We’ve learned a lot about the food industry since our founding more than 100 years ago, including that no single organization can scale positive impact on its own. Griffith Foods has always been more of a network or ecosystem than a single entity, as we rely heavily on the valuable partnerships and relationships we’ve built around the world. Coincidentally, sometimes these partnerships start right in our own backyard.
We are currently in a five-year partnership with The Hatchery, a Chicago-based joint venture between the non-profits Accion Chicago and ICNC. The Hatchery is an incubator dedicated to helping local entrepreneurs build and grow successful businesses. By partnering with Griffith Foods, we can accomplish three key needs for food and beverage entrepreneurs, including:
- Access to production space
- Procurement of financing
- Connection to additional resources
In addition, Griffith Foods can also act as a customer to food start-ups, which will help scale product innovations to others in the industry.
Partnership with Purpose
As with all of our business operations, this partnership is designed to help achieve a greater purpose than only financial success. The Hatchery’s mission is to remove barriers to growth for food entrepreneurs and create good jobs in the City of Chicago. In fact, the non-profit estimates that 900 jobs will be created over the next five years, with space for 75 to 100 entrepreneurs in the new food production and innovation hub.
In this way, our partnership with The Hatchery means we can continue to create shared value for more stakeholders by aligning our business opportunities and initiatives with solutions for broader social issues. By leveraging our core capabilities of culinary expertise, consumer insight, sensory science, and food science expertise, we aim to provide expert-in-residence and cross-functional leadership that will allow us to assist and invest in the next generation of food pioneers.
The partnership also includes opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow and share insights with Griffith Foods’ employee experts (as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease), including:
- A yearly internship program
- Educational sessions
- Panel discussions
- Entrepreneur mentorship
A Year of Connectivity
We have big plans for our continued involvement with The Hatchery, including both internal- and external-facing opportunities to build our organization, industry, and community partnership. Over the next year, we have a number of community and industry events planned (COVID permitting) to introduce The Hatchery to the Griffith Foods family, including partner events, panels, and more.
All of these opportunities mean that we can continue to enable our purpose-driven strategy through innovation and community engagement to drive business development opportunities while supporting The Hatchery ecosystem.
Experimenting with new food technologies (and the chefs, entrepreneurs, and food experts that create them) has been a part of the Griffith Foods legacy for more than 100 years and continues to be our focus as we create new initiatives to prepare our customers for the future of food. The Hatchery partnership is the perfect way to support this endeavor while investing in our local Alsip/Chicago community. We look forward to seeing the abundant fruits this partnership will produce over the next several years — here and around the world.