EFactor knows that the foodie industry in America is booming, whether in the form of food blogs, restaurants, trucks or other tasty endeavors, so we organized our first Foodie Frenzy event in San Francisco at SFSU on Wednesday, November 15, to satisfy attendees’ cravings for savvy foodie entrepreneurship. Our panel of epicurean speakers included Iso Rabins, Jim Angelus, Jason Angeles, Christina of Mamas Empanadas and Mukul Jain.
is the founder of ForageSF, an events organizing company that focuses on enhancing and supporting the local food economy. Rabins, whose company provides food industry start-ups with a commercial consumer space to use as a springboard, advised attendees to always have a competent and trustworthy CPA working behind the curtain on finances. Aside from finances, he added, management can be a business’s Achilles’ heel -- managing a staff is easier said than done, but a successful small business of your own, Rabins told the crowd, is the most gratifying thing of all (other than a great meal, we imagine).
is the owner of BaconBacon, San Francisco’s only food truck dedicated to bacon. With over 15 years of food experience under his belt, Angelus got a head-start in the industry as a bartender, which, coupled with a degree in economics, gave him both the behind-the-scenes industry smarts and practical business knowhow he needed to start a successful food truck and brick-and-mortar shop of his own. Jim’s advice? Pick and choose staff members carefully -- they’re your business’s lifeline, and they can make it or break it. The same goes for trucks themselves -- Angelus said he spent over $20,000 on his first truck, a fixer upper he thought would save him money in the long run, but in the future he plans on splurging on a new truck, since, with repair costs tacked on to the price of the original truck, it’ll cost about the same.
is the founder of Frozen Kuhsterd, a company that sells natural, organic and locally sourced frozen custard in a traditional shop as well as, coming soon, a truck. One of the best things about working in the food industry, said Angeles, is the instant gratification it offers -- he can literally see the happiness his delicious desserts bring to his customers as they take their first bite! Getting a food truck up and running, though, is no easy feat, Angeles warns -- trucks aren't just ready to go, he said. Rather, business owners need to acquire numerous permits and there are many hidden costs with maintenance, etc.
San Francisco native and realtor Christina is also the founder of Mama’s Empanadas, a South American/Chilean empanadas truck. The food industry tempted Christina because she considered herself a foodie at heart, and wanted to bring a taste of a different culture to San Francisco.
of Moksha Beer. Moksha Beer offers high quality handcrafted Indian style micro-brewed beers. Our first production brew, Moksha Amber Lager, delivers a unique taste that is well suited to pair with the spice tones of South Asian cuisine. Truck maintenance, she advised attendees, is one of the most important lessons to learn in the food truck trade -- one might not realize all the expenses trucks involve, from accidents to tire changes to propane. Budgets should be built to accommodate all these and more, she said.
Mukul Jain works with Moksha Beer, a brewery that offers handcrafted Indian style microbrews. Being in the hospitality industry is great, said Jain, because it allows him to feel like he’s making a difference. We’d cheers to that!
Thanks to all our foodie entrepreneurs who participated in this deliciously educational event, attendees got to dig in to first-hand advice and exclusive tips for getting a start in a burgeoning new twist on the food industry. And of course for stopping by with your Trucks. We’ll all be in food comas for days.
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