Food Processing Operations
Food processing often emerges in our Food System Assessments and Feasibility Studies as a critical gap. Institutional buyers might have limited ability to wash and cut vegetables, so they need to purchase their goods cut and ready to cook. Local food is available and most cost effective during the few months of the year that schools – prime buyers of local produce – are out of session. There may be a strong interest among ranchers in expanding their production but lack of USDA slaughter and/or meat processing capabilities is holding them back.
In addition to helping better connect local food with local buyers, food processing can serve many other economic development related goals. These types of businesses can sometimes be located in abandoned facilities. They also often generate a myriad of jobs for the community. Depending on their scale, they can bring tax revenue to the region.
New Venture Advisors helps clients determine if food processing is needed within their local food landscape, and if so, what type of food processing should be offered. We then work with them to develop the right business model and scale of the enterprise. We have experience in fresh cut processing, IQF / frozen processing, grains processing, cheese manufacturing, and meat processing.
Food Processing Projects
Detroit Eastern Market Corporation
Eastern Market Corporation is a nonprofit organization that manages Detroit’s historic Eastern Market and plays a critical role in fostering local food system development and healthy food access via a number of innovative initiatives. New Venture Advisors worked with EMC to develop a business plan for a local individually quick frozen (IQF) processing facility that would provide a new sales channel for regional growers, and increase access to local produce year-round for Detroit area institutions. (2016)
Floyd Food Company
SustainFloyd is a nonprofit organization in rural Virginia that develops new ideas to support the next generation of Blue Ridge Plateau’s rural community while preserving its resources, traditions and heritage. New Venture Advisors worked with SustainFloyd to develop a business plan for a value-added agricultural center to process and market locally-produced fruits, vegetables and dairy products. The business launched in 2014 as the Floyd Food Company, beginning with a line of frozen soups. (2013)
Headwater Food Hub
Headwater Foods, Inc. is a thriving food hub in upstate New York with a wholesale business line and a CSA service. New Venture Advisors worked with Headwater on a market assessment to quantify institutional demand for fresh cut produce, in order to help the hub determine if and how to pursue a new processing business line. The project is moving forward and the processing facility will launch in 2016. (2015)