Auburn University’s sixth annual Food Entrepreneur Conference to feature Stacy Brown of Chicken Salad Chick

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Aspiring entrepreneurs, small farmers and small business owners are invited to attend the sixth installment of the Food Entrepreneur Conference on March 21-22 at the Center for Advanced Science, Innovation and Commerce, or CASIC, building in the Auburn Research Park.

Attendees will hear inspiring stories from several successful food entrepreneur guests, including keynote speaker Stacy Brown, founder of Auburn-based Chicken Salad Chick. After initially having her booming chicken salad business shut down because she was operating out of her Auburn home, Brown now has more than 60 Chicken Salad Chick franchises throughout the South.

Robert Armstrong, owner of G Momma's "Southern style bite-sized cookies" will also be a keynote speaker and share his journey to food entrepreneurship. G Momma’s is based in Armstong’s hometown of Selma—a decision he says he made to help support the town’s struggling economy and keep its rich history alive.

Armstrong and Brown will be joined by Jimmy Wright of Wright’s Market in Opelika, who will be able to give advice on getting food products into local grocery stores, as well as Ellie Taylor from the Alabama Grocer’s Association. Experts from Auburn University, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, ACES, will cover topics such as selling to a big box store, labeling and testing regulations, food safety, finances and marketing.

When registering, attendees can also choose two breakout sessions on topics such as Cottage Food Law certification, which allows entrepreneurs to operate some types of food businesses from their homes; catering/food service/bakery; USDA meat products; food trucks; and the innovative aquaponics industry.

The event is sponsored by ACES and Auburn University’s Food Systems Institute.

Cost to attend is $150 before March 14 and $200 afterward. More information, a full program agenda and registration are available online or by calling Regina Crapps at 334-844-7456. The Food Entrepreneur Conference Facebook page provides the most recent details as well.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.