VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, P.O. BOX 1163, RICHMOND, VA 23218, www.vdacs.virginia.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2009
Contact: Marion Horsley, 804/225-3820
VIRGINIA SPECIALTY FOOD EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE TO OFFER STRATEGIES FOR
SUCCEEDING IN A TOUGH ECONOMY
When the Virginia Specialty Food Educational Conference gets underway on March 23, 2009 at the
Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville, experts in a variety of fields will give specialty food and beverage
manufacturers, retailers and distributors the kind of information they need to succeed in a competitive
environment and survive in today’s challenging economy.
Presented by the Specialty Food Advisory Committee (SFAC) and the Virginia Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), the two-day conference will feature topics ranging from
recession strategies, product marketing, increasing sales, food safety, media exposure and customer awareness.
Registration is now open at www.vafinest.com.
Todd P. Haymore, VDACS Commissioner, commented, “To do well in the specialty food industry today
you need more than just an outstanding product. Your basics have to be strong and to stay on top, you need to
keep up with the latest trends and tactics. The Specialty Food Educational Conference will help you sharpen
your skills and your focus so you can advance your business. In addition, you’ll have an unbeatable opportunity
to network with the outstanding people who work in specialty foods.”
The opening session will concentrate on “Recession Strategies - What has worked for you?” This is an
opportunity to hear from specialty food colleagues about tactics that have helped them succeed in a
Another conference highlight will be “Sell Your Specialty Food: How to Succeed in Specialty Food
Marketing,”a presentation by Stephen F. Hall. Hall is the author of From Kitchen to Market and Sell Your
Specialty Food, described as a “go-to book for any start-up food company.”
Former news anchor for Richmond station WRIC-TV, Lisa Schaffner will give an insider’s view on
“Media Exposure,” while experts from VDACS and Virginia Tech will provide an update on the essential issue
of food safety. Participants will also learn how to take advantage of the latest trend in food sales with a
session titled “Innovative Marketing: Catering to Buy-Local Consumers.” Another presentation will
explain how to pair tourism and specialty foods with profitable results.
At dinner on Monday evening, Terrance Sheehan, Executive Chef of the Boar's Head Inn, will
demonstrate his culinary magic for conference guests as he creates an array of Virginia dishes. Chef Sheehan
has been featured on E! Entertainment and the Travel Channel and in publications including the Los Angeles
Times, New York Times and Gourmet magazine.
The Specialty Food Educational Conference will take place Monday and Tuesday, March 23 – 24, 2009
at the Boar’s Head Inn, 200 Ednam Drive, Charlottesville, Virginia. The registration fee is $199.00 per
individual and includes all conference programs; breakfast, lunch and dinner on Monday; plus breakfast on
Tuesday. The Boar’s Head Inn is offering a special conference rate of $100 per room per night plus
appropriate taxes. Call the Inn at 800-476-1988. Be sure to ask for the conference rate.
Use the registration form online at www.vafinest.com or send the names of the people attending and
their company name along with a check payable to VFaBA, to Olivia Wilson, VDACS — Office of Promotions,
102 Governor Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Direct questions about the conference to Olivia Wilson at 804-
786-2112 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.