A beginning farmer, a BBQ sauce maker, and a food chain transparency technology programmer walk into a grocery store…
Toss in two dozen more people, a mix of food entrepreneurs and resource providers, and you have yourself the Greater Peoria Food Innovation Meetup held last month at Sous Chef, a startup grocery store in Peoria’s Warehouse District.
Around 30 people showed up for the inaugural event organized by the Greater Peoria EDC and the Peoria Innovation Alliance, one of a handful of collaborations being explored between the two organizations to build greater momentum toward a robust startup and innovation ecosystem in the region.
Beyond the effort to continue to discover and support area startups and existing businesses, the Food Innovation Meetup is but one piece of the work at the Greater Peoria EDC to better understand the role a well-developed regional food system can play in driving both rural and urban economic development—from farm production and value-adding, to logistics, retail and consumption, and waste recycling. All of these segments of the supply chain were represented at the meetup, and this was just the beginning.
We look forward to continuing our work to support an emerging regional food value chain, help food and farm entrepreneurs connect with (and source from) each other, and improve the sustainability and accessibility of our region’s food system—all while generating economic activity and helping the future food industry take root right here in Greater Peoria.
Read more about the event in this piece from WCBU.