Tickets to the conference are available. Buy yours today

Buy your tickets today!

La Cocina Food & Entrepreneurship Conference

Bringing Home the Chicharrones:
Making it in Food

Conference date: Sunday, August 17, 10am-6pm

Location: SOMArts (934 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94103)

Tickets: Your ticket will include a full day’s menu of conversations, access to the Food+Art Expo, tons of opportunities to meet great people as well as breakfast, lunch and happy hour. Our ticket cost is meant to keep this conference accessible but does not fully cover the cost of the event. Donations are appreciated. Limited scholarships are available for low-income entreprenuers through the Wells Fargo & La Cocina Scholarship Fund—apply by August 14. Buy your tickets today!

What is the conference about?

Here in San Francisco, you are just as likely to find bacon on the table, as you are to find chicharrones or choila. At the heart of this city’s diverse food culture are the enterprising culinary entrepreneurs from all walks of life. As local, small-batch, and artisanal foods trends are capturing everyone’s attention, the question remains, can you make it making great food? Since its inception in 2009, La Cocina’s Food & Entrepreneurship conference has looked at how we can best cultivate food entrepreneurs and how that in turn results in thriving and inclusive communities. We hope that you will join us on August 17th for a Sunday Thoughtluck discussing the future of food systems, alongside food entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, city officials, culinary experts, and community organizations from all over the world. Alongside thoughtful dialog and hands on workshops, there will be an Food+Art Expo, and of course, oodles of eats!

Conference program

You can now read up on all the sessions and get ready! Map out your day—are you going to join San Francisco Chronicle’s Jonathan Kauffman and Hapa Ramen’s Richie Nakano and others to discuss the value of ethnic food? Or maybe you want to dig into your finances and get investment ready with our “Getting Ready for Investment” workshop hosted by Friday Consulting?

Note: If you plan on attending IDEO’s Branding workshop or the Staying on Shelves workshop with tons of buyers, bring your products to the session in order to get live feedback!

Get hyped for our newest addition this year—the Food+Art Expo! Artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators will be exploring the intersection of art, food, and city. Browse NOMADGarden’s roaming urban gardens, explore Lexicon of Sustainability pop-up art show, build city dioramas with Saint & Olive, and more!

And, it wouldn’t be a La Cocina event without fantastic food now would it? Be a Lunchbox traveler with our “Around the World in a Lunchbox” presented by Eji’s Ethiopian, Sal De Vida, and Aedan Fermented Foods. We will also be serving breakfast, have enough caffeine to power you through a Sunday Conference, an ice cream social (why not?), and a happy hour to wrap things up.


09:30-10:00 Registration & breakfast
10:00-11:00 Welcome
A Day in the Life of a Food Entrepreneur
Barriers to Food Entrepreneurship in San Francisco
11:15-12:30 Learn Do Discuss
Financing to Scale a Food Business Making it Local: Solutions for San Francisco The Future of How We Will Buy Food
12:30-14:00 Lunch with Food + Art Expo
14:15-15:30 Learn Do Discuss
Is Ethnic Food Undervalued? Getting Ready for Investment Navigating Ways People Eat
Brand and Product Prototyping
15:30-16:00 Coffee Break
16:15-17:30 Learn Do Discuss
Real Estate Development for Small Business Retail Staying on the Shelves How Festivals and Food Culture Shape Cities
Getting Customers in the Door
17:30-18:30 Specialty Food Association Happy Hour

* This is a preliminary schedule for the conference and is subject to change

Thank you to our generous sponsors
and supporters

La Cocina’s Food & Entrepreneurship Conference is supported by the SOMArts Cultural Center’s Affordable Space Program, which provides subsidized, large-scale affordable space and technical assistance to non-profits. SOMArts receives support from the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Community Arts and Education Program with funding from Grants for the Arts/The Hotel Tax Fund. The mission of SOMArts is to promote and nurture art on the community level and foster an appreciation of and respect for all cultures. To find out about SOMArts classes, events, and exhibitions, please visit

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