Resource Spotlight: New Venture Advisors

This month we spoke with Kathy Nyquist, the Founder and Principal of New Venture Advisors LLC, to learn more about how NVA supports communities and entrepreneurs as they build sustainable food systems and businesses.

General Info:

  • Website:
  • Contact person: Kathy Nyquist
  • Link to get on your mailing list:
  • Domain/Subject Area: Food business and food system development
  • Mission: We help communities and entrepreneurs build sustainable food systems and businesses


Okay now for the fun stuff…

1. How would you describe New Venture Advisors? But there’s a catch… describe New Venture Advisors in a haiku! (Refresher: a haiku consists of 3 lines, with the first and last lines having 5 syllables and the middle line having 7 syllables)

You make change happen

Food system infrastructure

We help it flourish

2. What does New Venture Advisors bring to the (national food systems) table?

Expertise in evaluating solutions that improve local food systems and make good food more available. These solutions are often aggregation hubs, value-added processing facilities, kitchen incubators, value chain facilitation programs, foodservice and grocery retail establishments and creative combinations of these enterprises in food districts, campuses and centers.

3. Who does New Venture Advisors serve?
Our clients range from organizations in the social sector seeking to generate earned income through promising social enterprises, to public agencies seeking to promote agriculture, economic development and community health, and to entrepreneurs and investors seeking to capitalize on the extraordinary growth of the good food sector.

4. What do people/orgs look to you for?
Vigorous analysis of the business opportunities in their food system that produce social benefits and are financially viable.

5. What three problems can someone find solutions for on your site?

  • Unsure how to size the market for local food in a specific region?
    • Local Food MarketSizer® estimates unmet demand for locally produced food in a chosen geographic area
  • Have a vision for a produce aggregation business but unsure of the underlying economics and potential for it to be successful?
    • Local Produce HubSizer® estimates breakeven sales, acreage and capacity thresholds for various types of food hubs, and provides success indicators related to supply, demand and competition based on geography
  • Have access to a building and could convert it into a shared kitchen or food business incubator, and want a better idea of the number of entrepreneurs it could serve and the utilization rate required for it to break even?
    • Kitchen Facility HubSizer® estimates the capacity and breakeven utilization for a commercial kitchen or kitchen incubator built out in an existing facility

6. Are there certain tools or resources that you’ve found especially popular?

MarketSizer® is the most popular of the six tools on NVA’s Toolsite. It’s the easiest of our tools to use, returning highly useful market estimates in a few seconds. The most popular resource on our Ventures In Good Food blog is the article Kitchen Incubators: Is There A Recipe for Success? This article lays out the variables and risks that anyone starting a shared kitchen must consider. These resources have been accessed by tens of thousands of visitors to our website.

Also, we publish the Good Food Brief, our curation of news articles that chronicle major trends and events in the food industry. It is sent to a large and growing list of food industry professionals including contacts from Kathy’s “big food” career. Readership of this monthly round-up is twice the industry average, demonstrating broad interest in the changes being driven by the good food segment.

7. Who can access your resources? How?
The Ventures In Good Food blog is free to access on our website and easy to navigate. The NVA Toolsite is free to use and requires one-time registration with an email and password. The Good Food Brief signup form is in the footer on every page of our website or can be accessed here.

8. What other resources or support is New Venture Advisors looking for?
We are always looking for talented business analysts, researchers, writers and domain experts to add to NVA’s splendid team of consultants.

9. What other “resource-full” organizations would you recommend?
NGFN’s website is full of excellent resources, as is USDA’s although it requires digging (one reason we developed the widgets on NVA’s Toolsite). We have benefited from the research published by the great ag schools – Cornell, UC Davis – and many other land grant universities. Business schools have syndicated research resources for company, industry and market data which we use routinely in our analyses.

10. How can someone get in touch with you for more information?

Everything is on our website and my email is

11. Anything else?

Thanks! We <3 Wallace Center.

Aw, thank you Kathy and the team at New Venture Advisors- we <3 you, too! And huge thank you for taking the time to share what you all are up to with the broader FSLN membership.

FSLN Admin