Growth Strategy

This is our core management consulting service. We help startups stabilize through sales and marketing strategy, financial management and operations assessment. We help later-stage companies grow by identifying and evaluating new opportunities using business case and capital budgeting analysis – tools similar to those we employ in our feasibility assessments.

And we help established food businesses develop strategies and innovations that drive growth because they are rooted in our understanding of the motivations and values that are fueling the good food movement, a seism that continues to reconfigure shelves, menus and plates in every channel of the food industry.

About Us

New Venture Advisors is a team of business consultants specializing in local food system planning and new enterprise development.

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Growth Strategy Projects

Learn how we have helped our clients develop growth strategies below.

The Food Mill Operating Model

Columbus, GA

The Food Mill will become a multifunctional food farmacy to help eliminate barriers and solve issues that lead to food insecurity in Columbus, GA. Operating from the kitchen of a local restaurant and catering business, The Food Mill will offer healthy prepared meals made with locally sourced ingredients to families that are food insecure. In partnership with MercyMed Columbus, a nonprofit healthcare clinic that is located right next door, The Food Mill will also offer medically tailored meals to give patients with diet-related diseases access to proper nutrition for their specific illness. The Food Mill will also invite neighborhood entrepreneurs to build their food businesses in its shared kitchen. New Venture Advisors is developing a plan that unifies these businesses under one operating model and expands the retail footprint through a mobile market that will bring prepared meals and fresh grocery items to Columbus Housing Authority locations. (2020)

Shagbark Seed & Mill Growth Plan

Athens, OH

Shagbark Seed & Mill is a social enterprise launched by the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative in 2010 to purchase, aggregate, store, process, value-add, market, and distribute certified organic Ohio-grown bean and grain products. They currently sell to stores, restaurants, and institutions across the mid-Atlantic region. At 10 years in business, Shagbark Seed & Mill is contemplating growth strategies that will enable the company to double its product sales over the next 3-4 years and support more Ohio and Appalachian family farms. The company is working with New Venture Advisors to conduct a business review, recommend operational, financial and market strategies, and create a roadmap that will guide the company through its next phase of growth. (2020)

Can-Do Kitchen Strategic Plan

Kalamazoo, MI

Can-Do Kitchen is embarking on a needed and ambitious expansion, potentially tripling its footprint to serve a growing number of current and aspiring food business owners in the Kalamazoo area. They must grow at a sustainable pace so that it continues to be the vital resource its members rely on for their livelihood and responds to the needs of the next generation of food business owners. New Venture Advisors is developing a facility relocation strategy that will help Can-Do Kitchen plan for programmatic growth in ways that meet the needs of entrepreneurs and at the same time is a smart business move for the organization. (2020)

Great Plains Food Bank Mobile Market

Fargo, ND

For 36 years, the Great Plains Food Bank has been working to end hunger across North Dakota and western Minnesota. As the only food bank in this service area, they distribute more than 12 million meals annually to over 102,000 food insecure residents through a number of innovative programs. New Venture Advisors assessed the viability of a new initiative: a mobile market that serves communities across the state that lack a grocery store. The market would operate as a social enterprise, deploying the assets, staff and know-how of their existing mobile food pantry program as a for-profit business that sells fresh and shelf-stable food sourced through the central food bank and purchased from farms and food makers in retail market locations. (2020)

Commonwealth Kitchen Strategic Roadmap

Boston, MA

This innovative, non-profit kitchen incubator is among a small but growing class of kitchen incubators with an ambitious vision and complex model—combining shared kitchen space with hands-on business support for entrepreneurs, building co-packing capabilities, growing a brand and a sales and marketing arm, and operating with a specific focus on minority and women entrepreneurs. Through a detailed review of the current organization and business lines, NVA developed a set of proposed paths for the organization to follow to attain its financial goals, developed comprehensive financial projections for these strategies and established a five-year roadmap for implementation. (2017)

Sustainable Food Center Visioning Initiative

Austin, TX

The Sustainable Food Center (SFC) is an Austin-based nonprofit organization with involvement in every aspect of the local, Central Texas, food system. SFC works to cultivate a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and increasing access to nutritious, affordable food. In looking ahead, SFC asked, “How is the local food system likely to evolve, and what is our future as the centerpiece of this changing food system?” SFC worked with NVA to refresh its vision by answering these and the many underlying questions in order to clarify its future role, structure and plans. (2019)

Kōkua Kalihi Valley Strategic Plan

Honolulu, HI

Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services (KKV) is a community health center created in 1972 to meet the local region’s need for proper health care. KKV’s mission is to “work toward healing, reconciliation and the alleviation of suffering in Kalihi Valley through strong relationships that honor culture and foster health and harmony.” The ROOTS Program of KKV supports this mission with a variety of programs that provide direct assistance, training, education, and connection through growing, preparing, and sharing food as a community. New Venture Advisors developed a strategic plan to clarify the operating structure and financial performance of the programs and enterprises within the ROOTS Program today and to provide a roadmap for the future. (2019)

Cornell University Eastern Broccoli Project

Ithaca, NY

This project began at a time when high transportation costs, interest in locally grown food, and sustainability concerns had begun to create demand for Eastern-grown broccoli. Researchers at Cornell University along with other academic and industry partners have been focused on developing a reliable, high quality, year-round supply of Eastern-grown broccoli that is welcomed in East Coast markets. NVA assisted these efforts in exploring strategies for boosting trade acceptance of this promising specialty crop. (2019)

LISC Phoenix Commercial Kitchen Strategy

Phoenix and Mesa, AZ

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation, known as LISC, is one of the largest nonprofits in the country supporting projects to revitalize communities, transforming them into healthy and sustainable places to live, work, and raise families. Two projects in metro Phoenix, a cultural center and an affordable housing development, include commercial kitchens that will operate with a missional emphasis on job creation and serving small businesses, particularly local, women, native and minority-owned. NVA assisted in building the capacity of the management teams, and the refinement of their operating models. (2018)

Central Appalachian Food Enterprise Corridor

Abingdon, VA

Appalachian Sustainable Development and ACENet are two of the longest standing and most established food hubs in the U.S. These pioneering organizations recognize that between them is a corridor of farms and food businesses across VA, WV, KY and OH that may all benefit from coordinated marketing, operations, logistics and transportation services. Through funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the organizations have embarked on a joint planning effort to explore models that might enable them to operate more profitably in their rural settings. NVA assisted in this effort by highlighting examples of innovative, successful models that have been established worldwide in order to connect rural, dispersed agricultural producers to mainstream markets. (2018)

Prairie Crossing

Grayslake, IL

Through’s Building for Growth project, New Venture Advisors consulted with Prairie Crossing Farm in evaluating capital investments in its Farm Business Development Center to expand production on Prairie Crossing’s 90-acre organic farm. (2011)

Blue Ridge Produce

Elkwood, VA

As Blue Ridge evolved from a business startup to an ongoing operation, New Venture Advisors assisted in setting up its bookkeeping system, developing a dashboard and creating tracking mechanisms for expenses and key performance indicators. (2014)

Headwater Food Hub

Rochester, NY

Facing capacity constraints in its existing facility, Headwater Foods, Inc. began building the business case to relocate its operation to a new site and expand into new lines of business. New Venture Advisors conducted market research to better understand the impact supply might have on their expansion, and the nature of demand for new products. (2015)