The NCSFA conferences are a must attend event for everyone interested in the specialty foods industry in North Carolina. It is your opportunity to learn from experts in their field, meet the leadership of the NC Specialty Foods Association and the NC Department of Agriculture, and network with your peers.
You’ll come away with new ideas and energy to grow and expand your business! And, we’ll be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the NC Specialty Foods Association! Don’t miss this event…
Purchase your tickets online today:
($35 for members – you must sign in to get this price. Use the ‘Need a password’ link if you forgot your password or submit a support request here.)
Or send payment to:
NC Specialty Foods Association
NCDA & CS
1020 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1020
Members – $35 per ticket. Non-members – $85 per ticket. Be sure to include your company name, number of attendees and any dietary restrictions.
Date: Monday, April 29th
Location: NC Farm Bureau, 5301 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh NC
Tentative Conference Program
8:30 a.m. Coffee and Networking
Breakfast courtesy of The Fresh Market.
9: 15 a.m. Welcome
9:30 a.m. Local Program Information, Jennifer Badger, The Fresh Market
Jennifer Badger is the Local Category Coordinator at The Fresh Market, a specialty grocery store with 161 locations across the United States and based in Greensboro, NC. She graduated from NC State University with a BS in Agricultural Business Management. After graduation, Jennifer moved to work for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, where she served as the Executive Director for the SC Specialty Foods Association and Roadside Farmers Market Coordinator. Today, she works with Local makers and artisans across the country to find unique, high quality, fresh products to stock in The Fresh Market stores.
10:00 a.m. Social Media – raising your profile can help you win BIG, Will Kornegay and Laura Hearn, Glean
Will Kornegay and Laura Hearn are siblings and Co-founders of Glean LLC, an innovative, agricultural start-up focused on creating sustainable, simple and honest label foods out of fresh fruit and vegetables. Both graduates of NC State University, their background has been focused on marketing and sales strategies in the food and agriculture industries. Will and Laura have successfully worked together to develop brands and create an authentic voice through traditional and digital channels.
10:30 a.m. Raising money to grow your business, Jenny Bonchak, Slingshot Coffee
Jenny is the Founder + CEO of Slingshot Coffee Co. As a long-time coffee professional, she established Slingshot in 2012 as one of the pioneering companies in the Cold Brew category, helping to define an entire movement with their ultra-premium Ready-to-Drink Cold Brew, Cold Brew Concentrate, and a line of Cascara Teas and Coffee Sodas. She’s a three-time national award-winning Barista, Southern Living’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year and a Fellow for the 2018-2019 Class of Coca-Cola’s Founders Forum.
11:00 a.m. Break
11:20 a.m. Opportunities for you, Sherry Barefoot & Cathy Ma, NCDA & CS
Sherry Barefoot is the NCDA&CS Marketing Specialist for specialty foods and the liaison for the NC Specialty Foods Association. Prior to being promoted to Marketing Specialist, she was the Program Manager for the NCDA&CS Market News Section. Sherry has more than 20 years experience with the NCDA&CS in leadership, project management and marketing.
Cathy Ma is the NCDA&CS International Marketing Specialist for specialty foods. Cathy has extensive experience in global markets and helps companies navigate the ins and outs of export marketing. Cathy is an expert in a variety of topics including labeling, buyer agreements, distribution, promotion and more to help open up new markets for NCSFA members.
11:45 a.m. Lunch and Networking (Birthday cake – 25 years!)
1:00 p.m. Keynote: A Big Dill: The Story of Mt. Olive Pickle, Lynne Williams, Mt Olive Pickle Company
Lynn Williams is public relations manager for Mt. Olive Pickle Company, where she has worked for over 19 years. A native of Mount Olive, Williams earned a BA degree from Campbell University in English/Communications in 1986.
2:00 p.m. A Bird’s Eye View, Simone Drake, Drake’s Pasta
Simone is a founding partner and Co-owner of Drakes Fresh Pasta Co. in High Point. Drakes began in 1985 and currently they have products in food service, in frozen retail and in grocery deli programs. Simone has a wide experience in various areas of food manufacturing and marketing.
2:45 p.m. How to grow your business at a rapid pace, Patrick Mateer, Seal the Seasons
Patrick Mateer is founder and CEO of Seal the Seasons. Patrick launched Seal the Seasons to support local farmers and find a sustainable way to make healthy local food available to all. Since launching in 2015, Seal the Seasons has grown to serve 3000 grocery locations with local produce including Harris Teeter, Meijer, Wegmans, Whole Foods, ShopRite, Safeway/Albertsons and Food Lion. Patrick was recognized by Forbes Magazine in 2017 as a 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur and by the Specialty Food Association, winning the 2019 Leadership Award for Vision.
3:30 p.m. Adjourn
4:30 p.m. 25th Anniversary celebration reception at The Angus Barn (cash bar)