Maybe it's because I need to lose weight that I'm obsessed with food right now. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, artisanal baked goods, local cheeses, well-raised chickens, healthy butchers and stuff. And I'm interested in the crossover between tech startups and the hipster food business happening here in Toronto. There's lots that set them apart (no freemiums in restaurants or food stores) but culturally, they've got so much in common.
Many of these new businesses are started by people who feel like they didn't fit in. They've quit jobs to run the kind of business they want to work at, making things that they care about, doing things their way.
Collaboration and community
The new food community is probably more connected and supportive of each other than before, just as startups use co-work spaces to share some of the challenges and try to work out solutions.
Rockin' the baby
Family first is common with this kind of new business, where the opposite was the case just a generation ago in new businesses. Now a guy entrepreneur can make the time to be with the kids or take care of an ill family member.
Style and design
Sort of superficial, but can't be ignored; the hipster aesthetic pops up in both the startup and the food worlds. And graphic designers are influencing brand presence for both worlds with similar looks.
Changing the world
So many of the people with new food businesses and tech startups are trying to make a difference with their businesses. Even if social and environmental impact isn't part of the product offering, one or both are often embedded in the core values of these companies.
I'm going to start posting about new companies I've come across who I think are companies to watch and who mature businesses should be looking at for strategic partnerships. So much exciting stuff going on out there.
Brenda van Ginkel
Every great brand that's making a difference to people or the planet deserves to stand out and be noticed. I write about creative direction and brand strategy for entrepreneurs and those supporting them, packaging concepts with messaging for growth and audience engagement in a crowded, noisy digital space.