Demo night for small batch Bay Area food producers

Matt Wise and his food startups meetup team executed another successful event last Thursday night along with the help of Buyer’s Best Friend. They brought together a great group of small batch food producers along with attendees doing all sorts of interesting things in the food world. My highlights from the evening:

Every time I interact with Pat Galvin, founder of Vignette Wine Country Soda, I like him and his company more. I first encountered him at the last food startups meetup in June and since then I’ve started to see market needs for his product all over the place.

  • Pat Galvin from Vignette pours samples for guests at the Buyer’s Best Friend Wholesale & Mercantile store

    Example: Teens Turning Green is a non-profit of which I sit on the board. We’re hosting a celebration at the end of the month for the culmination of Project Green Challenge. There will be many high school and college student participants attending. We wanted to serve wine but felt that would be inappropriate with all the under-21-year-olds. Vignette immediately popped into my mind as a festive age-appropriate wine alternative: the updated Martinelli’s sparkling cider. Lucky for us, Pat has graciously volunteered to donate Vignette for the event and support Teens Turning Green.

I tasted some delicious stuff and had a chance to meet the founders of these businesses:

  • Moksha Beer: Indian-style micro-brews. I’m loving this growing trend of entrepreneurs bringing Indian-inspired products to US consumers. See also:
    • Fojol brothers: some friends of mine serve Indian food in a food truck in DC with a whimsical make-believe backstory about their native land of Merlindia
    • Bandar foods: Indian-flavored hot sauce. The mango product has a very unique taste, and packs quite a punch.
    • Mohinders: not food related at all but my husband is building a company which will sell handmade Indian-inspired leather footwear in the US, if you’re interested sign up to be informed of its launch at
  • Madecasse: one of my favorite chocolate bars out there. The sea salt bar is pretty hard to beat. Our $15 admission ticket to the event came with $10 of store credit at the venue: the Buyer’s Best Friend Wholesale and Mercantile store (on Haight St at Cole). My $10 went straight to Madecasse.
  • GreenLife Smoothies: these guys were handing out green smoothie samplers, super fresh and tasty.

I also got a chance to catch up with a few food entrepreneur friends. Check out their growing businesses:

More food startups meetup events are in the works. Stay tuned on the group’s events page:

About Michelle Paratore

Management consultant obsessed with food justice, food politics, food start-ups, food sustainability, and eating food too...
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