Business Strategies Program
Presentation: Innovative Challenger Brand Panelist
Panelist: Natalie Shmulik, M.L.A., CEO, The Hatchery Chicago
Natalie Shmulik is the go to resource for everything food business related. Along with an M.L.A. in Gastronomy from Boston University, she has a wide range of experience working with supermarkets, culinary publications, consumer packaged goods companies and food service establishments.
After successfully operating her own restaurant, Natalie was hired as a specialty consultant for one of Ontario’s largest supermarket chains where she enhanced consumer experiences through educational initiatives. Discovering her passion for innovation, Natalie was brought on as a brand strategist for the first cold brew tea company and later moved to Chicago, IL to run a food business incubator.
With over 5 years of food incubation experience, Natalie has gained a unique perspective on the industry and what it takes to launch and grow a successful business. She was recently featured in Forbes and continues to play a valuable role in branding and marketing for food businesses around the country, with her specialty in trend forecasting. She is now the CEO of The Hatchery- Chicago’s premier food business incubator.
About The Hatchery Chicago
The Hatchery Chicago is the city’s premier food business incubator that helps local food and beverage entrepreneurs scale successful businesses. It is a joint venture between three of Chicago’s most prominent nonprofits—Accion Chicago, ICNC, and IFF. The Hatchery intends to meet demand for three major areas of need for food and beverage entrepreneurs: access to production space, financing, and resources—all under one roof.
It is often difficult for food entrepreneurs to find affordable food grade spaces available for rent, and the high upfront cost to build out a food grade space presents a formidable barrier. The Hatchery Chicago will remove these barriers to growth and create good jobs in the City of Chicago (www.thehatcherychicago.org).