If you had arrived at Plantible Foods in San Marcos before August 22, it would have looked much like a typical farm; greenhouses and an abundance of open space.
But a few days later the space was completely transformed for the quarterly Startup78 meetup. On August 22, more than 200 individuals gathered to learn more about the food innovation scene in San Diego’s North County. From a company that turns bread scraps into vodka to two sisters on a quest to start the first museum dedicated to the avocado, North County is full of companies on the forefront of food innovation entrepreneurs.
Every food entrepreneurs experience is different. The crowd heard from Maurtis van de Ven (Plantible Foods), Ann Buehner and Mary Carr (The Cado), Sam Chereskin (Misadventure & Company), Chuck Samuelson (Kitchens for Good), as well as representatives from Suja and Stone.
But food entrepreneurship isn’t just about cashing in. Many of these founders are looking to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, like hunger, health living, and food waste. Kitchens for Good is a social enterprise that seeks to minimize food waste, increase sustainability and provide culinary training for populations that are experiences high unemployment rates.
“Five-and-a-half years ago I had a very nice job with a local company, Stone Brewing, having tons of fun” said Chuck Samuelson, founder and board member of Kitchens for Good, in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Nonetheless, he said “I kept waking up thinking I’ve got to do more.”
Guests were also treated to a beer garden, full of some North County’s most prominent breweries and distilleries, as well as the opportunity to sample some of North County’s tastiest food innovations.
Startup78 is an initiative of Innovate78 and San Diego Regional EDC to unite and amplify the resources available to entrepreneurs along the 78 Corridor with the goal of helping startups scale to become long-term, viable businesses that support San Diego’s economy.
Join Innovate78 for the next Startup78 event, focused on life changing science, on October 17 at the Oceanside Museum of Art. Register here.