With all of the talk about restaurants hit hard during the pandemic, we must remember other local, small food businesses were struggling in the shadows before hardship came into the spotlight. Many food brands are either born, grown, produced, or processed right here on Long Island by hardworking, innovative, passionate food-loving Long Islanders. Most of these unique products are, at best, discoverable to the rest of us via a local farmer’s market, unless we have a personal connection with the producers. These creative food makers spend countless hours working on getting their products in front of potential investors or distributors to hopefully reach us through our local grocery markets.
iving new brands a promoted space to tell their stories and share their products offers them a shot at growing a customer base at any time along their road to success. Grassroots popularity with increasing customer demand can boost their chances of being discovered in the business landscape and making it onto the shelves. It is inspiring and empowering as consumers to have a say in who provides us with the tastes, types, and quality of the products we want to see at our local food stores. These local makers are what the Long Island Food Council was founded for, and this is what the LIFC Marketplace aims to help them do.
Support Local Food Brands
Some fortunate Long Island Food Council producers were accepted into food business incubators like SUNY Stonybrook, Calverton. Through a shared kitchen, storage, and operations space, start-ups there can grow in a low-risk setting while having easy access to the support they need to succeed. A few, like Five North Chocolate or Lucky Lou’s Gourmet Rice Pudding’s winning business recipes led to their big break. Most are just as hardworking and deserving of that success yet remain unknown to the everyday Long Islander for now. Small new makers simply lack the resources to efficiently offer their products directly to the public while managing and growing their brand at the core.
Responding To COVID-19
Other Long Island Food Council members share a story like Ohmigod Cookies and A Little Brittle Heaven. Rather than having the support of an incubator, they withstand the heat of launching out of their own home kitchens, armed with a ton of heart and a handful of devoted family and friends as their first customers.
Additionally, we should not forget about the traditional retail food producers. Many Long Island food makers throw their blood, sweat, tears, and often their life’s savings into a pure passion for serving their local community with their best niche food product recipes. One of Long Island Food Council’s MTRC grant recipient members, Sweet Soul Bakery is worth noting. This vegan baked-goods producer with a heart aims to support the local community’s efforts to get healthier without having to give up their guilty pleasures.
The LIFC Marketplace
The LIFC Marketplace helps Long Island food businesses leverage a larger marketplace’s marketing power and offer products to you without having to manage their own eCommerce store. With added value coming to the future to the LIFC Marketplace, food producers and shoppers will have options such as local pick-up locations to reduce environmental impact and repeat subscriptions for convenience. Busy business owners will be able to focus on internal operations while expanding their reach in various ways. By shopping on the LIFC Marketplace, you will be helping your fellow Long Islanders succeed in their creative dreams of food business ownership. Come support small businesses while discovering an array of unique, delicious, indulgent, and healthy options that you may never have known were right next door.
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Jane Rudes is the CoFounder of TunedUp Media and brings a 20+year background in communication strategy and content development to the agency. She is often called upon both professionally and personally for her ability to analyze and optimize situations that require advanced interpersonal understanding, intuitive strategic planning, and precision of expression.
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