Welcome to the Mill River Blog

Vegan Doesn't Always Mean Healthy


Depending on where you look, the number of people who identify as vegans in the United States is somewhere between one-half of one percent and 3% of the population. It's hard to be exact, but it's safe to say that several million people are on a strict vegan diet in the US, and many millions more are part-time vegans. People have adopted a veg...

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Good Food Doesn't Have to be Difficult to Make


I'm the youngest of nine children, and while I don't want to give away my age, I was born before fast food was even a thing. I remember the first time I had Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was such a novelty that we spread out blankets on the living room floor and had a picnic. I was 12 before the first Burger King opened in my area, and it was 20 minut...

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​The Rising Cost of Food: How to Eat Well Without Going Broke


Food prices are going up. That's not news. Everyone's complaining about it. However, it's a little-known fact that in the US today we are spending a smaller percentage of our income on food than people did in 1960. The graph at the bottom of the page contains the most recent data we could find. It's well known that Americans have been spending more...

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The Future of Meat


Many of us have eaten meat our whole lives without giving much thought to where it comes from, how it is raised, or its impact on the environment. This may not be sustainable behavior in the future. Sustainable is the keyword. Before we dive into that, let's consider the current state of meat by the numbers in the US and around the globe. The USDA ...

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Keep Social Media Social


 When Facebook became the number one obsession in the US, it wasn't as an advertising platform. The same goes for Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. However, today they are all used for marketing and sales. There are sponsored posts and companies we follow that show up in your feeds with a call to action to buy their product...

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Business By The Numbers


 Here we are post-Covid with more entrepreneurs than ever before. As entrepreneurship has grown, so too has the number of food entrepreneurs. For some, it might be a side hustle that was started when a relative said, "you should sell these!" For others, it was a way to make money while staying home with the kids who were e-learning. Whatever t...

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Got Drink?


Do you remember the long-running ad campaign for the dairy industry, Got Milk? It's since gone by the wayside as more and more Americans have given up drinking cow's milk for various other drinks. People may opt to drink a non-dairy milk substitute for a variety of reasons. Milk allergies aren't super common, but 2–3% of kids under three are allerg...

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Preserve the Fruits and Vegetables of Your Labor

20201001_092909 Frozen veggies in the blast freezer.

During the pandemic, many people started gardening as a way to fill their free time. For many, this hobby continues. With the harvest season being so short, it's often difficult to eat the abundance of produce picked in a few short weeks. Fortunately, you don't have to give away your excess harvest to neighbors or coworkers; you can preserve it to ...

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Our Friends, the Bees


While researching the non-sustainability of popular foods among the health-conscious, including almonds and avocados, I noticed how frequently bees and pollination topics popped up. We all know the importance of pollination for growing fruits and vegetables. We've also seen many headlines about the loss of bees in the last couple of decades. Sudden...

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The Journeys of Three Successful Food Entrepreneurs


Have you ever heard someone exclaim that it took over ten years to become an overnight success? We have! We also know that there's a lot to learn along the way, and many don't succeed. We recently sat down with three food entrepreneurs with a collective 38 years in business to ask them about what it took to grow a successful business. Each entrepre...

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Food As Medicine


We've been watching food trends for a while, and we see that people are becoming more interested in what they eat, where it comes from, how it's produced, and whether it's good for them. The trends show that more and more people now view food as preventative medicine for the mind and body. It's no longer enough to stay away from processed foods, ex...

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Help is on the Way

Starting a business is daunting, as any number of entrepreneurs will tell you. At some point, you'll need help, and the bigger your company grows, the more help you'll need. The good news is that there are plenty of people and systems ready and willing to help you. Running your food business requires expertise in areas other than the operation of t...

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Food is a Serious Business


The food economy encompasses the growing, distribution, and marketing of food. It includes farmers, lawyers, accountants, commodity traders, manufacturers, logistic specialists, marketers, chefs, grocery store workers, and eventually, the consumers. Consumers are increasingly becoming concerned as they learn more about what goes into their foo...

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The Success of Kimmer's Ice Cream


Have you ever wondered how entrepreneurs got their start? It's always an interesting story. They have usually had help along the way because not everyone with a good idea knows how to run a successful business. Businesses don't usually become successful overnight, and success doesn't happen without a lot of grit! The Startup Years Kim Elam grew up ...

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Sustainability Explained

IMG_4417-2-1 photo credit: Grace Gehrke, Gehrke Grass-Fed Beef

Sustainability is a hot topic in both politics and business. Large corporations, small businesses, and consumers are making decisions based on sustainability now more than ever. A sustainable business is an enterprise that has a minimal negative impact or, better yet, a positive effect on the global or local environment, community, society, or econ...

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The Evolution of a Food Business


Owning a food business is not just about making the product. As the food business gets bigger, there is more work outside of the time spent in the kitchen. All businesses have to start somewhere, and food businesses are no exception. Many grow out of a hobby and others grow out of necessity as we've seen during Covid. What continues to surprise and...

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Set Yourself Up For Success

bida-2 Korine Adams, Chef and Owner, Bida Baking Company

For a food business to be successful, it must produce a great product over and over again. Consistency is what keeps a customer coming back again and again. That's also what attracts new customers. Each happy customer will tell their friends about the best new thing they discovered. Lots of people are cooking or baking hobbyists. They love the acco...

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Exactly What is The Business of Food?


Some people have said they don't understand what we do. I'm here to clarify that. We're The Business of Food. We help people in food businesses in a variety of ways. We call those varieties pillars, and we have four of them: Mill River Cookery; Mill River Harvest; Mill River Marketplace; and Mill River School. Put it all together and we have an inc...

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Woman-Owned Small Businesses


Here we are - deep into the Holiday season amidst a pandemic that is upending traditions and time together. It is also wreaking havoc on small businesses that are dependent on retail sales. Without the advertising power and physical store presence the big retailers and delivery services have, it is difficult for them to compete, and get your attent...

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Meet the Cottage Food Industry

kari-shea--DesRxj28Ns-unsplash Photo credit: Kari Shea

Social media is full of marketing for small-batch food products. Many people sell products exclusively through Facebook and Instagram. The pictures and description of the products are enticing. The price is more than reasonable. It's hard to resist. Stop! Think about this for a minute. Where is this food made, by whom, and with what ingredients? Ma...

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The Business of Food, LLC
1330 E. State Street, Unit A
Sycamore, IL 60178