New England Produce Council and the Organic Produce Network to Co-Present New England Organic Produce Conference
- by Robert Schaulis
BURLINGTON, MA - In a first-ever collaboration, the New England Produce Council (NEPC) and the Organic Produce Network (OPN) are joining together to put on the first New England Organic Produce Conference. The two associations announced the new educational event—to be held May 1 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts—this week and noted that Shannon Allen, creator of the restaurant grown, will be the keynote speaker.
“This will be a do-not-miss event,” said Matt Seeley, Co-Founder and CEO of Organic Produce Network. “Working collectively with the New England Produce Council...will help increase the knowledge base of all of our members. The program will be first class.”
Developed in a partnership with Massachusetts-based New England Produce Council and California-based Organic Produce Network, the event will feature a number of educational and edifying opportunities including Neilson Report, Organics 101, and a Retailer Roundtable feature.
“We are very pleased and excited to invite Shannon Allen back home to New England to share her expertise on organics,” said Anthony Sattler, President of the NEPC, in a press release. “Also, we are very happy to be working together with the Organic Produce Network on this event.”
According to that press release, grown is a first-of-its-kind 100-percent USDA organic-certified fast food restaurant aiming to fill a void in the market with “real food, cooked slow, for fast people™.” The innovative concept attempts to marry the quality of farm-to-fork cuisine with the convenience of fast food dining with a focus on delicious, organic, nutrient-dense fare.
Shannon first developed the concept for grown after her son Walker was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. After a frustrating evening driving up and down Route 9 searching for real food with the convenience of a drive thru, she developed the concept for grown. The formula proved to be a success and the flegling restaurant chain quickly expanded to five locations—including locations inside of HardRock Stadium, the Wesleyan University Campus Bookstore, and a Walmart Supercenter in Lake Nona
The flagship grown restaurant is located in Miami, Florida, where Shannon lives with her husband, two-time NBA champion Ray Allen, and their five children.
grown will begin awarding franchises in 2019, and remain dedicated to its mission—“chang[ing] the world one 100-percent USDA organic-certified fast food meal at a time.”
“Having Nielsen, Tonya Antle, Matt Seeley, and Shannon Allen presenting their absolute best as experts in the area of organics in one venue will make this a powerful event,” noted Tom Murray, V.P. Produce Roche Bros, in the associations’ joint press release.
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