Jim Carbine

Food Industry Strategist


Jim Carbine is a business consultant, entrepreneur and C-Level operations & sales executive with 38 years of experience in the food and packaging industries. Currently, Jim consults in the good food space and on sustainable food system projects around the country, including as a technical expert to New Venture Advisors. Before moving to Grand Rapids in 2020, Jim was CEO of Local Foods, a Chicago-based regional wholesale food distributor—serving restaurants, caterers, institutional clients, and food service companies in the Upper Midwest—with a retail grocery store and butcher shop. Local Foods unique business model connects local smaller-scale ranchers, growers, entrepreneurs, and makers to wholesale buyers and retail shoppers searching for clean, source identified, sustainable food for their customers and families.

Jim’s previous experience in supply chain development and design included co-founding and operating two critically-acclaimed restaurants and an urban culinary farm in New Jersey that supported the development and expansion of a locally-sourced foodservice supply network. He also co-founded the Front Burner Foundation, a non profit focused on building a more diverse, skilled, and financially literate workforce in the restaurant, hospitality and food & beverage industries.

Jim and his wife Andrea, who also consults with New Venture Advisors, live in Grand Rapids, MI.




 Whatcom County Food System Plan

In 2021, the Whatcom County Food System Committee conducted a community food assessment that pointed to key opportunities to build a more robust and resilient regional food system. New Venture Advisors partnered with Whatcom County staff and the Food System Committee to draft a Whatcom County Food System Plan that builds upon these findings. This Plan focuses on five key goals for building a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient food system, and was informed by an inclusive community engagement process. The Food System Plan will provide the county with a policy roadmap that will strengthen the local food system for years to come. (2023)

 Whatcom Local Food Campus

The Whatcom Community Foundation invests in activities and organizations that improve the ability of people to help themselves, increase connections among people, and take cooperative approaches to community issues. WCF is exploring the development of a local food campus on a waterfront property that would become a multi-tenant site, anchored by a collaborative production kitchen benefitting food access, school system, and community organizations. The goal is strengthening Whatcom County’s local food system by promoting health equity, forging tangible strategic connections between food production organizations, and helping farmers connect with institutional markets. The facility will also feature an incubation kitchen, demonstration kitchen, event and classroom space, collaborative office and conference facilities, and housing.  New Venture Advisors developed the business case for this ambitious project and continues to support its development through engagement and operational development. (2023)