Today I attended Edible Indy‘s first ever Food Start-Up Boot Camp. The purpose of the boot camp was to help entrepreneurs learn about the process of starting a food business in Indiana. I had a great time and it was a room full of passionate foodies with a wide range of backgrounds. My boss was asked to speak on a panel about food branding and I was lucky enough to join her for the day.
My role at Dig IN made the day especially rewarding and I was able to network with many of my favorite people: Revival Food Company, Yelp, Upland, Bent Rail, and a fellow board member from Piazza Produce. As you can imagine, the food was some of Indiana’s best offerings. Lunch was catered by Garden Table and I tried not to be too obnoxious as I filled my plate to the brim. Roasted turkey, homemade breads, orzo salad with butternut squash, cheeses, prosciutto, tomatoes, grainy mustard, peaches, and blueberries. There were even macaroons and cold brew coffee for dessert.
They also sent us home with beer from Upland (Bloomington) and a root beer from Triple X (West Lafayette). The panel discussions were fascinating: how to start a business, branding chaos, and planning for the long-term. Moderators included Jennifer Rubenstein of Edible Indy, Jolene Ketzenberger of Eat Drink Indy, and Liz Biro of the Indy Star.
The branding panel was my favorite for obvious reasons and it is so ingrained in me that I sometimes forget how important marketing is for companies. It can make or break you as a small company starting out, especially in the food industry.
St. Elmo’s talked about their Easter egg hunt last year. They decided to hide bottles of their famous cocktail sauce all over downtown Indy and it was a hit. Being genuine, showcasing your brand, and not always trying to sell something will make your audience embrace you. No one wants to follow a social media account where it is one promotion after another. This is your opportunity to tell your story.
Press releases are also a thing of the past – pick up the phone and call someone to meet for coffee. Reporters are not scary, I promise. Well, at least most of them are not scary.
Jennifer Rubenstein of Edible Indy mentioned that kindness is the key to having media feature you. It really is that simple sometimes. Thank the people that have helped you along the way and never let your ego get too big.
The president of Upland Brewery spoke and mentioned in his intro that he has a donkey named Biggie Smalls. I instantly remembered why I love food and beer people. This is also your reminder that Dig IN’s Taste of Indiana is less than two weeks away and I have no words for you if you have not already gotten your ticket. Seriously, friends!
Last Friday I went to see Casablanca at the IMA and I loved it. Why I waited 29 years to see this classic is beyond me. Katherine Hepburn’s clothes are so timeless, Humphrey Bogart is the coolest, and I want the piano guy, Sam, to be my new BFF and play “As Time Goes By” every time I enter a room.
I will admit, I was not happy with the end result of the tarmac scene. Spoiler alert and divert your eyeballs if you have not seen it: she should not have gotten on the plane! She left her true love behind and could have had exciting times ahead with Rick at the Americano nightclub.
Kudos to the IMA for a fun night out. I have been so happy with my membership and it is an incredible value. They moved the movie inside due to humidity and extreme heat. Not only was the Toby Theater air conditioned, they still had King David’s dogs! I regretted the hot dog immediately since it was the first real food I had eaten since having the flu for three days. I did not get sick, but that hot dog did not settle as well as I thought. So, the hot dog and the love struggle between Katherine Hepburn and her men were on my mind.
Member appreciation popcorn from Just Pop In. Winnie loves him some popcorn.
Is anyone else obsessed with the Olympics? If I had to be sick with the flu, this was the optimal time to be quarantined in bed near a tv. Swimming is my favorite because as a former swimmer, I feel like I have somewhat legitimate commentary to add. I critique flip turns, dives off the blocks, butterfly kick….it takes me back to individual medleys, relays, and eating way too many overpriced grilled cheeses from the country club snack stand. Sorry, Dad.
LIBBY’S MADE-UP BBQ MEATLOAF
Do you ever crave something and have no idea why? Well, my dad visited to make sure I survived the flu and he requested meatloaf. The only directions I received from him were to include bbq sauce and crackers for a little crunch.
After googling and failing to find what I wanted, I made it up. Add mashed potatoes and roasted Brussel sprouts and I proclaim this a winner. The ingredients are below. Mash them all together in a bowl, form in a bread pan, and you cannot fail.
- 1 pound ground beef
- A handful of Ritz crackers
- 2 eggs
- eyeball some seasoned salt
- 1/2 cup each of bbq sauce AND ketchup (use the high fructose kinds – this is not the time to get fancy with the artisanal, organic variety)
Bake at 350 for a hour or until lightly golden.
Xx, Libby and Winston