It may be a bust in some sectors of the Alberta economy compared to other years - but things are booming for food entrepreneurs and foodies!
Amidst some trepidation over the future of Alberta, economists have also indicated that this could also be an incredibly exciting time for the province! A bit of breathing room means more opportunity for smaller businesses to grow, other sectors to flourish, and we will inevitably be stronger and better equipped for the future across all sectors. Of course there are many people that are challenged by economic conditions, but we can always look for bright spots and opportunities.
Specifically, for would-be entrepreneurs, a somewhat dampened economic climate often means easier access to labour, faster and more affordable construction for buildings and equipment, and lower personal income opportunity costs if there are not as many other jobs available.
Alberta's booming foodie culture and food business opportunities can definitely be felt around town here in Edmonton. The number of incredible restaurants opening, and particularly those showcasing great local products, has grown exponentially. I eagerly anticipate the weekly release of Sharon Yeo's Food Notes to see what is new in the food scene in town.
There are numerous resources available and groups that support food producers and manufacturers at every stage of their growth. The Government of Alberta has teams and facilities dedicated to helping food businesses grow. I was also recently lucky enough to attend Foodovation 2016, put on by the Agriculture & Food Council of Alberta - where local producers, policy makers, and innovators came together to talk about opportunities in the sector.
Here are just a few more of the exciting upcoming events and resources for Alberta food businesses, and for Albertans interested in getting involved in our local food scene and food system:
January 25 - Alberta Food Processors Association Digital Marketing 101 Seminar.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for registration details.
February 3 to 5 - Cultivating Connections 2017 - including Taste and Sound of Alberta
As part of the three day forum, which includes a free Mayor's panel, expert speakers, and learning sessions, we'll get to meet and eat (respectively) some of Alberta's most beloved food producers and products. The event will be hosted at Ernest's restaurant at NAIT with live performers and local artisans.
Register here for an amazing culinary and cultural experience.
April 23 - Eat Alberta
Looking forward to the return of Eat Alberta this year to learn, eat, and share!