FoodForward: showcasing Rhode Island’s food innovators

Event Details

FoodForward: A Showcase of RI Food Innovators & Culinary Mavericks

FoodForward Brings Taste Explosion to Providence on Saturday, September 21

From artisanal cheese to a nutritional drink for expectant moms, Rhode Island is fertile ground for the food innovators who are taking food–in all its forms–to the next level. When it comes to food innovation, the country’s smallest state packs a big bite.

Come taste for yourself on Saturday, September 21 during a full lighting of Waterfire, when RallyRI’s FoodForward tent will showcase more than a dozen culinary mavericks who are building thriving businesses and globally great brands right here in Rhode Island.

Inside the FoodForward tent, these rising stars will be on display, sampling their products and showcasing the many reasons Rhode Island is becoming a great place to launch and grow food startups.

The FoodForward tent will be located on College Street and is free and open to the public beginning at 6pm.  Don’t drag your feet: when the delicious treats are gone, the tent will close!

Visitors to the FoodForward tent will taste creations from:

 Campus Fine Wines

In July 2012, Andrea Sloan, Howard Mahady, Vincent Scorziello and Natalie Butler purchased Campus Fine Wines, a Fox Point neighborhood landmark for decades. Campus will be serving five amazing craft brews that highlight the rapid growth of Rhode Island’s craft beer scene!  Campus will be sampling beers from Grey Sail, Foolproof, Narragansett Seasonals, Newport Storm, and Revival.

Daniele, Inc

This rapidly growing global company is hand-making some of the finest charcuterie in the world. Thanks to the ingenuity and passion of the Dukcevich family, restaurants and food lovers across the globe enjoy prosciutto, sopressata, salami, pancetta, mortadella and capocollo that is made in the pristine northern woods of Rhode Island.

Go Veggie

GO Veggie!™ was launched in 2012, by Galaxy Nutritional Foods, a 25-year leader in the cheese alternative products industry, specifically for the traditional grocery store channel. GO Veggie! has two distinct product lines — GO Veggie! Lactose Free and GO Veggie! Dairy Free — which appeal to a broad spectrum of consumers including those who are lactose intolerant or simply want to improve their health by reducing dairy and following a plant-based diet. Both products offer a variety of flavors and choices and are known for exceptional taste and melt.

Granny Squibb’s Iced Teas

Granny said it all started one hot August day in the in the early 1930’s. Sarah (Sally) and George Squibb and their sons were spending the summer in a newly-built house overlooking Narragansett Bay. Granny said it had been hotter than ever and even the sea breezes couldn’t keep them cool. So she decided it was a good time to try out a recipe she’d gotten for a new drink called iced tea. Granny made up a batch using black tea, juice squeezed from fresh lemons, granulated cane sugar, spring water from their well, and mint that grew wild by the brook. The Granny Squibb Company, LLC makes iced teas that are just as delicious and refreshing as the icy cold lemon tea Granny Squibb served to her family and friends.

Harvest Kitchen from Farm Fresh RI

Many people know Farm Fresh RI from the extraordinary network of farm-to-table services and programs they run, but fewer know about their innovative Harvest Kitchen program–a simple but powerful platform that helps young people develop vital life and business skills as they prepare, package and sell their own culinary creations.

Narragansett Creamery

The Federico Family has been making heartfelt, homecooked meals for generations–just ask Gramma Susie. That this love for honest food transformed into a family-run food business should come as no surprise. Narragansett Creamery started in 2007 when Mark and Pattie Federico decided to launch an artisan brand under their umbrella company, Providence Specialty Products. Within a few short years, their cheeses have become a trusted name throughout New England.


Premama was founded with one mission: to make expectant moms happier. Premama believes trying-to-conceive, expectant, and lactating moms deserve access to pharmaceutical-grade, healthy prenatal vitamins. This includes developing Premama products with patented, licensed quality vitamins and minerals often found in prescribed prenatal vitamins.

Walrus and Carpenter Oysters

On the leading edge of a new generation of aquaculture in Rhode Island, Walrus and Carpenter is reawakening our state’s connection to it’s shoreline and helping to set a new vision for a sustainable–and very profitable–industry. While most of their oysters can be found at restaurants and raw bars in Rhode Island, they do offer a direct order service – if you put in your order by Wednesday, they’ll harvest it on Friday and same-day deliver it to Providence for pickup.

What’s RallyRI?

 RallyRI, funded through the RI Innovation Fellowship, is launching a startup revolution in Rhode Island by taking what we’ve learned working with technology startups and applying it where our state has world class talent and the potential to transform our economy. These sectors are art and design, food and beverage, social ventures and advanced manufacturing. (More at

Why food and beverage? We know that our state has a high culinary profile – barely a week goes by without our restaurant scene being featured in a national publication like Travel and Leisure. It is less widely realized that we have fast-growing food manufacturers employing thousands across RI, or that we are leading the country in innovation around shellfish farming and sustainable fishing research. Few Rhode Islanders know that our system of farmers markets has driven over 40% growth in our farm sector in the last decade, or that we have the nation’s largest distributor of organic and natural foods, UNFI, headquartered in Providence.

 Why is this important? Food and Beverage is not just a staple, but a growth industry that is locally sourced, organic, natural, or functional. These specialty foods grew 25% in the past three years alone, three times the pace of the overall food industry. Our colleges and universities provide a unique mix of continuous innovation, encompassing Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales, Food Science at URI, packaging design at RISD, and Entrepreneurship and Medicine at Brown. Food production, manufacturing and distribution provide important jobs across the skill spectrum that match the realities of the Rhode Island workforce, which has the lowest level of college attainment in New England. Most significantly, Food can be leveraged not just as a tourism draw, but as an export industry, both of which are critical to driving growth in our state economy.

For more information, contact Melissa at [email protected].

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Author: Tim Blankenship

I work on websites.

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