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Posts Tagged ‘kathleen pierce’

I went to Manchester, New Hampshire, today for an event designed to bring bankers together with community and economic development people.

The panelists were pretty interesting. A woman from the NH Small Business Development Center talked about what it takes to put together a financing package and what sorts of entrepreneurs are a good investment. For example, people like Richard Tango-Lowy, who do their homework.

Tango-Lowy kept his IT job while he researched everything about fine chocolate, traveling extensively in France and Italy. Almost as soon as he opened Dancing Lion Chocolate, he was successful. He got a great review in the Boston Globe. He has no cash-flow problems. His only problem is keeping up with demand.

“The entrepreneur’s Mayan-style drinking chocolate, made with milk or water, is served in large painted bowls,” writes Kathleen Pierce in the Globe. “This driven chocolatier and Manchester resident is more than a little obsessed with cacao. He works with chocolate maker Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate in Columbia, Mo., to create a house-blend derived from Madagascar beans.

“Like a vintner, Tango-Lowy selects the chocolates that go into his tasting squares, bars, and candies, paying close attention to flavor profiles and how a particular bean enhances the moment. ‘I think about how long will it linger in your mouth. There are ones that hit the fragrant front and each piece evolves as you eat it,’ he says.

“When you discover that Tango-Lowy is a physicist, his approach to chocolate begins to make sense.” Read more.

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There’s a new think tank at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, one that’s focused on food access.

Food access, food “deserts,” and sustainable agriculture are big issues these days, and Food Sol founder Rachel Greenberger believes that addressing the challenges must involve bringing together all the stakeholders, even agribusiness.

Greenberger refers to her strategy as the “uncommon table,” writes Kathleen Pierce in the Boston Globe. “Located at Babson’s Social Innovation Lab, the company seeks to identify how so-called food deserts — geographical areas without access to a grocery store or fresh food — are formed, and how to make healthy food sustainable for all. …

“Greenberger, a 33-year-old Babson MBA graduate who studied food-system dynamics and consumer behavior in the sustainable food movement, came up with the concept for a company similar to a think tank, but centered on action. By creating a digital map to pinpoint food-related issues, Food Sol intends to highlight pressing topics such as food deserts and fair trade, linking experts in the field with would-be entrepreneurs to ignite working relationships. …

“Food Sol intends to foster ‘a way into thinking about innovation in the food-supply chain, whether it’s creating more cooperatives or building agribusiness in Fall River,’ says Cheryl Kiser [executive director of Babson’s innovation lab]. ‘We are a laboratory where people can come and engage in conversation.’ ”

The theory is that companies will pay to engage in a food think tank like this. In fact, Kiser hopes to involve Cargill Inc., Monsanto Co. , PepsiCo , the Coca-Cola Co., and more. Read more here.

The mention of entrepreneurs who might address food issues is reminding me of two young women who recently launched shipping-container grocery stores in food deserts. Read about that in this NY Times article.

“Carrie Ferrence, 33, and Jacqueline Gjurgevich, 32, were in business school at Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Washington State when they noticed that many local neighborhoods were ‘food deserts,’ without easy access to fresh local produce and other grocery staples.

“Their answer was StockBox Grocers, a company that repurposes old shipping containers as small grocery stores. The company won $12,500 in a local business plan competition and raised more than $20,000 online in a Kickstarter campaign to finance its first store, which opened in the Delridge neighborhood of Seattle in September.”

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