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Real Local RVA's June Meeting

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Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church

6000 Grove Avenue

Richmond, VA 23226

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Please join us to to celebrate some amazing females from the RVA food and beverage scene!

This month, in collaboration with Rebelle Con, we are excited to bring you a panel of RVA Women in Food. The women will discuss their very different day to day responsibilities, the ups and downs of working in local food/drink, and what it’s like to be a part of Richmond’s food and beverage scene. Moderated by Robey Martin, a food, spirits and culture writer for CBS 6 and host of the podcast “Eat It Virginia,” the panel features four exciting women leaders.

We’ve partnered Rebelle Con to extend our celebration of women in food with a second panel event on Thursday evening, June 6th at ZZQ. A limited number of tickets are available for the second event to Real Local RVA members. Click here for tickets and details!

  1. Sally Schwitters – President and CEO, Tricycle Urban Ag – Sally comes from a long line of family gardeners, farmers and cooks. She loves the process of growing seed to harvest, and sharing the preparation and celebration of good food with friends and family. For several years she ran programs and events for nonprofits in Northern California, including educational programming for the Real Goods Solar Living Institute. Since returning to her birthplace of Richmond, Va, she has been involved in nonprofit advancement and has raised over $22 million for nonprofits in the region. Under her leadership with Tricycle, she helped develop a collaborative, private public partnership and launched Richmond’s City-Wide Healthy Corner Store Initiative – Corner Farm. Sally has forged partnership with several organizations bringing food producing gardens to Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center and Richmond Community Hospital, the Visual Arts Center, Independence Golf Club, and 31st Street Baptist Church in Richmond’s East End. She also developed a dynamic collaboration with Bon Secours and USDA/NRCS to create the Certificate in Urban Agriculture that is recognized and supported by the USDA. During her tenure with Tricycle, the organization has been recognized as “Game Changer” and “Best in Sustainability” by Richmond Magazine, named a “Good Food” Organization by the James Beard Foundation and Food Tank, and was honored as a “Catalyst for Change” finalist by Partnership for a Healthier America.
  2. Kelli Lemon – Social Entrepreneur, Radio Personality, Owner – Urban Hang Suite – Kelli Lemon is a “Social Entrepreneur/Consultant” that is passionate about changing how people “LIVE” Richmond, Virginia. Formerly the Business Manager of Mama J’s restaurant, Kelli is now working for herself (Like The Fruit, LLC) to socially connect people through food, sports, arts and education. She is an on air personality for Radio One Richmond’s Kiss FM and iPower Richmond and hosts a weekly podcast and web series called “Coffee with Strangers.” Kelli hosts various social events including The Richmond Jazz Festival, After Hours at The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Family Day at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and Dinner En Blanc Richmond. She’s also assisted in creating unique urban events in RVA including RVA Pop Up Parties, Hip Hop BINGO, Ready 2 Give Charity Events, Dinner and a DJ, HeART & Soul Brew Fest, Richmond Black Restaurant Week and The Art of Noise. In 2018, Kelli opened Urban Hang Suite – a collective cafe and lounge geared toward “creatives” and community-oriented people, named after the debut album of R&B artist Maxwell in downtown Richmond. She adores RVA and makes sure she does her part in exposing the city! She is a change agent and cheerleader for Richmond and is excited to see the city progress and become more inclusive.
  3. Shola Walker – Owner, Mahogany Sweets Shola is a trained actor and dancer and always thought it would be the way in which she would change the world. Yet while in undergrad at University of Hartford as a music theater major she collected funds each week from her classmates and hosted a communal Sunday dinner. Little did she know she would get a chance to work as a performance artist first and then have a second career in the food industry. After leaving the stage she began working in bakeries and professional kitchens in Richmond such as WPA Bakery, Julep’s New Southern Cuisine and Nettie’s Naturally to name a few. She finally planted her feet firmly at Mahogany Sweets a bakery she owns with her two sisters. The bakery’s focus is on dietary options and wellness. So you can catch her hanging out in Jackson Ward at the bakery where she turns cauliflower into chocolate goodness or at local farmer’s markets.
  4. Kate Lee – VP of Operations and Quality, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery – Kate is a trained scientist who spent more than a decade working for Anheuser-Busch, a business famously known for its focus on consistency and quality from batch to batch. Since 2014, she’s helped lead a quality program for Richmond, Virginia’s Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, building on an existing foundation to take Hardywood’s focus on quality to the next level. As director of quality assurance and director of operations, her job at the brewery has consistently evolved as production levels and brewer ambitions have grown. It’s not just about running tests, but collaborating with staff to ensure the right ingredients are producing the right beer every step of the way.

We’ll taste samples from Mother Shrub and Gratisfied and enjoy coffee from the Cafe at St. Stephen’s. Thanks to Riddle Design Co. for sponsoring this meeting!

**Real Local RVA meetings are open to both members and those interested in supporting the local food system. Meetings are free, we just ask that you register!

Here's what to expect:

  • Our meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. Spend a few minutes networking with like minded local food supporters, and enjoy some coffee and samples from our sponsors.
  • At 10:45 we'll get the meeting going with a welcome and a few announcements from Real Local RVA. We'll hand it off to our facilitator by 11:00 a.m. with plenty of time for a Q&A after.
  • Following the panel we'll hear a few words from our sponsors, and then we'll open the floor for announcements from the audience. Come prepared to share a quick 30 second announcement from your business on exciting news, an upcoming event, or something you need help with.
  • We'll leave a few minutes at the end for making connections with fellow attendees.

About Rebelle Con:

Rebelle Con was founded by a pair of women entrepreneurs who were sick of the “go hard or go home” messaging that was causing so many to burn out, get discouraged, or confirm their feeling that they are not enough. Rebelle is a community and boutique conference dedicated to inspiring you to create a life you love. Bringing voices to the stage from women who are doing it differently, workshops that teach new ways approaching our challenges, and mentors who are walking their talk, they believe that each and every woman has the power to define, design, and create her own version of success. Exploring topics that will nurture your ability to create the life and career you want no matter what stage you’re in, their events are built by a community of people to educate and inspire one another.

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Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church

6000 Grove Avenue

Richmond, VA 23226

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