Year End Reflections & Impacts from the Good to Grow team

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We often look back at a year and define its success, especially in an industry like food and beverage, by numbers. Product sales. Market channels. Retail onboards. Workshops. Trade show exhibitors. Sponsorships. Client accounts. The numbers are important measurements, of course, but for us at Good to Grow what defines success in what we do is the impact we make. 

As we say goodbye to 2023, we’re setting aside the sales spreadsheets and focusing on the meaningful impacts we made and gained this year. Here is what our team has to say:

Breanne Johnson, Marketing and Events Coordinator

“Collaborating with business owners that dare to invest in their visions and pursue entrepreneurship is nothing short of incredible. A highlight event this year for me was Pitch & Plate in November, where brands embarked on a transformative process to pitch their products to institutional food service representatives. To learn the stories of the people behind the brands, see their hard work as they refined their pitch for success, and then see opportunities for growth unfold for them was inspiring.

This year with Good to Grow has shown me what nurturing growth, creativity, and the unwavering belief that each brand has a unique and impactful story to tell can do.”

Paige Wright, Social Media Manager & Digital Content Creator

“This year opened my eyes to the food and beverage industry and how much heart it has! I connected with the women of Taste Buddies Gourmet at the trade show, where I watched them win bronze for outstanding product of the year and saw how much it meant to them. Most people don’t get to see the positive impact on a business owner when you decide to pick a product off a shelf and purchase it, but I felt like that’s what I got to witness x100 at the trade show when Taste Buddies won. The food and beverage businesses we support are created out of peoples’ innovation and dreams, and it’s very cool to watch firsthand as dreams come true.”

Megan Carey Adams, Writer & Communications Specialist

“The ripple effect of what we do is never lost on me. Each brand we support creates a product made from sustainable ingredients, often grown locally by a farmer near you. The sales of products that we help to develop contribute to a local, sustainable economy, creating jobs, income and opportunities for our communities. Each choice for renewable packaging and ingredients we educate on is a step towards climate solutions. Each opportunity to invest our time in a social enterprise doing good things, like Soul Bite Foods, creates food security and stronger communities. Each bite of food we share connects cultures and world perspectives.

So, not one moment stands out for me this year, but how each and every moment connects us and creates good is the impact I’m here for.”

Meghan Carter, Director of Operations and Marketing

“There have been so many micro and macro meaningful moments in 2023; it’s impossible to list them all—and I might end up in a puddle of (happy) tears if I start. From the little dances we did at retail when we saw the brands we worked with on the shelves to the feeling of total awe as we wrapped our 5th and biggest trade show to date.

As a team we had a lot of learning moments, both challenging and beautiful, that gave us the opportunity to settle deeper into our true vision for Good to Grow. We also refined the values we want to guide us moving forward.

As the world around us moved rapidly over these last 12 months, somehow I feel more grounded at the end of it. I have a deeper understanding of how Good to Grow fits into it all.

This settling in and knowing of our values has strengthened our connections with the people in our coaching, shaped how we plan and execute our events, guided the partners we collaborate with, and inspired new educational offerings we plan to release.”

Andrea Gray-Grant, CEO & Founder

“For the From The Ground Up Conference this year, we decided to host a panel on mental health, and it was the hardest panel I have ever done. We were talking about mental health, meanwhile moderating the panel was actually causing me incredible amounts of anxiety. I had an “ah-ha” moment at the end of the event, and I realized that the reason why mental health is talked about so little is the perceived stigma of weakness and/or shame attached to it. 

I was really proud that we pushed through that barrier to speak about something I know every processor goes through and I am honoured that those incredibly brave panelists sat there exposing themselves in a way that I know was anything but comfortable.”

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As you wrap up 2023, we encourage you to set aside the sales spreadsheets too and take time to reflect on the meaningful impacts you made and gained this year. We’re thankful to be alongside you in this incredibly impactful food and beverage community. See you in 2024!

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