Crafting a Vision for the Next Ten Years of Food and Beverage
2023 marks 10 years of FFI’s support for food and farm businesses in Wisconsin and beyond. At the Food Finance Forum, we showcased the past decade of FFI’s investment in food while simultaneously looking forward, exploring next steps for building a stronger, more resilient, and diversified food and farm sector.
Opening remarks from Missy Hughes
Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), spoke about opportunities within Wisconsin’s food and beverage businesses during her opening remarks at the Food Finance Institute’s 2023 Food Finance Forum.
Morning Panel Discussion – “Financing Food Brands that Work”
A panel discussion with the founders / chief officers of:
- Milwaukee Pretzel – a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of authentic Bavarian Pretzels distributed nationally for food service and retail grocery stores
- Clock Shadow Creamery / Hill Valley Dairy – a Milwaukee-based urban microcheesery, making local artisan cheeses
- T4 Solutions – a Pewaukee based cloud-based temperature controlled secure locker system to enable profitable food & beverage ecommerce
- Kakadoodle – a Frankfort, IL ecommerce D2C platform selling & delivering local farm products to consumers
- ReadySet – a De Pere-based technology platform to help consumer brands and retailers to optimize their product mix and attributes
Afternoon Panel Discussion – “Future of the Sector”
Industry experts discussed what’s next for food and farm industries. Panelists included:
- Naturally Minnesota, Julie Kucinski | Board Member
- Fair Food Fund, Joel Moyer | Acting Sr. Director of Impact Investing & Director of Investments
- Proofing Station, Cortney Renton | Executive Director
- Chippewa Valley Angel Investor Network (CVAIN), Pete Marsnik | Executive Director
- Entrepreneur and Academic, Nic Mink | co-founder of Sitka Salmon Shares and Managing Member and Chief Restoration Officer of Seven Acre Dairy
Thank you to all our attendees for taking the time to connect, converse, celebrate, and learn—working alongside us to cultivate an empowering future for food businesses and the communities they serve.
The Food Finance Forum shares successes of our Fellows Program, our community, and our collective work to build impactful food and farm businesses. Core partners are the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, UW System and the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship, Wisconsin Small Business Development Centers, FaB Wisconsin and our sponsoring partners.