North Sound Food Hub at Bow Hill Blueberries Goes Indiegogo!

foodhub_kickstarter_smallOur friends at Bow Hill Bluberries and Northwest Agricultural Business Center (NABC) have launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund a North Sound Food Hub.  This Hub will build local infrastructure that will aggregate farm products from across the Skagit Valley to be sold at metro area hospitals, daycares, buying clubs and restaurants.  It creates a carpool via a truck secured by NABC to reduce the time, money, and gas typically spent delivering these products.

The $8,000 ask will cover overhead expenses for the first year so that they can offer their warehouse and storage to farmers free of charge for the 2013 growing season.

Check out the video and consider supporting this project!

Food Investor Network Spring Meeting

Last Monday almost 30 investors came out to hear pitches from regional businesses that are building a healthier, more sustainable food system at our Food Investor Network.  We heard about opportunities to get healthier options into school fundraisers, help a local pickle maker meet rising demand, assist a pioneer in cooked beans expand nationally, launch a hydroponic lettuce operation,  and get in on the ground floor of an game changing organic grade natural seed coating that makes plants more drought resistant.

Tim at FIN

A special shout out also goes out to our sponsors for providing delicious food and drink.  Thank you Starvation Alley Farms, Black Rock Spirits, The Better Bean Company, Heidi Ho Veganics, Britt’s Pickles, Ubrlocal, Urban Bee Company, Keep It Real Food Company, and Holy Mountain Brewery!

 

In case you missed the event, you can check out the pictures on our facebook page.

Join Us May 31st for Woody Tasch, Carol Peppe Hewitt, and Growing Our Local Food System

We hope that you will join us May 31st for an evening of inspiration and action with the founder and chairman of Slow Money, Woody Tasch. This event will be an excellent opportunity to connect with your food and community while learning about the quiet revolution happening across the country that is empowering citizens and entrepreneurs to have a direct impact on building a healthier food system, together.

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Woody’s book, Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money, launched a movement to bring the financial system back to earth, and sparked the formation dozens of affiliate organizations, including our own Slow Money NW.  We are fortunate to have Woody share his compelling vision of a transformed economy and sustainable food system.

Carol Peppe Hewitt, co-founder of Slow Money North Carolina,  anchors Woody’s vision in reality, having connected local farmers and food businesses to almost $700,000 in community capital.  Her recent  book, Financing Our Foodshed, chronicles the successes of Slow Money pioneers in supporting food and farm businesses  in North Carolina, and the innovative mechanisms they have used, without crowdfunding or IPO’s or relying on accredited investors.  This means that all people, even those without great wealth, can invest in businesses they are passionate about and that align with their values.

The founder and director of Slow Money NW, Tim Crosby, will then be sharing how we can put these proven methods to work here in the Pacific Northwest.  Regional groups are forming to do just that in the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon and we see an opportunity to expand the work we are doing here in Seattle.

Tickets can be purchased here for $5.  The event will be held in Pike Place Market’s new 3rd floor event space from 5-8pm. Parking is available at the Public Market Garage for just $5 after 5pm.  For questions, please contact Rachel Hynes at rachel@slowmoneynw.org or at 206.395.6236.

 

See you there!

Reflections from the National Gathering

What do a small farmer from Kentucky, Wells Fargo Bank, a nonprofit leader, a large scale natural food entrepreneur, The New York Times, and a local grain miller have in common? All were in attendance at this week’s Slow Money National Gathering in Boulder. There is no question that this movement is growing, with an increasing number of mainstream institutions and traditional investors joining the conversation. SM National Gathering

We just returned from this event, where we engaged in inspiring conversation with over 650 entrepreneurs, investors, and practioners.  Also in attendance were food luminaries such as Carlo Petrini, Wes Jackson, and Joan Dye Gussow, who spoke about the common sense nature of the work we do, the challenges to doing it, and the policy changes that will support the shift to a healthier system.

Twenty-five entrepreneurs from across the country pitched their businesses to potential investors, including two from Washington State.  Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies makes an organic grade seed coating which increases a plant’s resistance  to harsh conditions. This game-changing enterprise will present their opportunity at our Showcase on May 20th.  Also representing the Northwest, was CPOW Livestock Processor Cooperative, who recently broke ground on a meat processing plant in Eastern Washington that will shorten the supply chain and boost the profits of their member ranchers.

So what did we learn? We at SMNW are pioneers, and not just in the larger financial movement.  We have the largest budget of any of the regional chapters and our additional efforts have paid off:  NW regional investors have placed $5 million of the total $25 million for all 16 chapters.  While our focus has been on connecting entrepreneurs with accredited investors, our sister organization in North Carolina has had success with non-accredited investors as well.

Invigorated by the presence of  so many people with so much passion to fix our broken financial and food systems, we return to the Northwest with a renewed commitment to expand our work here in the Puget Sound Region

In case you missed the gathering it is possible to purchase access to the archives.