Food Economy

Food Economy Working Group

 

 

Our goal is to develop and sustain an economically viable local food system.

We represent and support all stakeholders including:

  • farmers, producers, food entrepreneurs
  • chefs and restaurateurs
  • distributors
  • retailers
  • consumers of local foods

Working Group Initiatives

  • Facilitate networking, educational, and business development opportunities for Montgomery County food and beverage producers and farmers
  • Expand the MoCo Made program to engage new stakeholders (producers, retailers, buyers, restaurants, etc.)
  • Educate local consumers about and encourage support of the MoCo Made program (MoCo Made Days, MoCo Made Happy Hours, and other events)
  • Promote local procurement opportunities in County institutions

The Montgomery County Food and Beverage Guide – We create an annual, comprehensive guide for all Montgomery County food and beverage products that highlights the diverse array of food and beverages produced by farms and kitchens located in our County or made by businesses headquartered here. Our goal is for this Montgomery County publication to generate interest and promote businesses among consumers, wholesalers, retailers and restaurateurs in the area. The 2019-2020 Guide may be downloaded here: Montgomery County Food and Beverage Guide.

The MoCo Made Brand – The 2017-18 Food and Beverage Guide formally launched the new MoCo Made brand, created in partnership with the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation to celebrate and increase the visibility of our county’s vibrant local food and beverage community. The MoCo Made brand is currently being rolled out to farmers’ markets, farms, supermarkets and other retail locations around the County, so look for the MoCo Made logo and MoCo Made events to support our local businesses and residents!

Supporting Local Sourcing Opportunities – We are working with the Office of Agriculture and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation to examine ways that the Working Group can support the farming community and increase local procurement through advocacy and partnerships.

To learn more about becoming a MoCo Made retailer, please email info@mocofoodcouncil.org.

Recent Events:

MoCo Made Happy Hour Series- We introduced the MoCo Made Happy Hour Series in 2019 to bring together community partners, MoCo residents, and state and local leaders in support of the local food and beverage sector. Each Happy Hour event is hosted at a MoCo Made brewery, winery, or distillery, and features food sampling and sales from 3-5 MoCo Made food vendors and/or farmers. Check out our events page to see when the next Happy Hour will be!

Food is Opportunity Day – We co-hosted Food is Opportunity Day in partnership with the Universities at Shady Grove in February 2019, which featured Montgomery County producers of packaged goods, beverages, desserts and confections. The event also included two educational panels for students and businesses to learn more about taking advantage of opportunities within our local food system.

Meet the Locals – We partnered with Dawson’s Market in November 2017 for a special Meet the Locals event to share the 2017-18 Montgomery County Food and Beverage Guide and MoCo Made logo. More than fifteen Montgomery County producers shared delicious samples of their products at the event.

 

 

Resources

Judy Stephenson

Judy Stephenson is a resource for individuals starting new food and beverage businesses in Montgomery County. As the Montgomery County Small Business Navigator, Judy helps small businesses in their  interactions with County Government. Businesses contact Judy with questions about County licenses, permits, regulations and contracting opportunities.

Phone: 240-777-2012 / Email: judy.stephenson@montgomerycountymd.gov