The 3rd Annual Piedmont Grown Conference – Growing your Farm/ Food Business: The Power of Branding will offer local farmers and producers two opportunities to learn more about selling to retailers and other commercial accounts, including state-wide grocery store Lowes Foods. Ariel Fugate, Locally Grown Accounts Representative for Lowes Foods, and liaison for the NC Growing Together Project, will attend the conference representing the company which operates over 90 stores in the state and is based in Winston-Salem. Fugate will participate on a panel along with other farmers and local retailers during one of the conference’s breakout sessions. There will be an optional field trip for conference attendees to tour the new concept Lowes Foods store in Clemmons following the conference.
The Clemmons store is a prototype for other Lowes Foods stores, and features the company’s commitment to offering more local food and products. "In the past year I just got in my car and drove around shaking hands and talking to people in the community,” Kate Allred, the store director, said. “I found a lot of great local products and worked with their creators to sell them in our store. I also developed relationships with more local farmers to bring the freshest produce to our guests. We have the best local variety around!" The store includes a “community table” where there are cooking demonstrations, local beer and wine tastings, as well as activities for kids.
Lowes Foods partners with all of the state’s entities to train farmers and food producers to get their products and businesses ready for retail markets and is the main retail partner in the NC Growing Together Project. Richard McKellogg (produce and floral director), Kate Allred (Clemmons store director), Trisha Walton (Clemmons community table manager) and Rebecca Dunning (NCSU) will host the tour.
For full conference information and registration details please visit: http://2014pgconference.eventbrite.com
Piedmont Grown promotes local food systems through the certification of food and farm products grown or raised in the 37 counties of the North Carolina Piedmont