Getting to Know Chef Jim Berman The Host Behind New Foodable Podcast—Chef AF

“I am, quite honestly, a very unintentional cook,” says Chef Jim Berman.

In this episode of The Barron Report, host Paul Barron sits down with Chef Jim Berman, a longtime Foodable expert contributor, whose currently working as a corporate chef for a regional group that has six operating properties.

“I was a private school wonder-kid if you will in that I went to a fancy private school and I was going to be an investment banker because my dad said ‘You’re going to be an investment banker!’ …and I found that in between semester of going to school being a cook was a pretty easy way to find work and it was pretty rewarding and the lifestyle was certainly an adventure,” says Berman. “And then a few years into it, I thought maybe this is something I’m going to do for real.”

Berman is the host of Foodable’s newest podcast show—Chef AF, It’s All Food!

“So, boiled down, reduced. [Chef AF] really is about real, relevant, almost gritty insight about best practices, worse practices...,” says Berman. “You know, one of the things I came up with when we were conceiving the show is cues and miscues. I think bad missteps we can learn from…”

Listen to the podcast to learn more about how Chef Berman thinks about food and get a sneak peek into what to expect from the first season of Chef AF!


Show Notes:

  • 1:43 - How Jim Berman got into the restaurant industy

  • 3:28 - Chef Jim Berman’s current role

  • 6:01 - What kind of content do you look for as a foodservice professional?

  • 8:07 - What to expect from Chef AF

  • 15:05 - What Chef AF will mean to operators?

  • 20:25 - Role of Social Media today

  • 29:53 - What Chef AF could mean to listeners and possibly guests

 
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America’s 1st Certified Organic QSR Is Giving Sport Fans What They Want

Foodable had the chance to catch up with The Organic Coup, the first certified organic fast food restaurant, once again, but this time at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. On this episode of On Foodable, Paul Barron sits down with the brand’s founder, Erica Welton, to talk about latest achievements and future plans.

We first learned about The Organic Coup in 2016 when Foodable had the chance to visit its first location to learn about the brand in depth. Although the certified organic fried chicken remains at the core of this fast food concept with the fried chicken sandwich still being the favored menu item, the brand has started to develop six grab-and-go retail products that are currently featured at some Whole Food locations in Northern California.

This fast food joint has grown to 10 locations in just a little over three years. However, Welton believes that when she looks back at the brand’s history one day she’ll say that the “breakout moment” for The Organic Coup came once it opened a concession shop at a major sports venue like Oracle Park (formerly known as the AT&T Park), home of the San Francisco Giants.

We’re at the “San Francisco Giants ballpark and of course that was not part of the business plan, not a part of our original thought process...,” says Welton. “but, the San Francisco Giants, they had so many fan requests... requesting organic, clean, healthy food... food that they can feel good about eating… and some of their executives had been eating in our San Francisco location and so they brought us over.”

This lead The Organic Coup to later open at the Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers. In the last game of the season— during the College National Championship Game— the brand ended up closing as the No. 1 concession stand for the stadium making $37,000 in just four hours.

Check out the video above to learn more about what sets this fast food concept apart to get a clue to their success!

How Rich's Helps Define Clean Label and Sustainability

Consumers are demanding authenticity.

Authenticity in their products, foods, brands, you name it.

On this episode of The Barron Report, Jen VanDewater, Vice President of Health and Authenticity at Rich Products Corporation, sits down with our host Paul Barron to discuss how a large company like Rich’s is addressing consumer concerns over clean labeling and authenticity when it boils down to the products they offer.

Listen above to learn more about this company’s sustainability and social efforts!


Show Notes:

  • 03:57 - Driving Factor Pushing Companies To Make Changes

  • 04:32 - Defining Clean Label

  • 06:47 - How Rich's Monitors The Market

  • 08:29 - Social Trends Monitoring

  • 10:47 - Trends In The Marketplace

  • 11:38 - Customer Portfolio Analysis

  • 13:06 - Verifying If Products have a Clean Label

  • 14:16 - How Rich's Looks at Data around Clean Label

  • 18:31 - Trends in Consumer Demand

  • 22:52 - Real Meaning of Sustainability

  • 26:08 - Rich's Sustainability Efforts

  • 28:22 - Operators Attitudes Towards Sustainability

 
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Female-Led Funding Startup, AccelFoods Helps Other Food-Focused Startups like Soozy's Thrive

Ever wondered how grocery stores will look like five years from now?

This is something Jordan Gaspar, co-founder of AccelFoods, thinks about daily.

AccelFoods is a funding startup that invests in other startups that have the potential of disrupting food categories in the grocery aisles and beyond through their innovative products.

On this episode of The Barron Report, our host Paul Barron speaks with Gaspar and Susan Chen, CEO of Soozy’s, a frozen, gluten-free baked good product company that has partnered with AccelFoods in order to grow its business. The three discuss how the relationship has been between the venture capitalist group and the investee, Soozy’s role in its snacking category, what types of companies AccelFoods seeks to invest on, and trends in the marketplace among other topics.

Listen above to learn more about these trailblazing companies!


Show Notes:

  • 01:43 - Purpose of AccelFoods

  • 03:48 - Soozy’s Role in the Frozen Food Segment

  • 05:47 - AccelFoods’ Investment in Soozy’s

  • 09:26 - Types of Companies AccelFoods Invests In

  • 10:47 - Trends In The Marketplace

  • 14:38 - Soozy’s Differentiator in Snacking Category

  • 17:52 - Product Packaging

  • 23:16 - Size of Companies AccelFoods Invests In

  • 26:09 - Macro Understanding of Food Industry

  • 28:00 - Impact of Social Media for Soozy’s

  • 29:58 - Future Growth Plans for Soozy’s

  • 31:52 - Challenges in Male-Dominated Venture Capitalist World

 
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How Rich's is Helping Combat Food Waste Through Product Solutions

“[Consumers] expect the exact same product that they would get if they sat down in the restaurant when they get it delivered to their house… so packaging is really important,” says Diana Schaefer, Associate Customer Marketing Manager for Rich’s Products. “If you have a sauce or dressed product you want to make sure it’s just as fresh when it gets to the customer.”

According to the National Restaurant Association, it is estimated that 70 percent of customers will be ordering food off of restaurant premises by 2020. Foodable Labs has identified that catering order interest has increased 32.5 percent in the past year with the Top 100 restaurant chains. In this episode of The Barron Report, host Paul Barron sits down with Diana Schaefer to explore the latest catering trends to make sure foodservice operators are not missing an opportunity in the category of catering.

“Thinking about what’s on your menu that is easy to scale up, there are just some products that we’re just not going to make 50 servings of and have that great high-quality…,” explains Schaefer. “Having really good supply chain partners that understand these issues and can bring you solutions is really important to be successful.”

Schaefer shares with Foodable that packaging companies were looking at Rich’s cookies during a recent K-12 convention in Las Vegas and said they had packaging solutions in order for the cookies to be sold as a grab and go item by using a packaging solution with a warming technology. Although Rich’s still has to do some product testing for quality assurance, the company is excited to provide these types of solutions to their customers moving forward.

Listen to the podcast above to learn about some of the solutions Rich's offers to help chefs and foodservice professionals stay ahead of the game and combat food waste!


Show Notes:

  • 3:35 - Biggest challenge in catering

  • 12:25 - Rich’s Catering Product Solutions

  • 15:00 - Drive behind demand for Catering and Delivery

  • 16:45 - Millennial and Gen Z Consumer Trends

  • 20:11 - Millennial Dining Occasions Data

  • 21:30 - Grocery Stores Change Predictions

  • 23:40 - Savory and Sweet Eggspediates