Greater Peoria Economic Development Council
Food Innovation Meetup aims to build a network for food-based
businesses and startups in Greater Peoria
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[July 26, 2019]
When it comes to supporting food industry innovation, there can
never be too many cooks in the kitchen. A new meetup series hopes to
rally food industry entrepreneurs and innovators to start building a
more supportive network in Greater Peoria for the businesses working
to improve and expand the food economy.
The first Food Innovation Meetup on July 31 at Sous Chef in Peoria’s
Warehouse District is open to anyone hoping to grow their existing
or startup food- or ag-based business in the region.
Whether you are crafting a new locally sourced jam in your home
kitchen, developing an app that improves fresh food delivery,
growing an alternative food crop with an emerging market, or you
have an established food business looking to scale or do things
differently—what resources do you need to take the next step in your
food-based business development?
The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and Peoria
Innovation Alliance want to help answer that question. The two
organizations have partnered in an effort to discover the region’s
food-based entrepreneurs and better understand the challenges and
opportunities within the sector.
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“We want to make sure we are supporting the innovative food businesses that
often get overlooked in startup and innovation conversations,” said Tory
Dahlhoff of the Greater Peoria EDC. “With our region’s rich history of
agriculture and in research and development, we think there is reason to believe
Greater Peoria might someday become a hub for food innovation.”
Dahlhoff cited the growing investment by major industry leaders such as Kellogg
and General Mills into startups focused on sustainable food and agriculture as a
sign that serious consideration must be given to this segment of Greater
Peoria’s startup community.
“Creating opportunities for food innovators to connect and network is a critical
component when growing a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem ,” said Jake Hamann
of the Peoria Innovation Alliance. “Our local food scene is primed for
transformation and we’re excited to see what comes from this initial meetup. ”
The first Food Innovation Meetup is Wednesday July 31 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
at Sous Chef, 1311 SW Adams St, Peoria, IL. The event is free but registration
Event registration can be found at bit.ly/GP-FoodMeetup
Director of Communications & Outreach
Rural Development Coordinator]