Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Strengthening the food system requires access to resources, including capital, a trained workforce, marketing, and infrastructure. We are working to build those resources and connect them with those who need them.

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Jay Sullivan and Sean Nolan opened Honest Weight Artisan Beer in the Orange Innovation Center in 2015. They use local ingredients from Valley Malt, which grows malt barley in Northampton and Hadley.

Current Projects:

The Grow Athol-Orange Food Markets (GOALFM) initiative works to support the economic well-being of our local farms and food businesses. The group has focused on supporting the organizers and vendors at the Athol and Orange Farmers Markets and the Quabbin Harvest food co-op located in downtown Orange. Through this initiative, members have:

  • co-created a marketing campaign that included newspaper articles about “featured farmers
  • developed newspaper advertisements and coupons
  • increased signage for the markets
  • produced a local food brochure
  • made the markets more family-friendly by incorporating a “Kids’ Corner” tent offering kids activities run by different community groups
  • organized to hire a new market manager for the Athol Farmers Market.

Members are working to generate more local support for the markets and have developed a GOALFM strategic plan that is in its second year of implementation.

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Rachel Gonzalez from Rachel’s Everlasting selling her delicious smoothies that use local ingredients at the Farmers Market in Orange.

Potential Initiatives:

  • Promote agritourism and local food culture.
  • Develop niche market opportunities for food products.
  • Promote workforce development for farm/food related jobs.
  • Form a network of local food businesses to share resources and support the local food economy.

If you are interested in getting involved in any of the working groups, please contact Kat Kowalski at farmconservation_americorps@mountgrace.org

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