This past summer, venture capital firm Valmiki 504 announced it would be opening Ceres 504, an incubator and accelerator designed to provide access to capital and expertise for food startups in Louisiana.
Ceres 504 has recently partnered with the New Orleans Food & Farm Network (NOFFN) to launched the Food & Farm Works initiative that will fund farm-to-table businesses in the Gulf South.
Food & Farm Works will be working with farming entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses, innovate in production and distribution, and to increase sourcing from regional growers.
Sanjay Kharod, executive director of NOFFN, will run Food & Farm Works. “We need a food economy that connects farm to fork. To do this requires collaboration and innovation all along the value chain, from growers to distributors, and everyone in between,” said Kharod. “While NOFFN has laid the groundwork of creating a non-profit based ecosystem for the food industry, the infusion of capital and professional business management through Valmiki Capital and Food & Farm Works will help these companies truly scale and get more real food to more people.”
The food businesses that will work with Food & Farm Works will mostly come through Edible Enterprises, a licensed commercial incubator kitchen in Norco, LA.
Valmiki also announced the launch of NOLA Food Holdings Inc. earlier this week. The company will provide funding to the New Orleans area food brands and food startups.
Peggy Babin, CEO of Valmiki 504 said, “Within a month of its launch, we are very pleased to announce a significant initiative for Ceres 504. These operational and capital investments show our substantial commitment to the Louisiana economy and demonstrate the speed and efficiency with which we can move to have an economic impact. St. Charles Parish has been a great partner to NOFFN and this private partnership will take NOFFN’s current client companies to the next level of sustainable growth.”