Chicago is soon to get a lot more fresh food options for its locals. With both Get Fresh Produce and Forty Acres
Fresh Market making their presence in the region, Chicagoans are now almost
spoilt for fresh produce choice.
Get Fresh Produce has recently been added by IF&P Food distributor
in Chicago. According to President and
COO of Indianapolis Fruit, Greg Corsaro, this is just the start and over
the next few years the firm intends to implement
a “pretty aggressive growth plan that includes bringing on additional companies.”
is one of Midwest’s largest food distributors and has been in business since
1997 with a staff count of 750 mainly local-based employees. Get Fresh has approximately 375 employees and
has facilities in Bartlett, Chicago and Whitestown, Indiana.
Liz Abunaw moved to Chicago seven years ago she noticed a gap in the market, in
particular in Austin. She found that the
area was severely lacking in fresh, locally-produced fruit and vegetables. But she really liked the area, referring to
it as “the
most unique, vibrant, weird, but completely awesome [section of Chicago. Her] ultimate vision is a
convenient place where people can walk to in their neighborhood for those
fill-in trips between the big pantry loads – as well as maybe some prepared
all these factors, Abunaw decided to create a local food market, but with a specific
goal of serving the predominantly black population. And so Forty Acres Fresh Market was born, in
reference to “the promise of reparations for freed slaves after the Civil
War.” Located on 5051 W Chicago Avenue,
the pop-up store is open the second weekend of every month (Friday, Saturday
Mark your calendars. On January 17, 2019, the Economic Outlook conference – hosted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business – will take place. The title of the conference is ‘Trade Wars, Deficits and Inflation: Rhetoric or Reality.’ Discussion participants include: Austan D. Goolsbee, Randall S. Kroszner, and Raghuram G. Rajan who will be talking about the state of the global economy and look at what might be happening for 2019. The event is being moderated by Bloomberg’s Global Economics and Policy Editor, Kathleen Hays.
Areas of discussion include: tax cuts, deregulation, America’s approach to China trade, growth, deficits, inflation, corporate profits and more.
When searching for a place to conduct business meetings, conferences and events in the Rosemont area, the Crowne Plaza Rosemont offers a great solution. In this video, we take a look at the conference center located at 440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018. Offering 55,000 square feet of meeting space in the conference room, each hotel room is likewise amenable for business endeavors with flat screen LCD HDTV, desk and laptop safe.
Illinois is a great place for networking, business opportunities and technology. Featuring the Illinois Technology Association and the current Feed Technology Center being undertaken by the University, it makes a great choice for conducting business.
Industrious (a co-working firm) will be opening its largest location in Chicago. The address is the 10th floor of 500 W. Madison Street and the space is 46,500 square feet. It is due to open in the summer of 2019. In addition, Novel Coworking is also opening – at a River North building spanning 50,400 square feet offering private offices, suites and co-working spaces at W. Superior Street.
And that’s not all. Google is developing its presence in Chicago with a second building right near its current one in Fulton Market. This will open in the fall of next year at Carpenter and Lake Streets and will measure 100,000 square feet. At the same time, Facebook is planning on moving 250,000+ square feet of space in a 35-story office tower in the area as well.
The American Institute of Architects Chicago chapter hosts the Art & Architecture Chicago Design Night event, which is happening tonight. Kick off is at 5:30pm (cocktail hour in the Lakeview Terrace) and is held at the Navy Pier, Aon Grand Ballroom at 840 East Grand Avenue. It is the 63rd year this event is taking place and it has been sold out for weeks. Attending will be approximately 1,000 industry professionals, in recognition of the achievements of those in the architectural field.
On Thursday November 1 from 6-8pm at the Parlor Pizza Bar, 108 N. Green Street, there is an event for all “Illinois Green Alliance Emerging Professionals.” There will be an opportunity to Meet the EP Committee as well as learning how to get involved for next year.
Chicago’s food industry is busting at the seams as it were. It is “quickly becoming a hotbed of investment for startups in the food industry, befitting the city’s legacy of being the world’s hog butcher and stacker of wheat.”
Some recent trends include the merge between Kellogg and Conagra Brands, resulting in the provision of $34 million to set up the Hatchery – a food business incubator – due to open in November. Kraft Heinz recently established the Evolv Ventures Fund, which is the world’s “fifth-largest packaged food and beverage company.” According to investor and fund leader Bill Pescatello, the fund is: “about how can we be smarter, connect with startups and get a first look at emerging technologies. The distribution channels are being absolutely disrupted, with Amazon selling direct to consumers and doing delivery, along with Instacart. We’ll be heavily involved in investing in those areas.”
According to Pritzker Group VC Partner Matt McCall:
“The Midwest has the deepest bench strength in the world in food and ag. Fragmentation is the No. 1 enemy of an ecosystem. So if you can create clusters of resources and players focused on the same sector, you get a compounding flywheel.”
However, there is one question that leads to cause for concern: can the current economic (aging) demographic utilize the burgeoning food industry? According to the NPD’s study, Eating Patterns in America, while it is true the US economy is on an upswing, due to its “aging population and corresponding changes in life stage,” this will likely lead to a drop in “total eating occasions on a per capital basis.” The growth of the population is not likely to be huge and that will lead to a “less than one percent annual increase in total food and beverage demand, which isn’t significant enough to stop the decline in consumption occasions per capita.” As NPD food industry advisor David Portalatin noted:
Still, vis-à-vis Chicago, the food industry seems not to have taken a hit with an increase in industry startups including: Farmer’s Fridge, Fooda, RxBar, Home Chef, Simple Mills and Tovala.
In a recent article written by Alton Zenon III in Built in Chicago, an investigation was made into 8 tech company leaders in Chicago on innovation. Stressing the importance of innovation “for companies looking to stay competitive as markets evolve,” Zenon asked these individuals what they felt was needed to “ensure [their] company stays on the cutting edge.” He wanted to know how these leaders were creating new innovation at their firms and found the following answers:
According to founder and CEO of Project44 Jeff McCandless “you never know where the next great innovation will come from.” As such, he ensures everyone in his company has an opportunity to come up with a new idea/solution, etc.
Head of Product at Compass, Eytan Siedman is seeking to “simplify [the] fragmented experience [of] third party software tools bring[ing] engineers together with agents under one roof.”
One of CityBase’s senior software engineers, Jim Segal, says the company is “changing the way that constituents interact with their local governments by digitizing entire processes from the front end through the back end.”
Director of Engineering at Collective Health, Izi Aviyente links part of the company’s success to its “automation of processes leading to more productivity.”
Zenon III also spoke with senior executives at OneSpan, Keeper Security Inc., BRD and Eved for their input on establishing innovation at their companies as well.