The work of Michigan Good Food Fund advances a more inclusive, resilient food system by investing in food and farm entrepreneurs across the state.
As warm summer days give way to falling leaves, many of us are trying to visit our local community festivals and favorite food trucks one more time. These small food businesses are an accessible entry point for entrepreneurship for many of our neighbors: A favorite family recipe can serve as the foundation of a budding food business, bringing flavors of home to nourish communities. When we support the growth of community-based food enterprises, we improve people’s access to culturally relevant food, stimulate the creation of good jobs, and strengthen our local food economy.
Michigan Good Food Fund invests in food and farm entrepreneurs across the state, offering flexible financing and tailored business assistance that supports vibrant, equitable communities. Michigan Good Food Fund’s lending network focuses on meeting entrepreneurs where they are, connects them with resources and services customized to meet their specific needs, and builds long-term relationships to guide them through their business journey.
Central to Michigan Good Food Fund’s work is building a more resilient and inclusive food system in Michigan. The collaborative focuses on entrepreneurs whose access to power and capital has been historically limited because of race, ethnicity, and/or gender. Michigan Good Food Fund’s efforts are guided by the shared vision of its Stakeholder Board, a diverse group of entrepreneurs, farmers, funders, and policymakers with deep roots in Michigan and a range of food industry careers. Some of these Stakeholders have themselves previously received support from Michigan Good Food Fund.
Michigan Good Food Fund is ready to support businesses across the value chain — from growers to food retailers, startups to established enterprises. Are you a food or farm entrepreneur? The collaborative was designed to connect you with the technical assistance you need and the patient capital that will help your business — and the local communities you serve — to thrive.
When Michigan Good Food Fund began, its work focused primarily on entrepreneurs providing healthy food to people across the state. Since then, its definition of “good food” has evolved beyond food that meets certain nutritional criteria: It’s about food that serves communities and strengthens the economy.
Michigan Good Food Fund recently supported Tastefull Vegan Frozen Desserts, started by food entrepreneur Kalene McElveen in 2020 to introduce desserts to West Michigan that taste good and are free of common allergens. Michigan Good Food Fund’s technical assistance partner, MSU Product Center, helped Kalene develop packaging and provided consulting on production of her naturally sweetened, allergen-free products. In 2022, MGFF partner Northern Initiatives provided financing toward Kalene’s purchase of a space for Tastefull Vegan’s dairy-free ice cream shop in Wyoming, Mich. The work of conventional lenders may have ended there, but Michigan Good Food Fund’s administrative manager and lending partner Fair Food Network followed financing by subsidizing Kalene’s participation in the collaborative’s financial management boot camp, supporting the growth of her business and its long-term connection to her community.
Above all, Michigan Good Food Fund ensures that its investments reflect the priorities of the people and communities most affected by wealth inequities. In the next five years, Michigan Good Food Fund’s partners have established a goal of investing between $30–50 million in mission-aligned farm and food businesses, supporting projects that are nourishing neighborhoods and boosting local economies across the state.
Want to learn more? Visit MiGoodFoodFund.org.