Case Study: Shenandoah Agricultural Enterprise Center

Case Study: Shenandoah Agricultural Enterprise Center

The Central Shenandoah Valley, population 368,000, is a large geographic area spanning 4,264 square miles in western Virginia. The region includes seven counties—Augusta, Bath, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Shenandoah—and the five independent cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro. The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC) represents the governments in this area […]

Good Food Glossary: CSA

Good Food Glossary: CSA

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a farming practice that promotes a shared commitment by consumers and growers to build a more local and equitable agricultural system. Introduced in the mid-80s, CSAs are “a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, […]

Good Food Glossary: Food Desert

Good Food Glossary: Food Desert

What is a food desert? The CDC characterizes a food desert as an area lacking in affordable fruits and vegetables, often found in rural, minority or low-income areas where access to healthy foods are limited (CDC 2011). In recent years, the term has been used to characterize a number of scenarios: a community’s low access […]

Good Food Glossary: Shared-Use Kitchen

Good Food Glossary: Shared-Use Kitchen

A simple definition of a shared-use kitchen is a certified commercial kitchen in which individuals or businesses prepare value-added food products and meals, usually paying an hourly or daily rate to lease a space shared by others. These spaces are most often used by culinary or packaged food entrepreneurs and can have positive social, economic, […]

How Dollar Stores are Changing Downtown America

How Dollar Stores are Changing Downtown America

A year ago, we started work on a project for the Kansas-based Sunflower Foundation, in partnership with the Rural Grocery Initiative (RGI) at Kansas State University, to understand the challenges rural grocery stores face. Of particular focus was the issue of distribution in light of the recent consolidation of two major food wholesalers in the […]

Good Food Glossary: Supply Chain vs. Value Chain

Good Food Glossary: Supply Chain vs. Value Chain

Why a Value Chain is the new Supply Chain While presenting to a client in Texas on supply chains, we realized that we were using the words supply chain and value chain interchangeably — is that correct? The answer is no. But, like all “food system terms” in the Good Food Glossary, it’s complicated. A […]

Toolsite Spotlight: A How-To Guide for MarketSizer® and HubSizer® Users

Toolsite Spotlight: A How-To Guide for MarketSizer® and HubSizer® Users

New Venture Advisors launched the MarketSizer® and HubSizer® Toolsite earlier this year to enable anyone to conduct preliminary assessments of various types of food system infrastructure. The results allow users to refine their food business concepts and due diligence plans. The Toolsite has been used by more than 1,000 visitors since March 2018. We surveyed […]

 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 school district commissary. The goal is to strengthen 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. NVA developed the business case for this ambitious project and continues to support its development. (2021)