Meet the panelists for the Los Angeles Food Startup Bootcamp

We've got a standout lineup of Los Angeles-based food entrepreneurs joining us at MakerCityLA for our LA Food Startup Bootcamp on Saturday, February 7th, 10am-6pm.

If you're thinking about launching a food startup in the Los Angeles area, or if you've already launched one and want to spend an amazing day alongside other food entrepreneurs while creating an action plan for your business, join the Local Food Lab team and these killer panelists below. 

Ashleigh Parsons, Creative Director & Founding Owner of Alma

Ashleigh Parsons opened Alma after working at La Chassagnette restaurant in Arles, France and at Camino in Oakland, CA.  She runs the front of house at the restaurant and curates the wine list that is made up of biodynamic and organic wines from all over the world. Along with her time in restaurants, Ashleigh brings a background in psychology and education and holds a Master's degree in education from Harvard University. She founded the Alma Community Outreach 501(c)(3) in 2012, which aims to educate youth by providing an out of school time wellness curriculum in public schools throughout Los Angeles. The program engages students and their families in the process of gardening together, cooking together, and eating together, with the belief that this will empower young people to be equipped as social agents of change and to cultivate community through the power of a shared meal. 

Erik Oberholtzer, Co-Founder of Tender Greens

Erik Oberholtzer co-founded Tender Greens in 2006 in Culver City, California, a chef driven, organic, quick-casual restaurant concept with 17 locations and counting. Himself a chef, Erik manages a growing team of talent along with some exciting new brands. He is the founder of the Tender Greens Sustainable Life Project, a program aimed to assist at-risk youth develop new skills and career intentions through structured culinary training and farm exposure. Co-founder of P. Balistreri Salumi Company, the first of more chef legacy companies he has helped incubate and bring to market through Tender Greens. Erik did his undergraduate degree in Psychology at Temple University in Pennsylvania and Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island.

Jennifer Piette, Founder of Out of the Box Collective

With Out of the Box Collective, a certified B Corp, Jennifer is committed to building a sustainable, user-friendly food system that will nourish and educate our children, as well as keep our Food Dollars in our local community.

Founded in 2010, Out of the Box Collective was one of the first of a growing number of companies aggregating local, sustainably produced foods from all the food groups for home delivery. She also hosts a best-selling storefront on Amazon Fresh SoCal, and a new mail order platform called Taste California shipping shelf-stable artisan products nationwide. Her most recent project, Forage & Pasture, is an online journal telling the stories of our local foodscape and housing a seasonal recipe database.  One of 25 entrepreneurs chosen nationally to present in the 2014 Slow Money Gathering in Boulder Colorado, Jennifer also serves on the leadership of the LA Slow Money chapter.

Shelby Coffman and Christie Frazier, Founders of The Hood Kitchen Space

The Hood Kitchen Space is owned and operated by successful local personal Chefs Shelby Coffman and Christie Frazier. Having run a successful food business in Orange County, Shelby and Christie understand what goes into owning and operating a food business. It was this past experience that drove them to build The Hood Kitchen Space. They not only wanted to build a reliable, dependable, clean kitchen space, they wanted to build a community where like-minded food entrepreneurs could network, promote, and develop strong food businesses.

The Hood Kitchen Space offers its chefs and cooks the opportunity to use local, sustainable food and practices. They've selected Orange County artisans and family owned businesses to supply The Hood Kitchen Space's larders with fresh, seasonal, and organic ingredients.