SBDC and Small Potatoes Partner for Food Business Marketing Workshop

Contact: Martin Butts

(315) 345-8122

Syracuse, NY - March 19, 2018

The rise of the local food movement coupled with easier than ever to launch digital platforms have worked to disrupt the grocery industry in a significant way. Where producers used to constantly chase new customers by always expanding their footprint, they are now rewarded by building deeper relationships with their existing customers. 

Selling directly allows food producers to interact with their customers, to grow their business towards those core customers, and collect full retail price at the time of sale, instead of selling at discounted prices on payment terms with a wholesale partner. As a result, direct to consumer sales options have grown nationally across the food marketplace. 

This session focuses on maximizing direct to consumers sales for food product companies and farmers through subscription and CSA programs, buying clubs, web stores, farmers markets, as well as looking at sampling and customer service strategies that connect you with your customers.  We’ll look at best practices for the different DTC markets, how to choose which market is the best fit for you, and offer practical and actionable advice you can use to grow your business immediately. 

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. 

Part 2 is a panel discussion with Beth Irons, manager of the Oneida County Public Market, President of the Mohawk Valley Farmers Market Managers Alliance, and a director at the Farmers Market Federation of NY. 

Joining Beth will be Chris Sorrentino, head of digital operations, thought leader, and flavor infuser at Stay Fresh Design, as well as Allan Gandelman, founder of Main Street Farms, New York Hemp Oil, and Head + Heal. 

This program is designed to support anyone selling, or interested in selling, fresh, shelf stable, and other food  products.

Event details:

Selling Direct to Consumer

April 9th & 11th 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Stay Fresh Design
108 Wyoming St.
Syracuse, NY 

Two nights, one topic, one price!

$75 Registration fee to attend.

Refreshments are included in the ticket price.

This is Course 4 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 Selling Wholesale and Defining Your Market from Local to Regional and will be held at locations around Syracuse.


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.