Welcome to the Mill River Blog

Paths For the Food Entrepreneur in a Pandemic


Due to the pandemic, have you put your dreams of starting a food business on hold? Or maybe you are part of the Great Resignation/Reshuffling. Either way now may be the perfect time to become an entrepreneur and start your food business. Restaurants have been hit very hard by Covid, but out of the metaphorical ashes comes opportunity. You may not r...

Continue reading

Your New Year's Resolution to Lose Weight


Did you make any New Year's resolutions? If you did, you might have resolved to go on a diet and lose weight. We all want to lose weight or watch our weight. However, there is plenty of evidence that diets don't work. When you're on a diet you are restricting yourself in what you can eat. it's not unusual to think of food all the time and therefore...

Continue reading

The Origins of Our Christmas Food Traditions


Holidays the world over involve celebrations that include food. A lot of food. Did you ever stop to think about how these traditions started? Some of the stories might surprise you! The Feast of the Seven Fishes For example, the feast of the seven fishes is part of the Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration. However, in Italy, there is no ...

Continue reading

Baking With Intention


All work and no play isn't good for anyone. That's why five years into his career as a speech therapist, Bret Todd started looking for a creative outlet. Bret was no stranger to the kitchen. His dad and his uncles worked in kitchens at some point in their young lives, and Bret's father did a lot of the cooking for the family. Bret himself enjoyed c...

Continue reading

Food Packaging at the Farmer's Market


Farmer's markets are gaining popularity in urban and suburban settings nationwide. The importance of eating locally-grown, organic foods and plant-based diets are all factors in this trend. In addition to all the fruits and vegetables available at farmer's markets, people can purchase various appetizing baked goods. Unless you know exactly what you...

Continue reading

Little Brittle With a Big Flavor

One of our first Cookery members was Big Little Brittle and owners Dan Sigman and his wife, Lynn Pelka. Their journey in food entrepreneurship started because Dan and Lynn wanted to gift family and friends something homemade for Christmas that wasn't the standard cookie tray or candy. They chose brittle. Dan found the initial brittle recipe in the ...

Continue reading

Meet The Flavor Wizard

My favorite time to visit our shared kitchen, the Cookery, is when it's busy. I love everything about being there - the smells are the absolute best. Some days it smells like granola. Other days it might be sugar, bread, spices, or a delightful combination of everything at once. Once I get past the smells, I enjoy talking to the members and learnin...

Continue reading

Contains Artificial Flavor


What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Do you use flavored coffee creamer? Have you noticed 'natural flavor' or 'artificial flavor' listed in the ingredients on food packaging? Natural and artificial flavor The FDA defines natural flavors as the essential oils or compounds extracted from natural plant material or animal products. Natural flavor...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

​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...

Continue reading

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 ...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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 ...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

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