Our Clients

Our clients are community-based organizations, NGOs, municipal planners, investors and entrepreneurs. Their common thread is a shared goal of creating a more connected and equitable food system within their communities. They seek greater access to markets and technical assistance for their local farmers and producers. And they envision more nutritious and sustainably sourced food in their local institutions, restaurants and markets.

Here’s a quick look at a selection of our clients building sustainable food systems and businesses across the country and globe:

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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Contact Us

Interested in partnering with New Venture Advisors on your next local food systems project?

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Selected Projects

The projects we’ve embarked on with our clients have covered all phases of our food venture planning process and have led to the development of our ever evolving areas of expertise.

A selection of projects is shared below.

Supporting Food Entrepreneurs

Lagos, Nigeria

International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Creating opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets is a key priority of IFC. NVA is assisting IFC in evaluating support services that may enable Nigerian SMEs in the food & beverage sector to successfully access and compete in the formal supply chain. (2017)

The Hatchery

Chicago, IL

In partnership with IFF, Accion and the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago, New Venture Advisors assessed the market demand for a large, innovative food business incubator to be developed in East Garfield Park and serve as a job creator in this lower income neighborhood. The incubator would combine private production kitchens, a shared-use kitchen and comprehensive business support services, filling a much needed gap for food entrepreneurs in Chicago. (2017)

Whatcom Local Food Campus

Bellingham, WA

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 will 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 is developing the business case for this ambitious project. (2017)

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 is assisting 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. (2017)

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)

Northwest Kansas Food Hub

Bird City, KS

The Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation and Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center, Inc. are assessing the viability of a food hub to be located in Northwest Kansas. The project will be instrumental in discerning whether a permanent food hub is a viable option for bringing more fresh produce to the Kansas market. The project team is conducting this study on its own, using NVA’s Do-It-Yourself Feasibility Study Toolkit that features coaching from NVA through a 10-step work plan. (2017)

Worcester Regional Food Hub

Worcester, MA

The Worcester Regional Food Hub has been a collaborative effort between the Regional Environmental Council of Central Massachusetts (REC) and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, made possible by the generous support of the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts. The food hub, piloted as a kitchen incubator and aggregation hub in 2016, seeks to enhance the regional economy through improved producer and consumer networks, targeted workforce development programs, and business incubation. NVA is assisting REC and its partners in assessing the market and developing a business plan for the hub’s next stage of growth. (2017)

Kansas Statewide Food Distribution Study

Topeka, KS

The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans directs resources toward helping Kansans and Kansas communities achieve and maintain optimal health. Access to fresh food in the many rural communities across the state is of chief concern as rural grocery stores continue to close at an alarming rate. Together with the Rural Grocery Initiative at K-State, Sunflower and NVA are assessing the food distribution landscape in Kansas to propose innovative, alternative strategies that will provide critical support to rural grocery stores throughout the state of Kansas. (2017)

Rural Grocery Food Hub Assessment

Beloit, KS

The North Central Regional Planning Commission of Kansas is spearheading a study to support rural growers, consumers and grocery stores in North Central Kansas. Its vision is to assist rural grocery stores in establishing a local food hub within their operation to bring them additional revenue, provide new sources of revenue for local producers, and bring more local agricultural products into the community. NVA is leading the study, which began with grocery store owners conducting self-assessments using NVA’s Rural Grocery HubSizer™ tool. (2017)

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 is assisting these efforts in exploring strategies for boosting trade acceptance of this promising specialty crop. (2017)

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 is assisting in building the capacity of the management teams, and the refinement of their operating models. (2017)

Frenchtown KitchenShare Food Business Incubator

Tallahassee, FL

Tallahassee’s first food-based incubator is located in historic Frenchtown, one of Tallahassee’s poorest neighborhoods and food deserts. KitchenShare provides equipment access, business training, product development, marketing and networking to early stage food businesses. NVA is assisting in the development of the business plan to launch an online marketplace that enables regional farms, KitchenShare food entrepreneurs and area wholesale customers to buy and sell from each other. (2017)

California Food Hub Network

Davis, CA

University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program is a statewide program committed to strengthening California’s agriculture by advancing knowledge of the science of sustainability, supporting farmers and ranchers working to develop more sustainable agricultural practices, and assisting communities in building strong and healthy regional food systems. UC SAREP convenes a collaborative learning group of California food hubs which NVA assisted in evaluating potential network models. (2017)

Livingston County Small Grains Hub

Geneseo, NY

New Venture Advisors is assisting the Livingston County Industrial Development Agency in assessing the feasibility of establishing a grain center that would support grain producers in the region and respond to increasing demand for New York-grown grains for microbrewing, distilling and baking. If developed, the enterprise could anchor a new agribusiness park and serve as a catalyst for the development of an industrial grain cluster in the greater Rochester region. (2017)

Kane County Food Hub

Geneva, IL

In partnership with Kane County Planning, New Venture Advisors is conducting a feasibility study to assess and develop a food hub that serves Kane County residents as well as the greater Chicago foodshed. This study grew out of Kane County’s Health Impact Assessment, and has a specific focus on improving healthy food access in Kane County. Through a dedicated Health Equity phase of work, New Venture Advisors identified unique business model components that ensure the hub’s products will reach Kane County low-income residents and institutions that serve these communities. (2017)

Northwest Connecticut Food Hub Feasibility Study

Litchfield, CT

The Northwest Connecticut Food Hub Feasibility Study is spearheaded by the Northwest Hills Council of Governments and Partners for Sustainable Healthy Communities. The study is part of an effort to strengthen Northwest Connecticut’s local food landscape and support the region’s farmers in expanding and improving the profitability of their operations. New Venture Advisors is guiding the efforts of this highly skilled and motivated team of stakeholders and local leaders through each phase of the stage-gate process. (2017)

Rural Grocery Store Initiative

Kansas, Iowa, Michigan

Rural grocery stores are closing at an alarming rate. This study explores the feasibility of adapting these stores into food hubs, providing additional revenue streams and an additional inducement for distributors to service these remote locations to prevent closings. Funded in part through the USDA, New Venture Advisors is conducting baseline feasibility analysis with 4 stores in 3 states. Results will be published throughout 2016. (2016)

Eastern Market Processing Facility

Detroit, MI

New Venture Advisors worked with Eastern Market Corporation to develop a business plan for a local individually quick frozen (IQF) produce processing facility. The operation has a three-pronged mission: to provide new sales channels for regional growers, to increase access to local produce year-round at Detroit-area institutions and retail outlets, and to provide economic development opportunities through a workforce training program and food entrepreneur resources. (2016)

Project Angel Heart Food Enterprise

Denver, CO

Project Angel Heart (PAH) delivers medically modified meals to improve quality of life, at no cost, for those coping with life-threatening illnesses. New Venture Advisors worked with PAH to develop a business plan for a Community Partners Program through which the organization would contract with hospitals to provide meals to patients upon discharge. The program would serve as a new revenue stream for the organization and would help providers align with new requirements and incentives emerging from the Affordable Care Act. The program is launching in 2016. (2016)

The Food Trust Small Store Initiative

Philadelphia, PA

New Venture Advisors assisted The Food Trust in conducting a national scan of distribution networks that serve small stores such as corner stores, bodegas, convenience stores, fuel-based retail and rural grocers. The project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, examined the supply chain that moves food from production to the point of consumption to better understand the barriers in bringing fresher and more nutritious foods to small stores. (2016)

Read the report here.

FairAcre Traders

New England

FairAcre Traders was incubated by Wholesome Wave and New Venture Advisors to facilitate trade between farms, food hubs and the nation’s largest wholesale distributors which move 99% of the food consumed in the U.S. A successful 2015 pilot with Red Tomato in New England is expanding to serve new regions, hubs and customers. (2016)

Bridgeport Downtown Development

Bridgeport, CT

Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District is focused on the development and revitalization of downtown Bridgeport, CT. New Venture Advisors worked with Carmody Consulting on the development of an action plan to revitalize Bridgeport’s downtown district through food enterprise development, based on a series of interviews and a community planning session. (2015)

Headwater Food Hub

Rochester, NY

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 support of the hub’s plans for a new processing business line. (2015)

Landmarks Illinois Chicago Public School Redevelopment

Chicago, IL

Landmarks Illinois is the state’s leading voice for historic preservation. New Venture Advisors worked with Landmarks Illinois and Chicago Public Schools to identify reuse opportunities for 18 schools that had been closed by the board of education to combat budget deficits. Recognizing Chicago as a growing hub of entrepreneurial activity in food and beverage, New Venture Advisors explored adaptive reuse cases centered on important assets of these schools – their kitchens, grounds, and multi-use spaces – that could serve as a foundation for food enterprises. Read the report here. (2015)

New London Food Hub Feasibility Study

New London, CT

This study, led by United Way of Southeastern Connecticut and the New London County Food Policy Council, assessed the food landscape in the region to determine the optimal operating model for a food hub in the county and the financial viability of this potential hub. The study resulted in a decision to move forward with a nonprofit, services-focused food hub whose aim is to support growers in expanding production. (2015)

Crawford County Community Food Assessment

Pittsburg, KS

Under the guidance of Eat Well Crawford County and with support from Kansas State University’s Center for Engagement and Community Development, New Venture Advisors conducted a food systems assessment of Crawford County, among the lowest-income counties in Kansas. The goal of this study was to develop a prioritized action plan to focus Eat Well’s energy and efforts for the next several years. (2015)

Michigan Food Hub Network IT Platform

Lansing, MI

The Michigan Food Hub Network is co-convened by Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems and Morse Marketing Connections, LLC. The Network’s overarching goal is to build the capacity of Michigan food hubs and the partners that assist them so the hubs can better supply healthy food to underserved markets in the state. New Venture Advisors worked with the Network to conduct a feasibility study assessing the need, function, ownership structure, and start-up and maintenance costs of a potential statewide IT platform. The goals of the system are to improve performance and create more seamless communication and potential transactions across all Michigan food hubs and their business partners. (2015)

Chesapeake Harvest Food Hub

Easton, MD

New Venture Advisors assisted Easton Economic Development Corporation in developing a business plan for an integrated farm and food hub that aggregates from producers and invests in essential infrastructure to enable Eastern Shore farmers to expand market reach, increase the supply of healthy foods to the region and create employment opportunities, while donating the equivalent of five percent of sales in food to food access programs in its trade area. The hub launched in 2016. (2015)

Western New York Food Hub

Buffalo, NY

Field & Fork Network is a food and farming organization focused on building a resilient regional food system in Western New York. In partnership with Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Field & Fork worked with New Venture Advisors to complete a feasibility study and business plan for a food hub connecting small farms and wholesale customers, building a thriving, healthy community through local food. (2015)

Angelic Organics Learning Center Roots & Wings Food Hub

Rockford, IL

Angelic Organics Learning Center is a regional leader helping urban and rural people build sustainable local food and farm systems. The Learning Center works with stakeholders in low-income communities in the City of Rockford to increase food security through education, youth and adult urban agriculture projects, and local food enterprises including a CSA and farmstand. New Venture Advisors assisted with a feasibility study to expand these enterprises into a wholesale and retail food hub. (2015)

Casper Community Food Assessment

Casper, WY

Bould Development aims to strengthen the local food system to increase the health and prosperity of the Casper community. The project’s ambitious leader is a medical student who believes that the food system is the nation’s primary healthcare system, and that building a better food system is foundational to better health for his community. Through funding from USDA, Prevention Management Organization of Wyoming, Casper Area Economic Development Alliance, Casper Community Greenhouse Project, and Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center, New Venture Advisors led a Community Food Assessment to identify barriers to and strategies for the development of a more robust food system for the Casper area. (2015)

International Rescue Committee New Roots Food Hub

San Diego, CA

The IRC in San Diego creates innovative and sustainable projects that increase healthy, locally-grown, culturally-appropriate foods for and by refugee and low-income communities. IRC partners closely with clients, local neighborhoods and organizations throughout San Diego County to find durable solutions to food insecurity, health problems, and economic hardship through community-based food and farming projects. One such project is the New Roots Food Hub. New Venture Advisors developed a business plan to strengthen and expand the food hub to more effectively serve refugee farmers and customers in San Diego seeking these unique, fresh, local products. (2015)

HOPE Collaborative Food Hub

Oakland, CA

A committed group of community members and local organizations formed this collaboration in 2007 to create a healthier, more prosperous and vibrant city. A new food hub is one way this innovative group is working toward its vision for neighborhoods that provide equitable access to affordable, healthy, locally-grown food. New Venture Advisors assisted with a feasibility study and business plan. (2014)

SustainFloyd Dairy and Value-Added Processing Center

Floyd, VA

Assisting the vibrant agricultural community on the Blue Ridge Plateau toward a resilient future, SustainFloyd works to develop new ideas that will support the next generation of its rural community while preserving its resources, traditions and heritage. Among many creative ideas in development, SustainFloyd explored a value-added agricultural center to process and market locally-produced fruits, vegetables and dairy products. New Venture Advisors completed the business plan and the business began operations in 2014. (2013)

Wholesome Wave Food Hub Business Assessment Toolkit

Bridgeport, CT

New Venture Advisors worked with Wholesale Wave on the development of a technology toolkit to help food hubs be more strategic in selecting their technology vendors. The toolkit guides food hubs through the process of evaluating their overall work flow, establishing their technology needs at every step in their work flow, and developing a set of requirements for their technology provider. The toolkit also provides initial guidance on the landscape of potential technology providers food hubs might consider working with. (2013)

West Virginia University Meat Processing Enterprise Planning

Morgantown, WV

The Small Farm Center of the WVU Extension Service strives to increase the farmer’s bottom line by retaining more of the dollar spent on food in the community. New Venture Advisors was engaged by the Center’s visionary founder to help three farming communities organize, identify opportunities and assess the feasibility of enterprises which will expand meat processing capacity and strengthen the regional food economy. (2012)

Tazewell County Resource Center Processing Kitchen

Tremont, IL

TCRC is a nonprofit agency near Peoria, IL offering programs and services that benefit persons with developmental disabilities and visual impairments. With FamilyFarmed.org, New Venture Advisors completed a feasibility assessment in 2012 for the creation of a commercial kitchen to employ TCRC workers in light food processing and provide a needed service to agricultural producers and artisan food makers in the region. (2012)

Blue Ridge Produce

Elkwood, VA

Blue Ridge Produce aggregates and distributes local produce to customers in northern Virginia and the Washington D.C. area. Blue Ridge is the outcome of the study Local Food System Assessment for Northern Virginia published in 2010 by FamilyFarmed.org. During the winter of 2010/2011, New Venture Advisors wrote the company business plan and created investor materials to assist in fundraising. The Blue Ridge team raised debt and equity financing to secure a 33-acre industrial site in rural Virginia and opened its doors in May 2011. (2011)

Southern Wisconsin Food Hub

Madison, WI

Dane County Planning believed that agricultural production and economic activity in southern Wisconsin could be fueled by the development of infrastructure to intermediate transactions between growers and wholesale customers. To assist the County in quantifying the opportunity, New Venture Advisors completed the report Southern Wisconsin Food Hub Feasibility Study in 2011. The business was launched in 2013 as the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative. (2011)

Mohawk Valley Food System Assessment

Cobleskill, NY

New Venture Advisors conducted the Mohawk Valley Food System Assessment under the sponsorship of Empire State Development and in partnership with Cornell University Cooperative Extension. The purpose of the study was to determine the types of food businesses that could boost the agricultural sector and occupy a former textile mill in Cobleskill, NY. The team identified a number of high priority business to evaluate, and New Venture Advisors developed breakeven financial models to enable them to determine if and how to move forward. (2016)

Amagansett Food Institute Food Hub

Southampton, NY

AFI spearheaded a market assessment on the East End of Long Island to develop a comprehensive understanding of the food landscape and determine what type of food hub enterprise model might best meet the needs of producers, wholesale buyers and entities across the food value chain. New Venture Advisors led the study, which resulted in the recommendation to establish a value chain facilitation organization that provides services to support growers and facilitate sales and distribution to wholesale buyers, without a central physical facility. (2015)

Freestate Farms Greenhouse and Organic Waste Processing Facility

Hume, VA

Freestate Farms’ long term vision is to develop, own and operate facilities with integrated anaerobic digestion, commercial composting and commercial greenhouses. New Venture Advisors assisted Freestate in developing a project plan for business development and launch, and identifying a technical expert to assist in developing the greenhouse plan. (2014)

Far-Northern California Food Hub

Redding, CA

New Venture Advisors assisted Shasta Regional Transportation Agency and its project partners Superior California Economic Development and Growing Local in the development of a business plan and implementation of an interregional demonstration project for a food hub serving the eight northernmost California counties. This food hub will serve the small- and medium-sized producers whose productivity is limited by access to transportation and advanced technologies to increase efficiencies, scale and competitiveness in higher-value markets. Through the coordination and consolidation of aggregation, wholesaling and distribution activities, and potentially processing and related services, the chief aims of this food hub are to reduce greenhouse emissions, expand economic opportunity throughout the region and more effectively utilize California’s freight corridors. (2017)

Food Safety Audit Enterprise

West Lafayette, IN

New Venture Advisors worked with Purdue Extension on a study to assess the need for a fresh produce farm food safety audit service to be developed in Indiana, and evaluated how that service should be structured to meet the needs of fruit and vegetable growers, and buyers. (2016)