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Summary: A FaB Café Event – Building Your Business, Making Food Our Future
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Summary: A FaB Café Event – Building Your Business, Making Food Our Future

When: Thursday, September 21
8:30 am - 1:00 pm
Where: Marquette Alumni Memorial Union - Monaghan Ballroom, Third Floor
1442 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin  53233
United States
Contact: Emily Allen

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At this unique café-style event, we brought together food and beverage companies from across the industry, their suppliers, and technical and professional service providers to learn and discuss Wisconsin’s food and beverage future. Our goal: input on how to strengthen our industry ecosystem to better support your growth, regardless of the size of your company.

The morning culminated in a café discussion – a facilitated event format that gets everyone talking. Knowing that all effective discussions require grounding and direction, we kicked off the morning with a presentation by the Editor-in-Chief of Food Processing (and Marquette grad), Dave Fusaro, who shared his perspective on industry trends and innovations shaping our food future. 


Additional grounding was offered by the ten young and fast growing companies selected to participate in the FaBcap Accelerator. Attendees were among the first to meet and wish them well as they begin on their nine-month Accelerator journey.


A lifelong journalist, Dave was editor in chief of Dairy Foods 1996-2001 and managing editor of Prepared Foods 1993-1995. Before and after that stint, he worked at Putman's Control magazine, most recently as its executive editor. Prior to that, he covered automation for Metalworking News, and earlier was an award-winning newspaper reporter specializing in business writing. Dave has a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University, Milwaukee.


8:30 am – 9:30 am      
Attendees arrived to network, get early access to our ten new Cappers, and enjoy a continental breakfast courtesy of event host Marquette University.

9:30 am – 10:00 am       
Shelley Jurewicz, Executive Director of FaB Wisconsin, offered a warm welcome and introduced keynote speaker Dave Fusaro, Editor-in-Chief of Food Processing.

10:00 am – 10:45 am 
Dave Fusaro discussed food industry innovation trends, concentrating on changes in big food, exporting, and the importance of consumer trust in building your brand.

10:45 am – 11:00 am  

Attendees continued to network and geared up to officially meet the Cappers during a brief break.

11:00 am – 11:40 am  

Brad Rostowfske, FaB’s Director of Industry Growth, and Tera Johnson, Director of the Food Finance Institute, took the stage to welcome the new class of Cappers to the Accelerator. Each Capper was called up to give a three-minute rundown of their business, focusing especially on their strengths and their areas for growth.


11:40 am – 12:35 pm 
Class 2 Cappers and attending FaBcap Class 1 alums were assigned to tables as table hosts. Jurewicz explained how the café method of discussion works and set the ground rules.

The whistle blew and the discussion began. The question on the table: How might your company, your professionals, or you be able to assist our younger companies, and how might you and your company benefit?

Attendees discussed the question for two rounds and then were tasked with making their ideas into action items. What ideas do you have for FaB to make it easier for you to grow your food, beverage or related business?

12:35 pm – 12:55 pm
Tables reported out. Common threads of discussion: a member bulletin board, food safety training opportunities, and finding better ways for member companies to support each other’s businesses.


12:55 pm – 1:00 pm
Closing remarks were made and attendees were sent on their way. 

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