Meet Your Maker Okanagan

Including the Similkameen Valley

Monday March 10th, 2014
East Kelowna Hall
2704 East Kelowna Road
Kelowna, BC

This is a networking event for BC food producers and BC food buyers. It is not open to the general public.

Meet Your Maker returns to the Okanagan for the third consecutive year on Monday March 10th.  

This event is for Farmers, Ranchers, Fishers, Processors, Artisans, Chefs, Restaurants, Grocers, Distributors, Wholesalers and Retailers… anyone directly involved in the local food system.  It’s the most concise networking event you'll attend in the Okanagan this year!  

Expect a full day of networking, discussions, presentations and workshops - it's all tied together with a delicious potluck lunch.

Producers can meet buyers from Sysco, Choices Markets, Save-On-Foods, and locavore restaurants!  

Buyers will meet amazing small-scale producers and processors from all over the Okanagan, Similkameen, Shuswap and even the Kootenays.  

About the Speed-Networking:
Producers will have an opportunity (before the event starts) to set up a small display table.  There will be no sampling, instead, registrants are encouraged to contribute a dish or raw ingredients to the potluck lunch.

The Speed Networking will consist of Producers standing behind their displays tables and the Buyers rotating through the room at regular intervals.  Everyone should have a chance to meet each other.  This is a great way to start conversations that can be carried on over lunch, throughout the day or even afterwards at the Pub mingler. 

About Workshops:
There are 2 afternoon sessions, each with a choice of workshop A or B.  Check out the agenda below to read more about these great opportunities to grow you awareness and knowledge. 

Meet Your Maker 2014 Agenda  (details to be released as they come avilable)

9:30am - Registration desk opens (opportunity for Producers to set up their displays)

10am - Event open and welcoming remarks

10:15am - Lead Sponsor Remarks, 

11am - Speed Networking (Buyers meet Producers at their display tables)

12:00pm - Delicious Potluck Lunch

1pm - Workshop session 1

Option A - Making the Sell: How to Approach & Pitch to Buyers (A 2-person panel made of 1 small-scale producer who sells to big buyers and one buyer who receives inquiries).  

Assessing how to approach a new Buyer can be daunting, but doesn’t need to be.  Small-scale food processor, Joan Haddow (Canadian Fruitful Tree Company) has many years experience making the sales pitch to the corporate buyer and has helped other producers step confidently into that role as well.  She joins produce buyer (to be confirmed) to talk about how to start the conversation and speak the language that your potential buyer needs to hear. 

Option B - Farm Product Distribution: Filling the Distribution Gap Between Farmers and Buyers (Erin Nichols (FarmFolk CityFolk and Darren Stott (Consultant) 

The opportunity of how to transport and distribute locally produced food to interested wholesale buyers still persists. What systems are needed to support farm sales to restaurants, caterers, institutions, and grocers? FarmFolk CityFolk’s feasibility study takes a pragmatic approach to this question. Erin Nichols and Darren Stott will present their findings and then engage farmers in a discussion of how to pilot a brokering/transportation service for the Lower Mainland in 2014-2015, and in other areas of the province in the future.

2pm - Workshop session 2

Option A - 'Getting the Message Out There: Building Fruitful Relationships with Media' 

Hear what media professionals suggest you do to help your news or your story get told to a larger audience. Three panelists representing Print, Radio and Online Media will present on the best way to submit information and tips to ensure it gets considered for publishing or broadcast. 

Join Phil Johnson, host of AM 1150 Kelowna’s ‘Early Edition’, well known journalist, Darcy Nybo, writer for ORCHARD & VINE MAGAZINE and online media strategist, Angelique Duffield, owner of Bright Spark Media | Social Media Marketing for Your Business in this panel discussion. Bring your burning questions!

Option B - Expanding Your Options: Agri-Tourism Business Planning (with Tracey Fredrickson, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission).

This workshop will be of interest to any farm operator looking to add agri-tourism activities to their farm enterprise, and existing agri-tourism operators who want to grow or expand and have never done an actual business plan.  Any business owner will also benefit from this overview of what is involved in the business planning process.  The workshop is based on the Agri-Tourism Business Planning program offered by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission.  Participants will come away with a general understanding of the business planning process, and the considerations specific to agri-tourism businesses. 

3pm – Event Wrap Up: Closing remarks and event evaluations.

3:30pm – Event close and everyone invited across the road to the pub for continuing casual conversations.


Some of the businesses already registered for Meet Your Maker Okanagan 2014:

Overwaitea Food Group
Urban Harvest
Choices Markets
East Kelowna Cider Company
Lina's Garden
Canadian Fruitful Tree Company
Caramoomel Products Inc
Happy Days Dairies Ltd.
East Kelowna Fruit Market
Meadow Vista Honey Wines
Glenn Cross Orchards/ Function Junction
Tamarac Fresh Cut Foods
Central Okanagan Food Policy Council - Community Farm Committee
Freedom Tea & Gift Co.
Terroir Cheese Ltd
The Wild Moon Organics Co
Okanagan Mobile Juicing Inc.
Harker's Organics & Rustic Roots Winery
Miradoro @ Tinhorn Creek
Mountain valley farm
Habby Jacks Hot Foods
Gatzke Farm Markets
Okanagan Epicurean Enterprises
Great Bear Enterprises Ltd.
The Rudy Family Farm
UnDressed Foods Inc.
Four Points Sheraton
Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Okanagan Map
Curly Frog Farm
West Enderby Farm
Rosebank Farms
Artisan Culinary Concepts

Never miss an invitation for your BUSINESS to MEET YOUR MAKER! Click here to SUBSCRIBE to our E-Alert list to be updated when registration opens each year and receive updates about Meet Your Maker Okanagan.