SBDC and Small Potatoes Partner for Food Business Marketing Workshop

Contact: Martin Butts

(315) 345-8122

Syracuse, NY - January 22, 2018

The publication of Michael Pollan’s book Omnivore’s Dilemma in 2006 shined a light on a burgeoning local food movement, while giving consumers a peek at the joys and challenges of the food system. It sparked interest in the work of local farmers, chefs, and other food businesses, and laid out a framework for communities to talk about what they wanted out of their local food system, and for foodpreneurs to connect with their consumers on those issues.

The new local food movement is in its second decade, and food systems around the country have experimented with how to connect their work with their communities. In an expanding and increasingly noisy food marketplace, building a brand that stands out can be a challenge. Today, fads drive how messages are delivered online, with platforms constantly tweaking how to get content in front of desired audiences.

The Onondaga SBDC and Small Potatoes are partnering to present the workshop Messaging a Food Brand. It focuses on brand building that builds a sense of place, celebrates communities, and taps into stories about small scale and local foods that are echoing in marketplaces around the country. This two-part workshop will take a look at current trends in delivery, but will have a greater, more evergreen focus on looking at the content of your message more than the delivery method.

Part 1 of this workshop is a seminar, presented by Small Potatoes founder Martin Butts, packed with insights and experiences from a decade of working within local scale food systems in 18 states. Every new community in turn offering fresh flavors and insights into the still maturing local food landscape.
Part 2 is a conversation about brand building with designer, artist, and Head Kid at Stay Fresh Designs, Tommy Lincoln and chef, restaurateur and local food advocate Abigail Henson, as well as an interactive, community building and messaging exercise, designed around the question “What is Local?”

This program is designed to help food businesses (and potential food businesses) of all kinds build a brand and a message that resonates with consumers and stands out from the pack. This program is designed with restaurants, catering, and food service businesses in mind, as well as food producers and farmers.

Event details:

Messaging a Food Brand workshop

February 5th & 7th 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Funk ’n Waffles
307-313 S Clinton St
Syracuse, NY

Two nights, one topic, one price!

$75 Registration fee to attend.

Funky refreshments are included in the ticket price.

This is Course 2 in the Food Product Bootcamp series presented by the Onondaga SBDC and Small Potatoes. The series provides a nose to tail look at running a food business and answers hard questions about starting, running, and succeeding in the food industry. Subsequent programs run until June and will include Running a Great Farmers Market Booth, Selling Direct to Consumers, Selling Wholesale, and Defining Your Market from Local to Regional and will be held at locations around Syracuse.

To register or find more information visit


The Onondaga SBDC is a CNY based organization that provides confidential, high-quality business consulting to both start-up and existing businesses in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, and Seneca counties. Through SBDC support, businesses can remain competitive with our confidential one-on-one business advisement, facilitated learning opportunities, business resources and research network. Our New York State Certified Business Advisors seek to empower and inspire success by developing an action-oriented strategy for successful outcomes by creating high growth and scale-able businesses within the Central New York region. The Onondaga SBDC has served 1137 client entrepreneurs by helping them invest over $11 million in the local economy.

Martin Butts is a local food advocate, entrepreneur, speaker, and the founder of Small Potatoes, a boutique consulting firm. He specializes in working with independent food businesses, embracing as his life’s mission to grow fair and sustainable food systems leading to healthier communities. He is a recipient of a 2010 CNY 40 Under Forty and Small Potatoes was awarded a 2013 Snail of Approval Award by Slow Food CNY.

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