What happens at a business boot camp?

For the past five years, Fair Food Network has hosted business boot camps for good food entrepreneurs. An intensive crash course in everything from financials to marketing, this three-day training caught the attention of The New York Times.

Last year, we brought this event to Michigan as part of our work with the Michigan Good Food Fund. (Watch video highlights from our recent Flint training!)

Curious what went on at this year’s Business Boot Camp Pitch Competitions in the Northeast and Flint? Follow the journey of a good food entrepreneur through these photos as they learn the essential skills needed to take their businesses to the next level.

Northeast Boot Camp


Flint Boot Camp


While only one business won the culminating pitch competition, we left inspired and awed by the dedication and entrepreneurial passion fueling our good food economy.

Congrats to all businesses we’ve supported in 2017!

  • Charma’s Green Chips makes tasty kale and collard green chips – the right choice for flavor and healthy snacking. Read the story on Charma’s from the Hub Flint.
  • Crooked Face Creamery sources milk from Maine Jersey cows to craft a unique line of cheese products including ricotta and gouda-style cheeses, which it distributes from Boston to Maine.
  • The Flint Farming Project creates productive market gardens that provide healthy local food to residents of Flint while creating new farmers and new jobs.
  • Food Connects aggregates produce and value added products from more than 45 local farmers and producers, and distributes it to 100+ schools, hospitals, and retail buyers across Vermont and New Hampshire.
  • Full Moon Ghee supplies regionally-sourced ghee to Western Massachusetts. Ghee is similar to clarified butter but with a longer shelf life and higher heat point, serving as an alternative to coconut or olive oils.
  • Fungi Ally won the Northeast Judge and Audience Choice Award. This business grows specialty mushrooms for distribution across the Northeast, plus it provides education on mushroom cultivation, foraging, and medicine.
  • Grow Compost transforms manure and food scraps from across the Waterbury, Vermont community into rich, fertile soil which they sell to growers in the Northeast.
  • Happy Little Greens Farm won the Flint Boot Camp pitch competition award. This vertical farm operation focuses primarily on microgreen production, offering sustainable local urban produce solutions. Read more in the Hub Flint’s profile of Happy Little Greens.
  • MaMang uses fresh, locally grown ingredients to serve Vietnamese cuisine drawn from treasured family recipes.
  • The Poke Bowl is putting a new spin on this traditional Hawaiian dish.
  • Sweet Peaces Veggie Bistro specializes in internationally-inspired, locally-acquired, plant-based cuisine.

Dig Deeper: Learn more about Fair Food Fund and see how this Boot Camp made a real difference in Flint, Michigan.