I know what you’re thinking. A conference? Well…yeah! Attending the FoodBiz NJ Conference was a long day, at a big round table, surrounded by strangers who were trying to stretch an ear to hear the panelists over all the noise. Starting the day with yummy coffee from Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co. definitely helped to get me up and running! (https://t.co/ZHLhY80YE9)
There with guest speakers from a cross-section of New Jersey’s Food and Beverage industry who spoke about trending topics and challenges covering the Retail Marketplace, Growing the Food & Beverage Industry in NJ, Financing Strategies for Food Entrepreneurs. I would love to have seen a panel targeted more towards emerging foodpreneurs and the challenges they face getting their specialty food products to market. Maybe next year?
I really liked the breakout session for Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries which featured guest panelists Ryan Krill (Cape May Brewing Company), Gene Muller (Flying Fish Brewing Co.) Mike Beneduce (Beneduce Vineyards) and James Yoakum (Cooper River Distillers). They all shared great information about one of the fastest growing business segments in state.
For me the highlight was the vendor exhibit hall. Lots of new specialty food and beverage products moving down the Turnpike. I visited vendors like CideRoad Organic Switchel, BonFun Spirits and lots of craft breweries and distilleries. Oh, I even tried a wee shot of whiskey (under the guise of research) from Jersey Spirits Distilling Company! (http://jerseyspirits.com/) Day is done!