Archives: Uncategorized

Busyness in Business: Getting Support to Get the Job Done

Blair Welchel launched her heirloom grain and pasta business in 2015, and moved into a retail location in 2016. Like most start-ups, the to-do list is longer than hours in a day. From the basic operations of milling grains and rolling pasta, to making sales calls, managing the store, inventory and developing her brand… Blair’s days are full. And like most start-ups, cash is tight, so she needs to be careful about how much of her to-do list she delegates – she needs to manage her resources (and cash!) carefully. Continue reading

Increase the Range of Voices and Quality of Ideas We Hear in the World

We all have opinions… as banal as what we like to eat or movies we enjoy seeing, to more deeply held beliefs that revolve around our values, religion and work. For me, I’m adamant that farmers think about themselves as entrepreneurs and business people, and not just growers of food; that farmers need to be financially sustainable to continue doing what they love. Continue reading

Making it Happen: Self-Publishing, Part II

In Part I, I shared the process by which I created the manuscripts for The Farmer’s Kitchen and The Farmer’s Office.  For as difficult as this may have seemed, it really was the easy part.  I wrote about my passion, what lights me up. The production phase was far outside my comfort zone, and more difficult.  You can hire designers and marketers, or you can do it yourself.

Part II: Publish Your Book

Step 1: Layout and Design

In the editing phase, I encouraged you to think about the structure of the book, and how you want it to be formatted.  How many levels of headers do you have? What do you want each one to look like? Now you want to take you formatting ideas and apply it to the layout of the book.

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Top 5 Culinary Themes of 2015

Nation’s Restaurant News’ (NRN) just published their Top 5 Culinary Themes of 2015. They surveyed around 1,300 chefs throughout the U.S. about culinary themes that they thought were important this year. At the top of their list were environmental sustainability and hyperlocal foods; followed by natural/minimally processed foods, food waste reduction, and gluten free products. The big overarching theme: chefs are responding to consumer demand to take better care of the environment and our bodies.

We’ve been thinking about these themes for a long time (in fact, our first newsletter article in 2010 was about sustainability and local food), and it’s great to see these ideas gaining traction on a broader scale. When chefs start talking about and taking action upon these themes, they make it more accessible for the rest of us.

Here are some tips and ideas that chefs and business owners can draw upon to keep up with the trends.

1. Environmental Sustainability

As the NRN article put it, “consumers are devising their own diets, asking questions about where their food comes from, and showing a growing interest in how their dining choices affect the environment.” Here are five ways in which you can incorporate environmental sustainability into your restaurant operation:

  • Compost: In a perfect world, you don’t have any food waste in your operation (see trend #4 or how to reduce waste in the first place). The reality/practically is that you probably do. Give food scraps a second life by turning them back into soil by composting. There are several companies in the Boston-area that provide pick-up service including CERO and Save That Stuff.

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Tips, Tools
And Templates

Writing a business plan? Looking for investors? Getting set up in QuickBooks? We’ve got the tools and templates you need, from planning a startup to growing your business.

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Our Services
What We Offer You

Whether you’re just starting out, or expanding your business to the next phase of growth, Julia Shanks Food Consulting can help you succeed. Click below to find out more about our services.

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Have Julia Speak
At Your Conference

Julia speaks about small business accounting, business planning and sustainability. Recent conferences include Slow Money’s National Gathering and The National Young Farmers’ Conference.

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