Two Stonewall Kitchen executives will speak on “expanding your channel footprint,” and additional speakers will address online grocery shopping and local sourcing with digital solutions at the Maine Food Means Business Summit set for Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport Maine.
The Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association, headed by new Executive Director Christine Cummings, is hosting the event.
Cummings said the summit’s goal is for the Maine food business community to discus business best practices and trends, connect with like-minded colleagues and celebrate each other’s successes.
Kathy Gilbert, Stonewall director of national sales, and Janine Somers, director of marketing and direct to consumer sales, will discuss “taking a brand to the next level.”
A Food Producer Round Table, moderated by Bill Whittier of Maine MEP (Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership) will focus on increasing revenue . Panelists include Steve Smith, VP of sales of Gelato Fiasco; Nancy Bariluk-Smith, director of sales of Maine Pie Co.; Leo Ouellette, tasting room manager of Ricker Hill Orchards; and Tove Rasmussen of Partners Creating Growth.
Retail food inflation, wholesale food pricing and online shopping will be on the mind of Brian Todd, president and CEO of The Food Institute.
Curtis Picard, president and CEO of the Maine Retail Association, and Greg Dugal, director of governmental affairs with the Maine Restaurant Association and Maine InnKeepers Association, will discuss some of the key issues in the next Maine legislative session, including wage and labor issues, paid medical leave, plastic bag bans and food waste.
Wrapping up the day will be a discussion on “Capitalizing on the Maine Brand.” Aaron Anke of Grandy Oaks will moderate a panel including Sean Sullivan of the Maine Brewers Guild, Taja Dockendorf of Pulp & Wire and Kate McAleer of the Bixby Bar Co.
The event gets underway on Oct. 18 at 8 a.m., with the first program beginning at 9 a.m. Throughout the day there will be a vendor tabletop program, networking and a silent auction to benefit student scholarships. The event will end around 3:45 p.m.