Business

2014 Leadership Awards

Traditional rice farming in countries such as Bhutan, Cambodia, China and Indonesia involves a surfeit of resources that often drain farming families to the point of poverty. “Imagine being a farmer and not having enough to eat,” Levine says. With the demand for water, fertilizer, pesticides and other supplies in conventional farming, “it was a negative sum at the end of the harvest.” Read more …

Giving Back: Five Companies Making a Difference

During the planning stages of their business in late 2009, Marius Andersen’s wife, Hilary, happened upon a newspaper article describing the struggles and difficult working conditions of Burmese refugees right in their hometown of Greensboro, N.C. Their stories struck a chord with the couple, who were preparing to hire a fleet of employees for their new venture. “We figured, if we give an opportunity to the people who have the least opportunity, then this could be a good place to work,” says Andersen. Read more …

Anuga 2013: Global Trends

Trends at Anuga Trade Show

Some rising trends span many borders: In the realm of fruits and vegetables, two pieces of produce are gaining recognition for their versatility. Seeking the next big ingredients, some suppliers have gone straight to the source, scouting untapped resources in nature. And from Europe to Asia, numerous countries are declaring their products’ gluten-free status to appeal to the celiac-afflicted, gluten-intolerant and diet-fad followers alike. Read more …

Born in Brooklyn

Foragers, NYC

Even with all the preparation and cash flow that gave the business the boost needed to expand, the surprise impact of Hurricane Sandy last fall hit Foragers twofold, resulting in week-long closures of both stores. For a business founded on fresh products, the market lost nearly all its inventory, Castellani says. “We’ve just been very lucky that we had vendors who have been patient with us,” she notes. In the end, she sees even unlikely natural disasters as part of the territory. “You don’t go into this business unless you’ve got a bit of a risk-taking personality.” Read more …

The DIY Kit Boom

“I think we’re in a unique time right now,” Arora says. He describes the connection to food as a pendulum: past generations that made everything from scratch were followed by the rise of supermarkets and super-convenience enjoyed by increasingly busier baby boomers. As for millennials, Arora’s own group, he says: “I think our generation realized, ‘You know what, we went to one extreme from the other extreme, and there’s a cool middle ground here.” Read more …

12 Months of Candy Promotions

In the world of specialty chocolates, sampling isn’t always feasible, Sugar Sugar’s Joni Wheeler of Minneapolis’ Sugar Sugar Candy concedes. “I have some chocolate bars that are $15 each; I can’t afford to break one open to let the customers try,” she says. In those cases, she employs her own familiarity with the product. “If you have tasted the bar yourself, can express why it is special and convey your enthusiasm, it will sell.” Read more …

Profile: Beecher’s New York

The presence of an open-vat creamery, encased within sunlit glass walls, is a fitting introduction to this ambitious business. “Everything that we do tries to get people to think about the provenance of their food,” says Kurt Beecher Dammeier, founder of the market and café. Read more …

Profile: Arrowine & Cheese

Rosen speaks in superlatives of the products he sells, but the assertions hold weight because not one item for sale has gone untasted. “If it’s not the best, we’re not interested,” he says. Read more …