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Here’s your chance to have a ‘taste’ of family business

Posted in   |  March 26, 2024

There’s likely not a better way to sample family business than this.

The third annual Taste of Family Business is open to the public this year, allowing the event to grow beyond attendees at the Prairie Family Business Association Annual Conference.

“This is a meaningful gathering where our family business members are able to experience the wonderful products the producers in our region are raising and growing,” said Mason Van Essen, business development manager for the Prairie Family Business Association.

The energy in the room is intense, said Tim Meagher, chief operating officer of Vanguard Hospitality and a Prairie Family Business Association member who helped launch and coordinate the event.

“The first year, we just went and talked about what we’re doing as a company to work with local producers. The second year, we had a table full of producers there too, and it was huge,” he said. “It was amazing to take a moment and see what we’re building together and be surrounded by connection and like-minded families. It was almost an emotional experience to have worked together and then take a moment to celebrate that.”

Vanguard regularly sources food from local producers for its three restaurants: Minervas in downtown Sioux Falls, Grille 26 and Morrie’s Steakhouse. The company works with all the producers who will be at the April 17 event.

Taste of Family Business will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Monick Yards, 605 E. Eighth St., and will feature:

  • Adee Honey Farms: Hot Honey Lemonade.
  • Hadrick Ranch: Queso Birria Tacos.
  • Oh My Cupcakes: Morrie’s Creamed Corn Cupcakes with Adee Honey Farms Hot Honey Frosting.
  • Wild Idea Buffalo: Mississippi Pot Roast Slider.
  • Svec Farm: Argentinian Beef Empanadas.
  • Stensland Family Farms: Ice Cream Sandwiches.
  • Lindy Land & Livestock: Smoked Pork with Cantaloupe Jam in a Parmesan Crisp Cup.
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Co. High Country: Coca-Cola Spiced.
  • Baker Boy will be working with Vanguard Hospitality to provide brioche slider buns, yeast dinner rolls and mini square croissants.
  • Kool Beans: Pour Over Coffee Kits.

Throughout the conference, meat snack sticks will be provided by Cloverdale Foods.  

“We’ll have a variety of Stensland cheese, as well as cups of ice cream and ice cream sandwiches,” said Chelsea Stensland, co-owner of her family business. “We’ve been featured the last few years at the event, and I love to see what can be put together with numerous family businesses in the food industry to complete a meal for the evening.”

At the event, “great conversations are easily started around food and who is being featured,” she continued. “We always meet new people at the Taste of Family Business night, so it’s a great way to start off the convention.”

That’s been the case for the broader association too.

“Between the farm and ranch families in our membership and those we’ve met through Vanguard, we’ve also made amazing connections,” Van Essen said. “When family businesses do business together, they’re able to create synergies that wouldn’t be possible otherwise and thrive together through generations. Making those connections is a huge part of our mission.”

Through Prairie Family Business Association, both Vanguard and Stensland have found resources and relationships, the co-owners said.

“We’ve done lots of networking over the years and met one of our most valuable contacts through Prairie Family Business,” Stensland said. “Marty Palmer from Palmer Candy spoke one year, and we were able to introduce ourselves after and make plans to connect and share an ice cream we had made with their famous Twin Bing bars. Their team approved the ice cream, and we’ve been making it ever since!”

As Vanguard continues to strengthen its commitment to sourcing local food, “having the diversity of family businesses in the same room is incredibly valuable,” Meagher said. “It reenergizes how I look at business. I’ve met people I’d love to do business with, so I’d say if you’re not going to miss one event this year, this is it.”

To learn more

While the annual conference is sold out, there are tickets remaining to Taste of Family Business. Those already attending the conference have the event included in their admission. Those looking to attend the Taste of Family Business, whether guests of attendees or the general public, can do so by purchasing a ticket here.

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