Hot Bread Kitchen’s Food Entrepreneurship Forum was a 3-day virtual event October 20—22, 2020 for anyone invested in rebuilding a more equitable and inclusive small business community—from owners to buyers, customers to employees, aspiring entrepreneurs to folks who want to see their beloved local businesses thrive. The Forum featured educational panels, workshops, pitching opportunities, and cooking classes–all with a focus on uplifting Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and working to ensure every entrepreneur has the opportunity to thrive.
A key element of Hot Bread Kitchen’s programming is connecting entrepreneurs to buyers and suppliers to foster partnerships, access markets, and grow sales. This year we took it further, creating space for folks who share a common belief in supporting diverse, local businesses to come together and strengthen the food industry.
Food Entrepreneurship Forum: Session Recordings
Tuesday, October 20: Diversity Spotlight
Kobla Asamoah (Head of Small Business, Hot Bread Kitchen), Colleen Galvin (SVP, Community Investing & Development, Citi)
Incubating Equity: Collaboration for Economic Recovery
Before COVID-19, nonprofit incubators played a critical role in providing access to space, capital, networks, and markets—all tools that small businesses need to withstand the current economic downturn and sustain themselves in the future. How can incubators collaborate with one another, local governments, buyers, and funders to expand their work to rebuild a small business landscape that is more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable?
Panelists: Devita Davison (Executive Director, FoodLab Detroit), Geetika Agrawal (Program Director, La Cocina); Dynishal Gross (Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services); Jen Faigel (Executive Director & Co-Founder, CommonWealth Kitchen), Moderator: Kobla Asamoah (Head of Small Business, Hot Bread Kitchen)
Turning Solidarity into Action: Creating Mission-Aligned Supplier Diversity Partnerships
How have companies put diversity, equity, and inclusion into practice through prioritizing supplier diversity? What works, and what challenges are they still trying to solve? How do incubators serve as an intermediary to make this work for both entrepreneurs and buyers?
Panelists: Carol Lewis (Global Director, Diversity & Inclusion: Compass Group), Kaaryn Simmons (Director, Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development), Ismail Samad (Director of Manufacturing Business Operations, Commonwealth Kitchen), Susy Jones (Senior Sustainability Project Manager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Moderator: Caroline Mak (Small Business Program Director, Hot Bread Kitchen)
Leading with Identity in Small Business Storytelling
Crafting an authentic brand story that resonates with consumers is more important than ever. How do small businesses owned by BIPOC & LGBTQ founders lead with identity and leverage their unique story in crafting their messaging and pitch?
Panelists: Andre Springer (Founder, Shaquanda Will Feed You), Sana Javeri Kadri (CEO/Founder, Diaspora Co.), Enshalla Anderson (Director, Global Head of Brand Strategy, Google Cloud), Nafy Flatley (Owner, Teranga), Khushbu Shah (Restaurants Editor, Food + Wine Magazine), Moderator: Chef Jenny Dorsey (Founder & Executive Director, Studio ATAO)
Wednesday, October 21: Chef Focus
Pivoting: Caterers & restaurateurs adjusting to a new world—presented by The Food Corridor
Chefs and restaurateurs are finding creative ways to pivot their business models and meet needs in their communities, from serving as grocery stores, to hunger relief and feeding frontline workers. How have chefs, caterers, restaurants kept themselves and their communities fed during the pandemic, and what’s next?
Panelists: Lynnette Marrero (Founder, Speed Rack; Board Member, Restaurant Workers Community Foundation); Kathleen DiPerna (Director of Policy and Planning, Rethink Food NYC), Helah Kehati (President, JPO Concepts), Irene Li (Chef/Owner, Mei Mei in Boston), Natalie Shmulik (CEO, The Hatchery), Moderator: Ben Leventhal (Hot Bread Kitchen Board Member; Resy CEO & VP/GM, American Express Global Dining Network)
Thursday, October 22: CPG Focus
Operationalizing E-commerce Workshop presented with Accion Opportunity Fund
Multi-session workshop diving into the nitty-gritty of operationalizing your online store, including e-commerce technology, legal requirements, fulfillment, and marketing.
FREE RESOURCE: E-commerce worksheet
Panelists: Mauricio Guzman (Logistics and Distribution Manager, Milk Bar), Jacki Klosek (Goodwin Proctor), Jessica Spaulding (Founder, Harlem Chocolate Factory), Melissa Villaneuva (CEO & Founder, Brewpoint Coffee), Andrea Warner (Manager, Assortment & Marketplace Activation, The Boston Beer Company), Jing Gao (CEO/Founder, Fly By Jing), Mike Van Dorn (Director of Logistics, Brodo Broth Company), Desiree Foxwell (The Boston Beer Company)
Moderator: Meredith Medlin (Director of Partnerships + Impact, Accion Opportunity Fund)
“Around 30 hopeful food entrepreneurs—most of them women or people of color—gathered for a Zoom pitch session hosted by Hot Bread Kitchen, a New York City non-profit, for a chance to talk to about a dozen buyers, including representatives of Whole Foods Market and Fresh Direct. There was Caribbean-American hot sauce, jerk chicken seasoning from Harlem, a vegan cheese company from San Francisco, and more. The lucky ones would come away with a distribution deal.”
Read about our first virtual small business event, including the experience of the private pitch room!
In Partnership With
Thank you to our Sponsors
Demonstrate your company’s commitment to an equitable food industry by sponsoring events like the Forum! Contact Debbie Kellogg for more details.
Hot Bread Kitchen is committed to providing an inclusive, enjoyable, and welcoming experience for everyone who participates in The Food Entrepreneurship Forum. Just as in our programs, we celebrate language diversity and recognize that kitchens are linguistically diverse workplaces, while choosing English as our primary language for the Forum events. Interpretation in Spanish is available for select sessions by Babilla Colectivo (noted in the schedule).
Hot Bread Kitchen se compromete a proveer una experiencia inclusiva, agradable, y acogedora para todos que participan en The Food Entrepreneurship Forum. Al iqual que nuestros programas, nos celebramos la diversidad de idiomas y reconocemos que las cocinas son lugares de trabajo con diversidad lingüística, mientras que eligimos el inglés como nuestro idioma principal para los eventos del Forum. Hay traducción al español disponible para sesiónes selectos (marcado en el horario).