Who can join?
Food and beverage manufacturers – makers of products that people eat or drink – that are based in and/or manufacture in Western North Carolina (25 counties in NC’s West and North-West Prosperity Zones – see map here) can apply to be full Members. Companies that are making products at a retail scale but are aspiring to sell wholesale are also invited to apply.
Non-profit organizations that provide assistance to the food and beverage manufacturing industry are invited to apply as Support Members.
Corporate buyers, retailers, distributors, and other industry members as well as for-profit service providers and suppliers (e.g. lawyers, accountants, marketing firms, equipment sellers, packaging manufacturers, etc.) can apply to be Partners.
What will the Guild do to help my business?
Based on initial feedback from interested business owners, the following programs are being considered at this time.
- Producing regular industry networking and educational events
- Facilitating peer-to-peer connections
- Helping members problem solve around shared issues, both in larger round-table conversations and small private discussions
- Connecting members to existing resources – educational, financial, technical, and more
- Advocating for programming and policy needed by Guild members and the industry at large
Membership and Schedule
The Guild officially kicked off in January 2019 with our first (highly attended and reviewed!) member trainings and roundtables on Distribution, as well as a member social.
Check the front page of this site for a list of upcoming trainings and events; in general, members can look forward to a regular series of trainings, get-togethers, and roundtable discussions, and also stay in touch regularly via an active member Listserv.
A volunteer Steering Committee manages the Guild and is continuing to work on its overall structure and benefits; members are also polled annually about programming needs, specific educational needs, and other Guild operational and program questions.