6 New Tools for Food System Planners

6 New Tools for Food System Planners

Over the last nine years New Venture Advisors has had the privilege of participating in over 60 food systems studies ranging from feasibility studies to market assessments, business plans and strategic business improvement plans. They have ranged in focus from local food hubs to value added processing facilities, kitchen incubators, local grain storage and healthy […]

When to Leap and When to Learn

When to Leap and When to Learn

December…while it is, first and foremost, a time for us to be with our friends and family, be thankful, take out our mittens and hats, and celebrate the season – it is also the time for reflection and planning. This may sound boring to some people, but we tend to geek out over this stuff […]

9 Trends in Food Hub Planning

After two years working with incredible, diverse and passionate local project teams on dozens of food system assessments, I always get excited when we start a new project. We have no preconceived ideas about the local food landscape or the direction we think a food enterprise model will take – we let the research and […]

Don’t waste a perfectly good failure

I was having one of those memorable group dinners last weekend that jumps from one fun topic to another, and has us sharing and learning new things about ourselves. One question that popped up for all to reflect on was “what accomplishment are you most proud of in life?” After some thought, my answer surprised […]

Rural Grocery Stores as Food Hubs — 2 Birds, 1 Stone?

Here’s a question we are hearing more and more from client teams and community planning groups: can a food hub work in a small, rural community? One might expect the result of a feasibility study for a food hub in this context to be “no-go”. The low overall population in these towns means that market […]

 Whatcom County Food System Plan

The Whatcom County Food System Committee recently conducted a community food assessment that pointed to key opportunities to build a more robust and resilient regional food system. New Venture Advisors will partner with Whatcom County staff and the Food System Committee to draft a Whatcom County Food System Plan that builds upon these findings. This Plan will focus on six sectors of the food system including fishing, farming, labor, food access, environment, and waste, and will be informed by an inclusive and equitable 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. (2022)

 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. (2022)