InTents Conference to help groups grow farmers market businesses
Published - 03/15/17 - 06:15 AM | 3187 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The farmers market in Pacific Beach on Bayard Street. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The farmers market in Pacific Beach on Bayard Street. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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The inaugural InTents Conference will take place at the Marina Village Conference Center in Mission Bay Sunday, March 19 to Tuesday, March 21, to help new and established farmers, artisan food makers, and farmers market managers find smart new ways to increase their income.

The InTents Conference will feature two days of educational panels, speakers, roundtables and networking opportunities, skills and resources to make small businesses financially sustainable and ready to grow, and help attendees find innovative ways to make their passions equal profits.

“Our goal for the InTents Conference is to teach farmers, small food makers and farmers market managers how to maximize their income at their farmers markets and beyond,” said Catt Fields White, InTents Conference director.

Fields White is known for establishing and managing the Little Italy Mercato, North Park Thursday Market and the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers Market, and for consulting with new and existing farmers market operations to find smart new ways to increase their income. She is the immediate past president of the Berry Good Food Foundation and a member of the California Alliance of Farmers’ Market steering committee, and writes about food policy and micro-entrepreneurship.

“Our InTents Conference is the first to bring all those groups together and focus on concrete ways for micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses to bring their product to market in a profitable and sustainable way and create a platform for growth,” Fields White said.

In addition to Fields White, the InTents Conference speakers include 3 Cow Marketing’s Charlotte Smith, Edible San Diego’s Katie Stokes, experienced farmers, food makers, and farmers market managers from several states, authors and experts in the fields of food, business, human resources, marketing and more.

The Big Tent ticket provides access to all three days, special breakout sessions and to Monday evening’s social event. Afternoon sessions on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will focus on taking startups through the logistics of how to launch a new market or bring a great product to farmers' markets including permitting information for farmers, food makers and managers.

The InTents Flavor Party will take place Monday night, from 6 to 9 p.m., will feature chefs and farmers teaming up at tasting stations to bring guests unique farm fresh bites, drinks, live music and surprise entertainment. This tasting event will be open to the public on Monday night for $75 and a portion of the proceeds will go to Kitchens for Good, a San Diego local nonprofit that breaks the cycle of food waste and uses it to feed the hungry.

To close Monday evening, the InTents Conference will hold an “Urchin Pond,” with a wink to Shark Tank, where attendees will have the opportunity to pitch a panel with the best farmers market product and business plan for a chance to receive a startup subsidy package.

The InTents Conference will help attendees discover new sources of ingredients, packaging, operating supplies, signage, insurance, management services, marketing materials and more. It also provides a great networking opportunity for participants to connect with fellow farmers, managers and entrepreneurs to gain new perspectives.

The InTents Conference will run from Sunday, March 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to Tuesday, March 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration ranges from $75 to $325 for different packages. For more information about the InTents Conference, visit www.intentsconference.com.

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