Edible-Alpha® is your source for actionable insights into making money in food. Hosted by the Food Finance Institute, we talk to a wide range of stakeholders about what it really takes to grow a successful food business. Learn more at www.edible-alpha.org
SBDC Consultant Helps Food Businesses Go Global
Chris Wojtowicz from the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center unpacks the global expansion process for small food and farm businesses looking for new market opportunities.
Hill Valley Dairy Broadens Family Legacy
Ron Henningfeld, owner and cheesemaker at Hill Valley Dairy, drops by to discuss putting his own spin on a family farm business and expanding into new opportunities.
Grassway Organics Cultivates Community
Andy invites in Grassway Organics’ Chaz Self for an inspiring conversation about farming business models, growing a diversified ag operation, and regenerating local communities.
Clean Beam Advances Food Safety for the 21st Century
In Edible-Alpha® podcast #113, Brad connects with Mark Cottone, founder of Clean Beam, and Jim Rush, the company’s marketing director. Clean Beam’s revolutionary footwear sanitizer powered by DryZap!, its patented pulsed ultraviolet (PUV) light technology, helps processing facilities enhance food safety and security.
After Mark’s other company, Cougar Packaging Concepts, began using PUV to sanitize and extend the shelf life of food, the idea arose to apply DryZap! to footwear in food processing facilities. He started Clean Beam about five years ago to develop a dry, fast, chemical-free sanitation solution to replace boot washers and other existing systems, which are notoriously problematic.
The initial goal was simply to protect plant employees from slipping. But then, through rigorous testing, the team realized DryZap’s superior speed, efficacy, and consistency in eliminating a wide range of contaminants. PUV kills bacteria, molds, yeasts, and other pathogens in six seconds or less and delivers the kill value of heat without changing a product’s temperature.
Plus, as an electronic system, the Clean Beam sanitizer tracks every user and feeds data into the cloud. This enables plants to track movement patterns and pinpoint the source of problems should they occur. Overall, DryZap! has the potential to prevent security breaches while providing total traceability, monitoring, and predictive analytics.
Clean Beam’s innovation is especially timely, as all food manufacturers must now comply with Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules. Through FSMA, FDA requires companies to implement preventative controls, to be proactive about food safety rather than reactive.
Although DryZap! would be a stellar solution for most any production facility, there is still a steep education curve for many food companies. In their industry conversations, Mark and Jim explain that FSMA compliance is about more than checking a box. Yes, a standard boot washer might make them compliant, and no, they may not foresee any safety issues now, but the costs of weathering a recall are astronomical. As Jim points out, “this is a cost-avoidance play as much as a cost-savings play.”
Along with educating potential customers, Clean Beam also listens to their pain points and needs. This consultative selling approach may be slower than hard-selling, but Brad says it is ultimately more effective. It helps entrepreneurs engender trust in the industry and hone their solutions to better suit the companies they want to help. This has definitely been the case for Clean Beam, which has been evolving its offerings in response to these conversations—and they are definitely not done innovating yet!
Tune in to hear the full story of Clean Beam’s inception, development, launch, sales strategy, and goals for growth. This podcast offers great guidance and inspiration for food technology entrepreneurs, as well as food manufacturers looking to safeguard their operations.
Together Farms Diversifies into Agritourism
Andy talks with Together Farms’ Stephanie Schneider about building a successful diversified farm business from scratch, making mistakes and learning along the way, and honing operations to boost efficiencies.
T4 Solutions Streamlines Grocery E-commerce
Brad chats with T4 Solutions’ Steve Mehmert about the rapidly changing grocery industry and exciting technologies helping independent stores compete.
Great for all types of food businesses
I've been an advice listener to Edible-Alpha for over 2 years and look forward to each podcast. The information Terra shares and her guests is insightful, valuable and I'm always learning. While based in Wisconsin and sometimes focused for that region you will always here information you can put in place or share with others.
Love the focus on the entrepreneurs who are changing the ecosystem!
Food Entrepreneur Must Listen
This is an excellent podcast for food entrepreneurs: part inspiration, part nuts and bolts, part strategy. I eagerly await every new episode because I know I'll learn something. Too often entrepreneurial podcasts are done by celebrity hosts that don't really know what questions to ask (think How I Built This) or former venture capitalists who say ridiculous things like "you have to have the very best people in every position" (think Masters of Scale). Tera's podcast is awesome because she's built an incredibly successful food business of her own, she's done a tremendous amount of food entrepreneur consulting, and she knows that most of us out here have a passion for our product, and we're just trying to figure it all out with the skillset and budget we have. She's trying to help us where the rubber meets the road to help us get traction in growing our business. Awesome!