This past weekend we had the pleasure of sitting down with one of our teachers, Joanne Thimothe, and talked to her about her passion for sharing knowledge.
Joanne Thimothe started out at Cornell University, where she earned her PhD in food science. While she attended Cornell she found that she had a passion for business and marketing as well. Joanne immediately recognized how much of an intersection there was between food science and business. Since then, Joanne has been working in the food industry for over 15 years helping many small businesses get their product off the ground.
“The hardest part is really finding what people are looking for…it’s a real challenge, sometimes there are trends in the food industry and a lot of people don’t think about it. Products go through life cycles more than you think. There’s a fad tomorrow and then there’s another one the next day,” says Thimothe.
Joanne owns and operates her own business called Neliquick. Joanne says that she always had a funny relationship with beans. She actually grew up not liking them! She said in the Caribbean they had a rice and beans recipe and she can remember always trying to separate them so she could just eat the rice. As she went to college and learned about food she realized that one of the foods she really disliked actually ended up being a super food!
“I have always been into the healthy lifestyle, but I was having a difficult time keeping up with work, extra-curricular activities and cooking, so I got to thinking and started to look for ways to make healthy foods faster. That’s how I came up with Neliquick.”
Over the years, Thimothe has met a lot of people who were starting to build a food business. She found herself always wanting to share with them her knowledge and what she has learned over the years. Eventually she realized there is an need for this knowledge to be shared. There are people who have recipes and a even a product.
“I think helping them get their product off the ground is the least I can do…the food business has a lot of challenges in it. If you know the business and how to deal with such challenges or know what challenges to expect, you have a better chance at success…most of the products that you see on the super market shelves was probably started by someone showing a recipe to friends and then it turns out to the neighborhoods and the community and that’s really how it evolves,” says Thimothe.
It was a pleasure to be able to hear Joanne talk about her passion and share her knowledge about food, marketing! If you’d like to hear her speak about her experience and how you can start your own food business, join her on October 1st for- simply named- “How to Start a Food Business”!