition to melting, ice
cream which is exposed to temperatures within the Danger Zone then re-freezed
can allow microbes time to increase in number within the ice cream, making the
dessert unsafe to consume.
Question: 78
The pathogen most associated with undercooked beef, especially hamburger, is:
A. Norovirus
B. Salmonella
C. E.Coli
D. Hepatitis A
Answer: C
E coli. is the pathogen most often associated with undercooked beef. Of particular
concern is E.coli 0157:H7, a powerful strain of E.coli which is among several
strains of E.coli with negative consequences for many specific groups. To avoid
E.coli from becoming problematic within your restaurant, make sure to avoid
cross contamination and cook beef to a well done temperature.
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Food Certification availability - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/FSMC Search results Food Certification availability - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/FSMC https://killexams.com/exam_list/Food Countries With The Best Food Quality, According to a latest Study

Food quality is an important factor in determining the overall health and well-being of a population. However, how to measure and compare food quality across different countries can be a complex task.

The Global Food Security Index ranked 113 countries based on various factors such as affordability, availability, and safety of food. According to this index, countries with the best food quality include Canada, France, and Denmark. These countries prioritize fresh and locally sourced ingredients, adhere to strict food safety regulations, and have a rich culinary heritage that emphasizes flavor and nutrition. Their food systems has sustainable farming practices and a strong focus on food education.

Here are seven countries with the best food quality according to the Global Food Security Index.


Finland is a Northern European nation popular for its quality bread and fish dishes. Traditional celebrations, such as Lohikeitto and Hernekeitto, reflect a cultural tradition of using locally sourced and healthy ingredients, particularly grains, fish, and vegetables. Finland’s cuisine features unique elements like Ruisleipä and Salmiakki.


Ireland also has ranked among the top countries in terms of food quality. The country’s rich agricultural heritage and commitment to sustainable farming practices have resulted in high-quality ingredients and flavors in Irish cuisine. Traditional dishes like Irish stew, soda bread, and seafood chowder showcase the freshness and authenticity of locally sourced ingredients. Furthermore, Ireland’s strong focus on food traceability and stringent quality control measures ensure that consumers can trust the safety and quality of their food.


Norway is another country famous for its exceptional food quality. With its natural environment and strict regulations on food production, Norway offers a wide range of fresh and sustainable seafood options. From the famous Norwegian salmon to the flavorful Arctic cod, the country’s seafood has high nutritional value and delicious taste. Additionally, Norway’s commitment to organic farming and traditional culinary techniques adds an extra layer of authenticity to their cuisine, making it a must-try for food enthusiasts.


France is popular for its historic cities and succulent dishes. Parisian cafes overflow with cured meats, roasted duck, croissants, and fine wine. Traditional French foods like Pot-au-Feu and Crème Brûlée showcase the nation’s emphasis on regional diversity and artisanal excellence. Cheese is also savored after dinner in a typical French meal.


Netherlands is also on the list. Known for its innovative and diverse culinary scene, the Netherlands offers a wide variety of delicious dishes that reflect its rich cultural heritage. From traditional Dutch cheeses like Gouda and Edam to mouthwatering stroopwafels and herring, the country’s cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. Moreover, the Netherlands takes pride in its sustainable farming practices, ensuring that their produce is fresh, organic, and of the highest quality.


With its cuisine known for its meticulous attention to detail and emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, Japan is renowned for its high food quality. From sushi and sashimi to ramen and tempura, Japanese cuisine showcases the country’s commitment to excellence in taste and presentation. The traditional practice of washoku, which emphasizes balance and harmony in meals, further enhances the overall dining experience.


Sweden is ranked among the top countries in the Global Food Quality Index for its strict regulations, high standards for food production and safety, sustainable farming practices, organic food options, and high-quality traditional dishes like meatballs, gravlax, and herring. The country’s emphasis on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients ensures fresh and nutritious food.

Tue, 02 Jan 2024 06:29:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/countries-best-food-quality-according-203000653.html
Where Food Comes From, Inc. Acquires Upcycled Certified® Program as Reducing Food Waste Through Upcycling Becomes Fastest Growing Consumer Trend

CASTLE ROCK, Colo., Dec. 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Where Food Comes From, Inc. (WFCF) (Nasdaq: WFCF), the most trusted resource for independent, third-party verification of food production practices in North America, today announced it has acquired the Upcycled Certified® Program from the Upcycled Food Association.

Upcycled Certified, the world’s first and largest provider of certification for upcycled food, has emerged as a dynamic force that is reshaping the way manufacturers valorize all parts of the food chain and avoid food waste. Upcycled Certified is now one of the fastest-growing certification seals in the food industry, providing consumers a tangible solution to shop sustainably. There are currently 93 companies with more than 480 products certified to the standard, including leading Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies such as Del Monte and Kerry Ingredients. These products are responsible for diverting an average of 390,000 tons of food waste annually since the Program’s launch less than three years ago.

The acquisition comes at a time when upcycling is gaining in relevance and popularity. Over the last three years upcycling consistently tops food trends lists, including Food Tank, Kroger, Forbes and Whole Foods Market. Data from retail insights firm SPINs show that 51% of consumers are more likely to buy a product identified as Upcycled Certified, signifying significant consumer acceptance and demand.

“The upcycled food movement is closely aligned with broader sustainability trends in the United States and around the world,” said John Saunders, chairman and CEO of Where Food Comes From. “This acquisition enables Where Food Comes From to meet growing consumer demand for products that contain upcycled food ingredients. As the exclusive certification body for the standard since early 2021 – and as the most diverse food verification body in the country with more than 17,000 customers – we are ideally suited to take Upcycled Certified to the next level of growth. Our first order of business following the ownership transition will be to make it easier and more cost effective for brands, grocery retailers and foodservice operators to engage with the standard, ultimately expanding the offering of upcycled products and making it easier for consumers to eat well and be a part of the food waste solution. Our long-term objective is to make Upcycled Certified a ubiquitous standard and a meaningful component of our overall revenue mix.”

Angie Crone, CEO of the Upcycled Food Association (UFA), added, “UFA is thrilled that Upcycled Certified has become part of the Where Food Comes From family of certifications. Given the scale of the food waste crisis, growing demands on our natural resources, and increasing food insecurity, we need to work collaboratively and as quickly as possible to transform our food system into one where food is valued and never wasted. Due to its high profile in the food verification industry, we believe WFCF is the ideal partner to help further our mission to accelerate the upcycled food movement for impact at scale.”

The Upcycled Standard, developed by the Upcycled Food Association, is designed to reduce food waste by promoting the upcycled food economy. Upcycled products use ingredients that have full nutritional value and are safe but for various reasons would have gone to waste. Operators that grow, produce, manufacture, process, and trade in food, beverages and other food-related products are eligible to apply for Upcycled Certified. These operators must demonstrate that ingredients they handle have been procured and produced using verifiable supply chains.

According to Project Drawdown, decreasing food waste is the number one solution to reducing the need for land and resources used to produce food as well as the greenhouse gases released in the process. Yet, in the U.S. alone an estimated 40% of all food grown annually is unsold or uneaten. ReFED, a leading food waste research organization, estimates that the U.S. has 80 million tons of food that is wasted annually with a financial loss of $310 billion.

Upcycled products in the US marketplace include food and beverages, dietary supplements, pet food, cosmetics, personal care products, and household cleaners. A Future Market Insights report estimates the value of the upcycled food industry to be more than $46 billion and growing.

Where Food Comes From, Inc. is America’s trusted resource for third party verification of food production practices. Through proprietary technology and patented business processes, the Company estimates that it supports more than 17,500 farmers, ranchers, vineyards, wineries, processors, retailers, distributors, trade associations, consumer brands and restaurants with a wide variety of value-added services. Through its IMI Global, Validus Verification Services, SureHarvest, WFCF Organic, and Postelsia divisions, Where Food Comes From services verify food claims, optimize production practices and enable food supply chains with analytics and data driven insights.

About the Upcycled Food Association
The Upcycled Food Association is a nonprofit focused on reducing food waste by growing the upcycled food economy. Through research, standardization, and consumer education, the Upcycled Food Association is building a food system in which all food is elevated to its highest and best use. UFA’s member businesses represent the next generation of sustainable food. To learn more, visit www.upcycledfood.org

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, based on current expectations, estimates and projections that are subject to risk. Forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain, and genuine events could differ materially from the Company’s predictions. Important factors that could cause genuine events to vary from predictions include those discussed in our SEC filings. Specifically, statements in this news release about industry leadership and demand for, and impact and efficacy of, the Company’s products and services on the marketplace; expectations for growth and expansion of the Upcycled Certified program; expectations for continued consumer interest in upcycled products; plans to simplify and lower costs of compliance for Upcycled Certified; and plans to make Upcycled Certified a meaningful component of revenue mix are forward-looking statements that are subject to a variety of factors, including availability of capital, personnel and other resources; competition; governmental regulation of the agricultural industry; the market for beef and other commodities; and other factors. Readers should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect new information or developments. For a more extensive discussion of the Company’s business, please refer to the Company’s SEC filings at www.sec.gov.

Company Contacts:

Jennifer Moore
Marketing Manager
Phone: 720-893-7324
Toll-free: 866-395-5883

Investor Contact:

Jay Pfeiffer
Pfeiffer High Investor Relations, Inc.
Direct: 303-880-9000

Primary Logo

Wed, 27 Dec 2023 00:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/where-food-comes-from-inc-acquires-upcycled-certified-program-as-reducing-food-waste-through-upcycling-becomes-fastest-growing-consumer-trend-1032927798
Annual Local Food & Healthy Farms Conference registration deadline nears

Registration is open for the 2024 Local Food and Healthy Farms Conference, which takes place Jan. 25 to 27 at the River’s Edge Conference Center in Columbus, Nebraska.

For over 40 years, the Nebraska Sustainable Ag Society’s annual conference has been a mainstay event for farmers to connect and share knowledge. For the third year, the conference is a collaborative partnership with University of Nebraska Extension and Nebraska Specialty Crop Growers to provide the most dynamic and comprehensive farming and local food systems conference in the state.

“Combining both Extension and NSAS’ efforts has allowed the organizing team to think creatively about how we engage this audience and build connections across the food value chain,” said Ben Jewell, a Nebraska Extension educator and lead for the Nebraska Regional Food Systems Initiative. “Our attendees come from a wide range of backgrounds, as farmers, ranchers, food entrepreneurs, advocates and researchers—this diverse group being together over two days allows for more robust conversations that get at the root of the challenges facing our local food system.”

The conference invites attendees to learn, connect, and collaborate for a more resilient food future.

Conference highlights include:

  • More than 30 sessions on syllabus that span the agricultural and local food system spectrum, including farm financial and transition planning, farm skills, field crops, livestock, farm and food policy, urban agriculture and local food access, and more.
  • New Thursday pre-conference workshops that will provide more in-depth training in regional food systems, communication, and farm/ranch resources.
  • Keynote addresses from Nancy Williams, co-founder and CEO of No More Empty Pots in Omaha where she and her team have advocated and put into action their mission to Boost self-efficacy, regional food security, and economic resilience of urban and rural communities; and Michael Foley, co-owner and operator of Green Uprising Farm, a small (very small), diversified, family farm in Willits, northern California. He is director of the School of Adaptive Agriculture, also in Willits; market manager for the Willits Farmers Market; and president of the Mendocino County Farmers Market Association. And he is author of Farming for the Long Haul (Chelsea Green, 2019).
  • Several opportunities to network with other farmers, researchers, sponsors, service agencies, and consumers including a Friday evening reception and exhibit hall.

“One of the main pieces of feedback we received from attendees at last year’s conference was that there wasn’t enough time for networking and engagement,” said Jewell. “Our planning team this year has been intentional about building in extra time between sessions and eliminating talks during meals to allow for more in-depth engagement and connection among attendees. With around 220 stakeholders present at the 2023 Local Food and Healthy Farms conference, this event is a rare opportunity to build relationships across the food value chain in Nebraska.”

Many of the sessions are developed and led by local farmers, focused on syllabus that are most relevant to small and mid-size food and farming operations. Other sessions focus on tribal food systems work in Nebraska, indigenous Mayan regenerative agriculture practices, and how chefs incorporate seasonally available local foods into their menus.

“A highlight of this conference is the local food dinner that is served on Friday evening,” said Jewell. “Conference organizers work with chefs at the venue to plan a meal that is entirely sourced from local producers. Everything from local beef, small batch cheeses, fresh greens, and even local grains are featured in this meal.”

The cost is $80 per day or $150 for both days, and includes meals and access to all conference events. Scholarships are available. Register by Jan. 13 at sustainablenebraska.org/2024conference-registration.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 09:30:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://hpj.com/2024/01/04/annual-local-food-healthy-farms-conference-registration-deadline-nears/
Private entity moves to enhance local chicken breeds availability No result found, try new keyword!A PRIVATELY owned entity based in the capital city has established a major modern poultry farm which seeks to have improved local chicken breeds. Poultry farming is the form of animal husbandry which ... Wed, 03 Jan 2024 23:10:03 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ Eartha's Market & Farm in Jacksonville showcases farmers, crafters; next up, job training No result found, try new keyword!Eartha's Market & Farm is the newly expanded sales venue, community gardening hub and job training center in Jacksonville's Moncrief neighborhood. Sat, 23 Dec 2023 20:01:52 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ 17 Southern Fast Food Chains to Put on Your Road Trip Radar

I’m a firm believer in supporting small businesses and, most importantly, independent restaurant chef-owners and proprietors. Typically, I’ll go out of my way to patronize a hole in the wall or local favorite I discover through conversations with strangers. But when you’re on a road trip, half the fun is the license to eat fast food on the go. And in the South, there are real gems to be found among the global franchises. After all, both Waffle House and Popeyes started down here, and they’re national treasures.

So the next time you’re cruising in this region, skip the mega-players like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Chipotle, Panera Bread, etc., and try these more homegrown brands instead. Here are 17 regional fast food chains you’ll (mostly) find only in the South from literally A to Z.

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Anyone who’s lived in Atlanta for a minute will recognize the phrase “Lemon Pepper Wet.” It’s like BECSPK in New York, or a po-boy fully dressed in New Orleans—if you know, you know. And apparently American Deli is the reason lemon pepper wet wings are a thing. This ATL original, founded in 1989, is proud to be home to the highly imitated flavor that’s doused on fresh-never-frozen fried wings, an unmissable menu item whenever you’re in the area. American Deli offers a dozen different wing flavors, though, so stick around for round two.

Order: Lemon pepper wet wings, duh. But people also like the big Philly Cheesesteaks, served open-faced and heaping, and the tenders with crinkle-cut fries. Randomly, you’ll also find a fried rice, gyros, fried tilapia, whiting, and shrimp.

Find them in: Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, California

Atlanta Bread Company food

This tale’s a doozie—the bio reads like a movie summary. Founded in 1993, fast casual baker café Atlanta Bread (whose logo and menu are not too dissimilar from Panera Bread) hit its zenith by 2004, with 170 locations in 25 states to make it one of the largest chains of its kind in the U.S. But, like any peaking child star, Atlanta Bread got into some hot water, including legal issues with franchisees and an (unrelated) scandal with its South African investors, Jerry and Basil Couvaras. By 2011, the chain was down nearly 100 stores as the Great Recession swept the nation. Today, there are only 18 locations in five states, making it a nostalgic must-stop relic if you come across one.

Order: Anything you’d get at Panera Bread, basically, plus panini, which are no longer available at Panera. For a regular sandwich, try the chicken salad, because you’re in the South! The Waldorf is served on a multigrain cranberry bread, one of 13 breads baked daily, so that’s fun. There are also cool bowls with fresh-cooked eggs, or Greek yogurt or oatmeal bowls for something less heavy. Or just get an oversized fresh-baked pecan roll or Queenie, a cupcake-looking layered butter pastry, with a cup of Lavazza coffee.

Find them in: Georgia, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, and a random outlier in New Jersey

Biscuitville's spicy chicken and honey biscuit

Interestingly, the founders of Biscuitville never meant to get into biscuits. The original concept Maruice Jennings meant to open in North Carolina in 1967 was Pizzaville, but the biscuits he made in the morning from his family recipe soon outsold the pizza. So in 1975, he decided to go with it and opened the first Biscuitville in Danville, Virginia in 1975.

Today, there are 69 locations serving up unique and very Southern biscuit sandwiches, plus distinctly North Carolina specialties—a nod to the chain’s current headquarters in Greensboro. For instance. Cackalacky sauce, a dipper made with sweet potatoes and Cheerwine, a cherry soda with very limited regional availability (yes, Biscuitville serves that, too), Red Clay Gourmet jalapeno pimento cheese, and other super Southern brands. Pull up a seat at the biscuit window to watch the magic come together.

Order: The classic Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit, Spicy Chicken & Honey Biscuit, or the fresh griddle-cooked pancakes. Special offers can also be a treat, like this take on a Cuban flavor combo: fried pork chop, country ham, cheese, pickles, and housemade honey mustard. Finish with an Apple Blossom while they last, another limited-time item.

Find them in: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia

Bojangles chicken sandwich

There’s no burying the lede for this 1977 Charlotte, North Carolina–based chicken chain: Bojangles does both fried chicken and fresh-baked biscuits with pride. The birds are delivered daily, then marinated for 12 hours before being covered in a thick, crackling, sturdy coat of cayenne-pepper-kissed breading. The buttery biscuits are made with a 48-step process and are fresh out of the oven every 20 minutes, which is great for those who want to take advantage of the all-day breakfast. Soon, folks in New Jersey and Nevada can take advantage of Bojangles’ planned expansion beyond its 800 current locations.

Order: Fried chicken and biscuits, obviously. The Cajun Chicken Filet Biscuit Combo is the best of both worlds while on the go, and the marinated Chicken Supremes (breast tenderloins) are also a good call. Sweet tea is the drink of choice to balance out all that delicious salt.

Find them in: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and also a small handful in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Vermont, and Washington, DC

Cook Out fast food

Another North Carolina success story with a Greensboro connection, this backyard BBQ-inspired joint is one of the few major regional brands that remains family-owned and -operated. Since 1989, Cook Out has been serving up char-grilled burgers and chicken breasts, hot dogs, corn dogs, and North Carolina-style chopped pork, aka BBQ. For the kids, there are simple American favorites like chicken strips, chicken nuggets, and quesadillas, and over 40 flavors of milkshakes, one of Cook Out’s biggest claims to fame. Order through two drive-thru lanes or a walk-up window at most of its 210 locations. If there’s an indoor counter and/or seating, you’ll know you’re at a newer one.

Order: A Cook Out tray, a custom combo that lets you choose from a big list of entrée-portioned mains (like two hot dogs and a Big Double burger) and two hearty sides that include hushpuppies, cheese bites, chicken nuggets, bacon or chicken wraps, chili, and the usual suspects like fries and onion rings. Wash it down with a Cheerwine float or a Fancy Milkshake.

Find them in: North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia

Cowboy Chicken plate

Fried chicken isn’t your only option in the South, and explosive expansion isn’t always the way brands grow. Cowboy Chicken, for example, is a slow burn. It opened its doors for the first time in Dallas, Texas back in 1981, but didn’t start really heating up until 2011. Since then, this wood-fired rotisserie chicken brand’s been a repeat shout-out in Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers and was recently listed by Forbes as a “Hot Restaurant Chain to Buy Into Now” and by QSR as a 40 Under 40 (Units) concept. It’s actively recruiting franchisees, which means we might be seeing more of these crop up in this region in the years to come, serving up dry-rubbed whole chickens cooked in the smoke and fire of local wood.

Order: A Cowboy Plate with your choice of chicken and two sides, or salads and bowls topped with rotisserie chicken for some Southwest influence by way of ranchero beans, Spanish rice, roasted corn, and chipotle ranch. You can also get your chicken on a sandwich—the breasts are rotisserie, too. There’s also pulled brisket and enchiladas, but end with Jeanette’s Homemade Peach Cobbler, made fresh daily from an unchanged recipe.

Find them in: Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia

Golden Chick restaurant

Here in the South, the Chicken Sandwich Wars, fought on the national stage, is a new offshoot from the older, more localized Chicken Finger/Tender/Strip Wars. Claims for supremacy and originality began back in 1985, according to the brand once known as Golden Fried Chicken, which first opened in 1967 in San Marcos, Texas. It began with the Original Golden Tender, a marinated, hand-battered finger of actual chicken tenderloin, as opposed to the cut breast strips that often masquerade as tenders. (Order them spicy, with a dusting of Lotta Zing seasoning blend.) Then in 1992, the chain introduced another type of chicken to the mass market: the marinated, bone-in Golden Roast chicken, which is wholly unique in the fast food landscape. As of 2006, warm yeast rolls were added to the menu, a perfect baked-throughout-the-day accompaniment to oven-browned chicken, served across 211 locations.

Order: The Original Golden Tenders™ with yeast rolls, and some Golden Roast chicken with dirty rice, fried okra, battered fries, or a salad. Sandwiches here are also notable; the Big & Golden Chicken Sandwich is now bigger than it was before and comes with signature sauce and more pickles than its competitors (five!). The award-winning chicken salad has celery, walnuts, and hand-cut grapes, served on top of a garden salad with the rarely seen addition of broccoli.

Find them in: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and way out in Nevada

Guthrie's Chicken

Didn’t I promise more (sweet) tea about chicken finger superiority and propriety? Well, here it is. This college town favorite, first opened in Auburn, Alabama 1965, claims to be the first restaurant concept built completely around chicken fingers, which it introduced in 1978. While Guthrie’s didn’t go fingers-only until 1982, that’s still years and years before Raising Cane’s was created in 1996, and bigger brand Zaxby’s admits to being originally inspired by the Guthrie’s in Athens, Georgia. Guthrie’s now boasts 54 stores, most strategically near higher ed campuses. If you bump into one, see if the original concept out(chicken)strips your current fave.

Order: A “Gut Box,” which comes with chicken fingers, crinkle fries, coleslaw, Texas Toast, and signature sauce.

Find them in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee

Jack's Family Restaurant

Not to be confused with Jack in the Box (especially when you look at the logos), Jack Caddell opened the first Jack’s in 1960 as a single walk-up stand serving burgers, fries, shakes, and a “Fish-On-A-Bun” that now only resurfaces seasonally. Since then, this Birmingham, Alabama–based fast food chain has made its theme “All About the South,” from folksy country lingo (everything is a “big ol’” something) to menu offerin’s like scratch-made buttermilk biscuits, Southern-fried chicken on and off the bone, and “homestyle” buns. All 238 restaurants are corporate-owned, not franchised, which keeps things consistent.

Order: Breakfast. You can get less common biscuit sandwiches here, like smoked sausage, country-fried steak, and country ham. For the rest of the day, Jack’s signature is the Big Jack double with shredded lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, ketchup, and mayo; or try a Big BLT on Texas toast, and hand-battered chicken. For dessert, there are deep-fried hand pies, shakes, and hand-dipped scoops of ice cream.

Find them in: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee

Krystal biscuit and slider

What’s the difference between Krystal and White Castle? Beats me, to be honest. I could have sworn this was a Checkers/Rally’s or Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. situation, but these two brands are in fact quite separate. Distinct, though? That’s debatable. This Great Depression–era chain got its start in 1932 in Chattanooga, Tennessee after Rodney Davenport Jr. visited a Chicago White Castle, and it’s been slinging up similar square steamed sliders by the sackful since then. The difference, it’s been reported, is that Krystal’s buns are a bit denser and squatter, and they have mustard. The chain also serves up fried chicken wings, biscuit breakfast sliders, and adorable tiny hot dog “pups.” Today, Krystal is based in Dunwoody, near Atlanta, with 360 locations throughout the South.

Order: A couple of Krystals, the Pick Five for a little pan-menu taste, or a Pup Sampler, which comes with one each of the classic, chili cheese, and corn pups. Krystal Junkyard Tots with chili, cheddar, bacon, and ranch, are a good hangover cure, but if you’re up early enough, a bacon, egg, and cheese or Chik Biscuit can do the trick, too.

Find them in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and now Puerto Rico

Milo's seasoned fries

You may recognize Milo’s jaunty logo from its sweet tea brand, which can be found in many supermarkets across the South and beyond, now that it’s the #1 refrigerated tea in America. But that association would be both right and wrong. The brand itself dates back to 1946 with Milo’s Hamburgers in North Birmingham, Alabama; the tea split off in 2002, leaving the restaurants with its burgers, secret recipe sauce, fried hand pies with profuse powdered sugar, the more latest addition of chicken, and in retail, the orange powdered “cheese salt.” With only 26 locations, all in Alabama, this may actually even qualify as a local spot.

Order: The original burger with or without cheese, but definitely with the standard chopped grilled onions, thick-cut pickles, and a drenching of Milo’s secret sauce, or a chicken tender sandwich with their Double-O sauce, which combines Milo’s sauce with ranch. Grab a hand pie in apple, lemon custard, or cinnamon peach if you’re not sugared out from the necessary sweet tea.

Find them in: Alabama

Sonny's BBQ

Low and slow is the usual way for real Southern barbecue, but this 1968 Gainesville, Florida chain took the fast track, hitting the franchise circuit only nine years later with a menu of pork, beef, ribs, chicken, beans, and sundry sides. By the early ’00s, Sonny’s Real Pit-Bar-B-Q was the largest chain of its kind in the country with 150 locations across nine states. Several of those bit the dust during the recession, but they’re still going strong as Sonny’s BBQ. And so is Sonny himself, who retained ownership of the original until 2011 and remained active with the brand. In fact, his birthday is celebrated every August 14 by every location, along with National Pulled Pork Day, which the brand established as October 12.

Order: Pulled and sliced pork, baby back and St. Louis-style ribs, beef brisket, smoked wings. It’s all still smoked over oak by a certified Sonny’s Pitmaster who undergoes rigorous training at their P.I.T. Academy. Pitmaster Plates curate the top sellers for you, from the full-scale sampler to Pork 3 Ways, all of which come with BBQ beans, coleslaw, and garlic bread.

Locations: Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana

Taco Bueno

Fans of King of the Hill may recognize this Texas brand, headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro. It’s been name-dropped in several episodes, but to broader audiences, it may sound familiar due to its appearance in a 2017 episode of Undercover Boss. Unfortunately, pop culture fame didn’t help save it from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, from which it emerged in 2019 when Sun Holdings’ affiliate Taco Supremo bought it from Carl’s Jr. Needless to say, it’s been a rocky journey for this Taco Bell-like brand that dates back to 1967.

Order: The Muchaco, which is kind of like a Taco Bell Gordita (minus the “Cheesy Crunch”), due to its pita bread base. Also fun: the MexiDips & Chips, which comes with corn chip cups filled with guac, beans, and queso. To try everything, the Wholotta Platter is a belly-filler, with a chicken or beef “Chilada,” a crispy beef taco and beef Muchaco, plus almost all the sides and chips. Tacos can also be filled with fajita steak.

Find them in: Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma

Viva Chicken food

Another in the not-fried chicken category: Peruvian rotisserie chicken. This Charlotte, North Carolina–based fast-casual concept by Peruvian natives Chef Bruno Macchiavello and Randy Garcia just hit ten years of serving cooking up Macchiavello’s family recipe on charcoal fire, ready for dipping into daily prepared Aji Amarillo, Huacatay, and Rocoto sauces. You can also get this chicken served up on a ciabatta sandwich or sun-dried tomato tortilla wrap. The sides are just as thoughtful and refreshingly different from the usual roti-chik standbys, too, notably the mini-churros, especially since each order sold means 50 cents donated to No Kid Hungry—up to a million bags.

Order: The bone-in Pollo a la Brasa with sides like Peruvian fried rice, plantains, yucca fries, canary beans, or Peruvian corn salad. Wash it down with traditional Chicha Morada, a juice made from Peruvian purple corn, cinnamon, clove, pineapple, apple, and lime, or other daily-made juices that include passionfruit and herbal limeade. Don’t forget that bag of feel-good dulce de leche cinnamon sugar mini churros.

Find them in: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and, randomly, Utah

Whataburger Breakfast Bowl

Back when Harmon Dobson started up this burger spot in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1950, his goal was simple: “To make a better burger that took two hands to hold and tasted so good that when you took a bite, you would say, ‘What a burger!’” According to the patrons of over 947 locations spread out across 14 states and territories, mission accomplished. The signature orange and white A-frame buildings have become iconic, and the brand’s now in H-E-B stores in the form of picante sauce, salsa verde, sweet or spicy ketchup, boxed pancake mix, and bacon. In fact, Whataburger’s brand is so strong that when a legal broil with What-a-Burger in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina popped up in 2002 after 30 years of the chains ignoring one another, courts determined that the hyphenated chain was not a threat, having operated to much lesser success since the 1950s.

Order: The signature oversized Whataburger with all its trappings: lettuce, tomato, diced onions, pickles, mustard, and no ketchup. Or grab a signature Patty Melt on Texas Toast with Monterey Jack cheese. You can get any sandwich on a smaller bun, by the way. And if you’re there between 11 p.m. and 11 a.m., get the famous Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit with hash brown sticks, or a Breakfast Burger that you don’t have to be present at exactly 10:35 AM for.

Find them in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and also Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri

Willy's Mexicana Grill menu

So this one’s kind of tricky. There are a lot of different flags here that kind of make me feel a way about several layers of appropriation. The eponymous founder Willy Bitter says he got his inspo from “The Land of the Burrito Gods,” San Francisco’s Mission District, which kind of does a disservice to, uh, Mexico? Yet the brand bills itself as an homage to authentic Mexican, while Mission-style burritos are distinctly different from real Mexican burritos. Missions are known for their oversized proportions, inclusion of rice, and, now, a formula made the standard by Chipotle and carried on by Moe’s, Qdoba, and other players. Anyway, this guy opened up his first one when he came back to his hometown of Atlanta in 1995, and now this fast casual brand is plastered all over the city with 28 existing locations … and moving outwards.

Order: An enormous burrito with Sinaloa Chicken, a citrus marinade, or spicy Adobe Chicken with roasted Ancho chili and jalapenos, and the usual suspects you’d find at similar chains. Black olives, cucumbers, serrano peppers, pickled jalapenos, and quinoa make it a little different. Or from their specialties, Baja Burritos, smothered in chipotles salsa and a spicy queso, the Fritos Burrito with chicken, and the Willy Philly with cheddar, cheese dip, serrano crema, and rice for the loop. Chips and salsa are free with any order.

Find them in: Georgia

Zaxby's Fried Pickles

Originally known as ZAX when it was founded in 1990 in Statesboro, Georgia, this premium quick-serve restaurant, one of the nation’s earliest, has blown up far beyond the wildest dreams of the Guthrie’s that inspired founders Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley. Their vision was to elevate Guthrie’s chicken fingers concept by using all whole white-meat, hand-breaded, juicy chicken and a sauce recipe so secret that, according to the brand, not even the executive chef knows how it’s made from start to finish. Every part of the process takes place in a semi-vacuum, even with its explosive growth into 900+ locations.

Order: A Big Zax Snak Meal with Texas toast and seasoned crinkle fries, which you can also get tossed in one of eight sauces. Or just pair it with Zaxby’s 13 sauces, including the Zax Sauce and the Spicy Zax Sauce. The Zaxby’s Kickin’ Chicken sandwich is a messy delight with buffalo and ranch sauce on Texas toast, and the Signature Spicy Chicken Sandwich is one of my favorites of all time across various taste tests.

Find them in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Utah, Missouri, and Indiana

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Mon, 01 Jan 2024 22:30:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/17-southern-fast-food-chains-123000479.html
Five considerations for the Food & Beverage sector in 2024

By Mark Lynch, Partner at Oghma Partners

1) Consumer demand

2023 has seen many food and drink companies report improved earnings on the back of a very tough comparison in 2022; pricing recovery thereafter and an overall positive volume/price mix. There has even been some reduction in costs helping the margin picture. Looking into 2024, we would expect, in the UK at least, the pressure to mount on consumers as the full impact of increased mortgage costs and record rent rises influence demand. This has already been seen in the de-stocking of premium items (like spirits) and reduced volume of consumption across a range of products as well as switching from brand to own-label and away from less cost focused retailers to more value focused offerings and product ranges.

2) Wage/cost growth

Wage growth is expected to be a further challenge in 2024. The minimum wage increases in April by 9.8% - this will put upward pressure across the food sector where a lot of wage costs move in tandem with the minimum wage figure. Currently raw material costs are forecast to be broadly stable or declining with one or two exceptions. Overall however, we expect a relatively neutral commodity input costs environment in 2024. Management attention is therefore likely to be focused on wage costs and combined with issues around labour availability, we may see a renewed focus on capital investment to reduce labour usage across the manufacturing estate which may, in turn, drive productivity gains across the sector.

3) Funding costs remaining high

Whilst bond markets are beginning to think that the battle against inflation has been won, central bankers appear to be taking a more cautious view. While we might see some signs of easing of interest costs in 2024, these cuts may be relatively modest and back end weighted - therefore unlikely to materially impact the cost of funding in the year.  High rates feed through to equity market ratings for quoted food companies and exit prices for businesses being sold. We do not therefore expect any significant increase in the multiples paid for businesses being exited in 2024 compared to 2023 or 2022.

4) Continued and increasingly fractious trading with the EU

Export friction with the EU is likely to continue in the year however the government has finally committed to introducing reciprocal checks covering health certification and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks on all agri-food products from the EU. These checks will be introduced on a phased basis. This introduction has the potential to increase cost and disrupt supply chains. Ultimately, we think a new Labour government will seek to resolve the issue by rejoining the EU Phytosanitary regime which would be a relief to the UK and EU food industry and highly unlikely to affect any pro-Brexit voters.

5) Plant based foods go bust!

2023 has seen significant upheaval in the plant-based food market with reduced ranges, falling consumption and businesses going bust in the sector. 2024 will likely see the fall-out continue which will allow the category and sector leaders to re-position themselves for growth going forward. A more streamlined offer and a focus on marketing, consumer messaging, pricing and product quality should help re-align the sector with consumer expectations and demands.

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Mon, 01 Jan 2024 15:05:00 -0600 text/html https://www.pandct.com/news/five-considerations-for-the-food-beverage-sector-in-2024
FAO Food Programme gets important work done in December for Students & Nutrition

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Guyana, January 4, 2023 – Elected to serve in June last year, Guyana took its seat on the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, January 2nd, for a two-year term.

It joins the Council for the third time as a non-permanent member, and this time under the theme “Partnering for Peace and Prosperity.” A Flag Ceremony was held, and Guyana’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Carolyn Rodrigues-Burkett, installed the country’s flag.

Speaking at the ceremony, Birkett highlighted Guyana’s intention as a member of the council.

Joining Guyana are five other countries, namely Algeria, Korea, Sierra Leone, and Slovenia.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 13:36:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://magneticmediatv.com/2024/01/fao-food-programme-gets-important-work-done-in-december-for-students-nutrition/
How ‘Incubation’ kitchens are helping food entrepreneurs affordably scale their businesses Eastern Market in Detroit is the oldest and largest public market in the country. It runs 52 weeks a year, draws nearly 40,000 visitors every week, hosts a seasonal Tuesday retail market and a Sunday artisans’ market, and its night wholesale market moves about $20 million worth of wholesale produce seasonally. 

While those statistics are eye-catching, many people don’t realize what else Eastern Market offers, such as the Detroit Kitchen Connect. 

“Eastern Market Partnership has a shared-use commercial kitchen available for rent for food businesses, special events, and cooking/culinary education,” explains Christine Quane, former director of food programming for Eastern Market (who left the company in November 2023). “We also lead a greater network of commercial kitchens that are located in Detroit, Oak Park, Berkley, Royal Oak, Rochester, Ypsilanti, Inkster, and Dearborn.”

The Eastern Market program is among several programs in Michigan helping food entrepreneurs to start, develop and scale their fledgling businesses. Growing Hope has taken on that effort in Ypsilanti, while Can-Do Kalamazoo is doing the same in Southwest Michigan.

Helping local entrepreneurs 

The kitchen at Eastern Market is an “incubation kitchen,” which means that entrepreneurs have three years to grow and scale their businesses before deciding if they are going to move on to their own leased or owned space, or if they plan to work with a co-packer. If an entrepreneur wishes to maintain its current size and scale, it would then need to move to a different commercial kitchen after those three years.

Eastern Market Partnership also has “accelerator space” available for food entrepreneurs. 

“We have five individual food production suites that are available to lease at a subsidized rent that scales toward market rate over a five-year period,” says Quane. “These spaces have hoods and three compartment sinks, but refrigeration and all other equipment is the responsibility of the food entrepreneur.”

The incubator and shared-use commercial kitchen were finished in 2015 with the intent to provide food-safe, affordable space for food entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and to provide a space for special events and culinary education. The accelerator was finished in 2021 with the goal of providing affordable, dedicated production space for scaling food businesses.

Ypsilanti-based Growing Hope offers a licensed incubator kitchen for startup food entrepreneurs.
“I was approached by Eastern Market in 2017 about the incubator space and was super-excited by the opportunity,” says Tara Grey, founder of Gus & Grey Jams. “It was very important to me to make Gus & Grey a Detroit brand, which means it needed to be in the city (not just using the name), and Eastern Market was always my dream location. It's really great to have them as a resource, and they have been stupendous to work with. It's amazing to have 24/7 access to my own kitchen and not have a shared space.”

Realizing a dream

Grey has learned much from Eastern Market’s program, from scaling to creating vision to harnessing the drive. 

“Owning a small business, especially a food-based business, is not for the faint of heart,” Grey shares. “The hustle is real—and it never stops. I have built a lot of relationships along the way, and it has been a true blessing to have people want to help if I am in a pinch, or feeling completely lost.”

Grey’s experience has been “amazing,” and she is excited for what the future holds for her business and others that join Eastern Market’s program.

“The ability to scale and grow with this space has been just incredible,” Grey says. “For a long time, I was also self-delivering, and now I have two distributors and storage space for pallets. The people that I am still meeting through Eastern Market are great, and they have a great model for other towns/cities to follow.”

As the small businesses they help continue to grow, Eastern Market is also looking toward the future. 

“Our goals are to continue to find new markets for our farm and food business partners, to reach more ways to address food access in the city, to provide as much opportunity to as many food businesses as possible,” Quane says.

Growing with help and hope

Another organization helping food entrepreneurs and businesses to learn and grow is Growing Hope. Growing Hope also focuses on food system development and supporting food-related businesses as they get up and running with minimal barriers.
This nonprofit organization focuses on school garden development throughout Ypsilanti, fostering an equitable and sustainable local food system where all people are empowered to grow, sell, buy, prepare, and eat nourishing food. 

Amanda Edmonds founded Growing Hope while she was in graduate school in 2003, and the primary focus then was on school garden development at Perry Early Learning Center. Since then, Growing Hope has expanded into the downtown Ypsilanti Farmers Market, the Depot Town Farmers Market, the Growing Hope Center, the Urban Farm, and the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace with the Growing Hope Incubator Kitchen.

“Growing Hope programs are transformative, educational, inclusive, and are created and delivered through a lens of racial equity,” says Julius Buzzard, Growing Hope’s executive director. “We prioritize serving populations that have the greatest barriers to accessing fresh and affordable food, and our programs empower participants to make eating and purchasing decisions that meet their personal wellness goals. Our programs enable local growers and food businesses to participate in and benefit from a thriving local food system.”

A program for anything

Some of those programs include:

  • Farm and gardens: Supporting people in growing, preparing, and eating nourishing food through hands-on educational opportunities at the Urban Farm and in the community. 
  • Youth and schools: Educating K-12 youth in schools, in the community, and at the Urban Farm about growing and preparing fresh food. They offer a teen leadership training program and support the Farm to School program in the Ypsilanti School District. 
  • Farmers markets: Increasing access to fresh, affordable food by managing two in-person Ypsilanti Farmers Markets and the Ypsilanti Online Farmers Market. These markets prioritize food assistance programs and healthy food education.
  • Food entrepreneurship: Growing local economic opportunities by operating a licensed incubator kitchen and offering training and business support services for farmers and startup food entrepreneurs. 
“Our rooting in the Ypsilanti community continues to deepen as we create healthy and sustainable local food systems that positively impact households, communities, and our economy,” Buzzard explains. “Growing Hope began with the vision of using community and school gardens, and the education they provide, as vehicles for positive social, economic, environmental, and neighborhood change. Recognizing that food insecurity is a key issue for many in the Ypsilanti area, we’ve continuously expanded and evaluated the ways Growing Hope increases access to and education around healthy food. Our work now uses food justice and equity as central tenets as we explore ways of partnering with our neighbors in an effort to establish a more equitable and just community.”

Growing Hope continues to look forward toward advocacy, education, and expansion. It started an online marketplace to increase market availability for growers and decrease food waste, it is working toward relaunching the Indoor Ypsi Farmers Market, refining its sliding scale CSA, building a tool lending library, and increasing the reach of its youth and teen programming. 

Building a business with a can-do attitude

In the mid-2000s, another Michigander realized that her area didn’t have a place where others could make food legally in order to sell it. Lucy Dilley, founder of Can-Do Kalamazoo, (then known as Can-Do Kitchen) was heavily involved in community food and gardening as part of what she calls a “strong local food movement in the area,” but was disappointed by the local resources available to help new businesses develop, package, and sell their food products. So, she created it. 

“I graduated from Western Michigan University with an environmental studies and earth science degree and got into local food for environmental and social justice reasons,” Dilley explains. “I like to get things started that aren’t there. It’s difficult, but also lots of fun and very rewarding. I’m still an environmentalist and local food advocate at heart, and am also fueled by anti-racism because we need our community to be equitable.”

Can-Do Kalamazoo is a nonprofit organization that features a food business incubator kitchen and program for budding and scaling food businesses. It is now also a collaborative hub for entrepreneurs to connect with the many resources and sources of support in the Kalamazoo area. 

Sheena Foster, of Can-Do Kalamazoo, speaks as Lindsay Broveleit, from Newhall Klein (now Matato), looks on.
Can-Do is committed to a more equitable and accessible path to business success for all of Kalamazoo’s entrepreneurs. It is focused on not only providing space and resources for entrepreneurs to make their food products, but also the business tools and information to help them learn, grow, and succeed. Thanks to the community’s small business support services, funders, and entrepreneurs, Can-Do Kalamazoo has transformed into a highly collaborative, strategic business incubator and enterprise hub. 

Thanks to new demand, its incubator space is growing and moving. The new location will include larger rentable kitchen spaces, more storage, coworking spaces with access to conference and meeting rooms, an event space, a classroom, and private offices. 

“We’re growing along with our entrepreneurs,” Dilley says. “So we understand the challenges they are going through as they work on growing their businesses, building capacity, and accessing funding.” 

When Can-Do Kalamazoo’s new building is complete, it will offer membership tiers to provide access to different levels of amenities and benefits. The coworking spaces and private offices will be a place for entrepreneurs and business owners to learn together, work in a dynamic environment, and build important connections. 

Expanding alongside their entrepreneurs

The Can-Do Kalamazoo team has expanded to focus its energy into developing partnerships to help entrepreneurs chart a path with Can-Do, take advantage of the resources provided, and graduate to their next business stage.  

“There is unlimited opportunity with our new hub,” Dilley explains. “It will bring together the community.”

Julie Arch, a previous Can-Do Kalamazoo member, makes pasta.
Their main program, Can-Do Camp, is a 16-week group startup process where budding entrepreneurs will learn all the necessary requirements and best practices for starting a business or taking a new business to a more commercial level. The program has been running twice a year for six years. 

“We connect you to the right people in your industry and set you up for success with one-on-one meetings, business planning, and startup courses,” says Sheena Foster, coordinator of the program. 

While Can-Do Camp is an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs, it also allows local leaders and experts to teach and share their lessons learned and knowledge with others navigating similar trials. 

The latest offering is an online community and resource hub called Can-Do Navigator. It will streamline the intake process so that entrepreneurs have access to resources without having to wonder where they should go next. It also provides a community where entrepreneurs can support each other and share resources. Can-Do Navigator is free to join and will offer many free courses as well as more advanced courses. It is currently in the beta phase, being used by some current Can-Do clients.  

All around the state of Michigan, organizations like Eastern Market, Growing Hope, and Can-Do Kalamazoo are educating, supporting, and helping small food businesses realize their entrepreneurial goals with local tools, resources, and experts.

Kelsey Sanders is a freelance writer and editor based in Norton Shores. When she's not working with words on paper, she owns and operates the wellness company, ThriveWell, which focuses on individuals' and organizations' health, particularly small daily habit changes that create long-term wellness. Or, she's taking pictures of her sleeping one-eyed rescue dog.

Photos courtesy of Growing Hope and Can-Do Kalamazoo. 

This story is part of a series that explores access, equity, and sustainability through Good Food in Michigan’s thriving food economy. This work is made possible by Michigan Good Food and is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Mon, 18 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.modeldmedia.com/features/incubation_kitchens_help_food_entrepreneurs_scale_their_businesses.aspx

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