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Local Food Entrepreneur Showcase

  • Fogartyville Community Media & Arts Center 525 Kumquat Ct Sarasota, FL 34236 USA (map)

Meet dozens of local farmers and artisan food producers, sample some of our area's best local food and drink, enjoy live music and TED-style presentations, and mingle with fellow foodies at Transition Sarasota's second semi-annual Local Food Entrepreneur Showcase!

Though this event is part of a wider effort to bring together those interested in helping to grow our local food economy through direct investment with those who are seeking capital to start-up or expand their local food-based businesses, you don't have to think of yourself as an "investor" or an "entrepreneur" to participate. All are welcome to join in the fun!

Free admission. For more information, please contact us at or (941) 408-3374.


Vendors & Exhibitors

Budsalot Gardens (Growing Systems)

Check out a demonstration of one of their solar-powered vertical growing systems and pick up a kit to take home, if you're so inclined! 

Carr's Corner Cafe (Restaurant)

A hearty southwestern vegetable stew, as well as a variety of wraps and salads (with vegan and vegetarian options available), all served in compostable bowls and made with the freshest possible ingredients sourced from local organic farmers.

Green Garden Chef (Food Artisan)

Products for sale will include baked goods, sweet and savory jams, homegrown and solar-dried spice mixes and teas, and edible plants and seeds.

Grove Ladder Farm (Producer)

Bring your cooler if you'd like to take home one of Grove Ladder Farm's soy-free, pasture-raised, whole meat chickens!

Island Fresh Market (Retailer)

This stalwart supporter of local farmers and fishermen will again be serving their delicious clam chowder, fish spread, and kale salad.

Sarasota Honey Company (Producer)

Raw, local honey (of course), plus 100% beeswax candles, beeswax & honey soaps, and free educational materials teaching you how to keep your own bees.

Sift Bakehouse (Food Artisan)

Small-batch, artisanal cookies, muffins, scones, and other baked treats made from scratch using only all-natural ingredients.

Slow Food Greater Sarasota (Nonprofit)

At the booth for this chapter of Slow Food International - which promotes good, clean, and fair food for all - learn about upcoming food-related events in our area, find out how you can support edible school gardens in Sarasota and Manatee counties, and (most importantly) pick up some tasty, fresh, and local snacks.

Sunshine Canning (Food Artisan)

Beer and bourbon-brined pickles, spicy kohlrabi and turnip pickles, and seasonal jams like Meyer lemon-ginger, blueberry tequila, and strawberry-vanilla. Also, information about upcoming canning classes.

Sweetgrass Farms (Producer)

A wide variety of fruits and vegetables grown hydroponically right here in Sarasota without the use of synthetic pesticides or herbicides.

Transition Sarasota (Nonprofit)

Take the 10% Local Food Shift Pledge, purchase books on gardening and local food systems, and view 15 pieces of "information art" from The Lexicon of Sustainability.

Tropical Fruit Society of Sarasota (Nonprofit)

In addition to distributing information about the Society and offering t-shirts and other merchandise for sale, Society members will be on-hand to answer all your tropical fruit tree-related questions.

Main Stage Activities

4:30-5:00: Screening of Food for Thought, Food for Life

Susan Rockefeller’s short film explains the downsides of current agribusiness practices, and also introduces us to farmers, chefs, researchers, educators, and advocates who are providing solutions. Its powerful examination of the connections between our planet and our well-being is accompanied by specific strategies that protect both.

5:00-5:30: Live Music by David Smash

David Smash is a talented multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and bandleader, originally from Lithuania, playing blues, country rock, and jazz. David will play two sets during this event: one on guitar and another on piano.

5:30-6:00: Presentation on "Starting Your Food-Based Business the Old-Fashioned Way, from Scratch" by Christine Nordstrom, RISE Kitchen

Knowing how and where to start your small food-based business can be daunting and confusing - but it doesn't have to be. Christine will help you get down to the basics with her informative talk about starting right where you are, with what you already have.

6:00-6:30: Live Music by David Smash

6:30-7:00: Presentation on "Becoming a Farmers' Market Vendor: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" by Camille Van Sant, Green Garden Chef

Camille will share her behind-the-scenes candid and humorous experience of becoming a vendor at the downtown Bradenton Farmers' Market, including hard-won lessons about deciding whether to become a vendor or not, finding your niche, maintaining reasonable expectations, and building your customer base.

7:00-7:30: Live Music by Michael Miller

Michael Miller, veteran singer/songwriter and frontman for The Heart Machine, has been playing music and writing songs for twenty years. With a folk-influenced background and subsequent immersion into the music of the Grateful Dead, Michael writes and performs original material for The Heart Machine and for solo acoustic shows throughout the Sarasota area and beyond.

7:30-8:00: Presentation on "Hydroponics: Farm of the Future" by Jim Demler, Sweetgrass Farms

Sweetgrass Farms believes that hydroponic farming is what organic farming wants to be when it grows up! Requiring intricate knowledge of botany and chemistry, plants grown in this manner contain more vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants, enhancing both flavor and health. 

Earlier Event: April 11
Food for Thought, Food for Life
Later Event: April 23
The Unforeseen