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Gourmet and specialty foods conference scheduled in Anchorage

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: 907-474-7902


The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will host a specialty and gourmet foods conference March 20-21 in Anchorage.

A highlight of the conference is a public presentation Friday, March 20 from 6-9 p.m. in the Lucy Cuddy Hall dining center at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The event will include featured speakers Melody Stiller-Hamilton, a Pacific Northwest-based designer who specializes in developing packaging solutions for Emily's Chocolates and Teasophy, and Nate Root, the Alaska division manager of Raven's Brew Coffee. Stiller-Hamilton and Root will talk about their journeys developing a specialty food business and packaging and promoting their products.

Coral Howe, Extension's small business development specialist, said examples of some gourmet and specialty foods include Alaska-produced jams and jellies, salsas, baked goods, vinegars, sauces, candies, teas, coffees, dips and seasonings.

The two-day conference is aimed at producers who already sell at farmer's markets and other specialty retail outlets, but want to expand, Howe said. "We'd like them to come away with specific nuts and bolts that will help them improve their sales."

On Saturday, conference participants may schedule individual consultation times with the presenters to talk about their businesses.

Admission to the public presentation is $5 and will include displays from small producers of gourmet and specialty food products. The fee is $65 for both days or $120 for two attendees from one company. For more information and a registration form, e-mail Howe at coral.howe@uaf.edu.

CONTACT: Coral Howe, small business development specialist, at 907-474-1512 or coral.howe@uaf.edu. Debbie Carter, CES public information officer, at 907-474-5406 or debbie.carter@uaf.edu.