How to Make a Million Bucks Selling Mean Beans

This jar required a lot more than just heating up a pot of water. Get the deets on Tuesday at a panel on starting a food business.

Listen up DIYers! The Greenmarket’s next Educated Eater panel is for blossoming food bizzes, or those who want to run them.

It’s at the Brooklyn Kitchen Labs at 100 Frost Street near the Lorimer L stop in Williamsburg on Tuesday from 6:30-9pm, and tickets are $25. Panelists — bios courtesy Greenmarket below, and including Rick of Rick’s Picks, he of the Mean Beans — will cover everything renting kitchen space, getting a food handler’s license, sourcing locally in volume all year and scale up your business sustainably. Plus, they’re gonna show you how to make jam!

Beth Linskey of Beth’s Farm Kitchen: A long-time Greenmarket participant, Beth’s Farm Kitchen has been making jams, chutney, and pickles for 30 years. Because her business has grown over the years, she is able to work in a facility that can accommodate the processing of products besides her own. Beth’s peels, chops, and freezes fruit grown by upstate farmers to supply a range of businesses from People’s Pops, to jam for Norwich Meadows, Wilklow Orchards, and Not Just Rugalach. Beth’s also makes nutritional labels and promotes the Regional Gift Box Project. This year she and Liz Beals will attend Terra Madre as delegates representing New York’s small processors and NYSSFPA. (Following the discussion, Beth and Liz will lead the audience in a jam making demonstration.)


Kathrine Gregory of Mi Kitchen Es Su Kitchen®: The Entrepreneur’s Space: A Food and Business Incubator, located in Long Island City, Queens, has been in operation for over five years (formerly known as The Artisan Baking center) and has been the launch pad for more than a few of the small artisanal food companies that have made a name for themselves in New York City and beyond. The kitchen is available 24/7 with three 8-hour shifts available per day. This fully equipped kitchen is ideal for large scale production, it also features a cold room perfect for chocolates, and custom cake finishing. The Entrepreneur’s Space also has office spaces for small service businesses and classroom space for organizations wishing to provide job training/ESL/GED programs. In conjunction with QEDC, Mi Kitchen offers guidance on how to get various licenses, insurance, financial and business assistance.

Rick Field of Rick’s Picks: Rick Field of Rick’s Picks: Rick’s now-famous pickled varieties got their start at his Greenmarket stands, which provided him with the platform to scale up his business.  He can speak to starting small and making it big, dealing with growing pains, and maintaining a commitment to sourcing locally all the while.  He co-authored The Art of Preserving, published by Williams-Sonoma in May 2010.

Jim Hyland of Farm to Table Copackers (F2T): Building from the success of Winter Sun Farm, a winter CSA that provides participants with frozen local produce preserved from the summer’s bounty (including eight winter CSA’s in Brooklyn!), Jim and his partner Luc Roels started Farm to Table Copackers. F2T is a full service contract packaging facility that produces everything from frozen vegetables, pies, and soups to jarred pickles and sauces. Based in Kingston, NY, the facility boasts an incubator kitchen where new products can be tested and small batch runs can be made. Jim and Luc make Rick’s Pick’s products including his very popular Mean Beans.

(Moderator) June Russell, Farm Inspections Manager, Greenmarket: In addition to doing regular farm and market inspections, June has been working with Greenmarket farmers to match them with partners who can process their excess crops and at the same time help them expand the range of products they are able to sell at markets.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.