Breakfast with the Pros workshop geared for local food startups

To help local food businesses grow, the Colorado Department of Agriculture is hosting a workshop entitled Breakfast with the Pros. The workshop is Wednesday, April 6 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Colorado Department of Agriculture, 305 Interlocken Parkway in Broomfield.

“Industry insight is the key to helping our local food companies thrive,” said Shaina Knight, business development specialist with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “This workshop offers businesses firsthand knowledge from experienced industry professionals and allows ample time to network.”

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The workshop will feature a comprehensive panel on funding sources moderated by Joanne Baginski with EKS&H. Guest speakers include an investment banker from The Forbes M+A Group, commercial lender Colorado Business (CoBiz) Bank, a venture capitalist group, the CoBiz SBA lending program and the Colorado Enterprise Fund. Boulder Organic Ice Cream will also offer the audience their point of view on how each form of investment has played a key role in their growth.

Following a full catered breakfast, Shawn Irvine from Waypoint will discuss local food brokers and their role in the market including a crash course on sales training. Dawn Thilmany McFadden, a CSU Ag Economist and Professor, will present consumer market trends and offer tips on marketing towards established demands. Lastly, Loren Martinez with Little Man Ice Cream will showcase this strong business by providing insight into the importance of organizational culture and finding a balance between managing a storefront, offering wholesale and production.

“This workshop is for established businesses and is organized to be quick moving and interactive,” said Knight.

Registration is $30 per person before March 25, and $40 after the deadline. Registration includes the program, workshop materials, and catered breakfast. Online pre-registration is required, and processing fees for electronic checks and credit card orders apply.

For more information or to register, visit