• Amanda Brow

10 Years of Local Food, Farm, & Beverage

At the heart of Slow Money SLO are people who believe in Slow Food: simply, people who believe in people. As many of you may know, for consumers to eat locally like the Slow Food movement recommends, small food businesses must find a way to survive. Many of these local businesses have quality branding and product but still don’t qualify for the bank loans they need to grow. This is where Slow Money comes in!


Slow Money SLO connects individuals in the community who are passionate about the Slow Food movement to entrepreneurs who might not survive without the help of community lending.

The Milking Parlor at the Historic Octagon Barn Center is a great venue! Photo courtesy of the Historic Octagon Barn Center & the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo.


On a blustery Thursday afternoon in June 2022, almost one hundred fans of Slow Money SLO gathered to celebrate ten years of generosity and support of the Slow Food movement in our own community. The event kicked off with a favorite part for many: the tasting. Vendors lined the walls of the building, chatting with community members, and of course, providing bites and sips of the products that make this movement possible.


Attendees sampled healthful elderberry syrup from Bliss River Organics, enjoyed bites of pies from A-Town Humble Pies, and were greeted at the Whalebird table with a selection of delicious kombucha, to name just a few. As they milled and mingled, Slow Money fans also had the opportunity to compete for silent auction baskets filled with local vendor goods and services. These included products from All Good and Splash Cafe, as well as an outing at the award winning San Luis Coastal Unified School District Food Services Department, among many others.


Left to right: Bliss River Organics, A-Town Humble Pies & Whalebird Kombucha sample products for guests. Photos courtesy of SLO Media Creations.


Conversations dulled to a hum as Jeff took the stage, reminding veterans of Slow Money’s passion and goals and educating newcomers on what they can do to help. Since its conception ten years ago, Slow Money SLO has facilitated growth in thirty-two different small businesses. Overall, 1.75 million dollars has been provided from community lenders to benefit the cause of Slow Food in our area. These are businesses like A-Town Humble pies, who sell at local farmers markets and use almost exclusively local and seasonal products to make their sweet and savory pies. Another tried-and-true success story is Whalebird Kombucha, who famously began as two college friends in a garage and now flaunt an incredible storefront they use to benefit other small businesses through events on the property.


Left to right: Jeff tells the story, guests learn about Slow Money SLO, guest sample from: Blosser Urban Garden, Central Coast Creamery & Filipponi Ranch, guests check out the silent auction. Photos courtesy of SLO Media Creations.


These are just a handful of the amazing stories Slow Money SLO has made a reality. As a valiant supporter of the movement, Mary Lou, said, “I believe in Slow Money. We need to support these small businesses because they have really great ideas for the food system.”


(Other vendors at the 10th Anniversary were Kelpful, Sequel Tea, and Leo Leo Gelato.)

 

If you want to help celebrate this 10th anniversary, you can support Slow Money SLO’s small businesses by buying product, introducing products to friends and families, joining clubs or memberships businesses may offer, buying gift cards, or sending a local business you think may fit Slow Money SLO to the website at slowmoneyslo.org.


If you are interested in learning more about lending, reach out to Jeff at jeff@slowmoneyslo.org or find more information on the website on the Programs and Lending pages.

 

Many thanks to Amanda, one of our event guests, for putting together this recap!

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