PANEL 8 Viable Enterprises Other Than Fruits and Vegetables


Moderator – Margaret Connors (MC)

Bonita Oehlke (BO)

Jen Faigel (JF)

Kyle Sturgeon (KS)

Tonya Johnson (TJ)


Note: is it possible to get BG’s slides for this session?


BG: starting off by giving a slideshow about adding-value



Adding value is anything that takes a raw good and makes it more enticing to a consumer

o Can involve changing form (apple -> applesauce) but also quality assurance

o There are many benefits to producing or procuring locally, but the definition of local

depends on the context.

o National Restaurant Association supports local food

o Producing locally, being sustainable, and telling a story are all important

o There are many resources (types of assistance available for starting a business)

o There are 8 “buy local” state campaigns; if you’re starting a business, tap into one!


KS: is testing out aquaponic systems at BAC and is passionate about leveraging the power of big



MC :Urban Farmers (UFers) are constantly looking into how to get value-added products to use UF



MC: What is missing from cottage industries and how do we get them to be viable?


Aud: Tell the story of how most mass-quantity food is produced and then make people want your good

because it is produced differently.


MC: The problem is scaling cottage industries up.


JF: When people come to our kitchen, we try to get them to simplify and make their product easier to



BO: Telling your story and being transparent can help you reach a price point that is viable.


KS: Thinking of aquaponics – modes of delivery & built in efficiency are two high points that any cottage

industry should have. Also, capturing externalities (like your knowledge) might help to make businesses

more viable.


Aud: How do you have a viable business model by selling to low-income communities?


MC: Sell high to restaurants and low to low-income markets (and/or take government food supports like

SNAP, WIC, Food stamps).


JF: By cutting transportation costs, the hope is to make food more affordable. CSAs can also help with

price points for farmers.


MC: government provides huge subsidies to agribusiness; can we get them for our enterprises?


Aud: I buy the food that’s expensive and I’ve eventually found that it’s worth it but I pay all the

transportation costs (I drive to get it myself) and I’m lucky enough to be able to afford it. What about

those who can’t?


Aud: using urban farms might be a way to start addressing this.


KS: My new model is making ideas to spread via my institutional presence and creating a new agenda

that way. I’m an architect and using my position at an institute to spread good ideas. Not being in it to

make any money helps and maybe we all should be a little more like that.


JF: My model is to take out as many barriers as possible so we can get more people to produce more

goods. Additionally, connecting entrepreneurs can create interesting new answers to problems


JF: I’m all about equity to asset creation

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