2017 Behind the Business – EAST Conference

Behind the business-logo-FinalCuisine Noir magazine is excited to partner with Benita Johnson of The Vine Wine Club in Richmond, Va to host the 2017 Behind the Business – EAST Conference on Saturday, February 11 at 1 pm.

Success is on the horizon!  Come out and learn from some of the most talented entrepreneurs who have persevered through many sleepless nights while relentlessly pursuing business success.  Whether is running a winery, a restaurant, or figuring out a way to build a brand in an already crowded industry, our guest panelists will encourage you to keep striving and share stories like yours.  We are bringing together a group of inspirational business owners to be your resources and to share valuable information as you follow your dreams.

The conference starts by jumping right in to the workshops.  Two workshops will be going on simultaneously during two separate time slots.  After the workshops, the conference will host our keynote speaker, Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, for a conversation about the cottage food industry.

The conference ends with a reception for all guests and speakers to network and share ideas in a social setting.


Workshop # 1: Food Trucks, Pop-ups and Other Cool Concept | 1:00 – 2:15 pm

You got an idea?  So did our panelists!  And they’ve turned those ideas into business enterprises, but not without jumping through a few hurdles.  Hear their amazing stories of how they maneuvered the hurdles to now can claim success.

Moderator: Micheal Sparks, Pop-up Revolution


Malcolm Andress, RVA Street Foodies

Saajida Chohan, Renew Richmond

Brak Braxton, Certified Bourbon Sommelier

Workshop #2:  Behind the Business of Blogging | 1:00 – 2:15 pm

There are many ways to blog and for different reasons.  Can blogging be a business or a way to enhance your business?

Moderator: Melissa Davis, Liquor Lady


Tivon Johnson, Vonvino.com

Terricinia St. Clair, The Tipsy Sommelier

Sarita Cheaves, Vine Me Up

Workshop #3 Behind the Business of Beverages | 2:30 to 3:30 pm

Coffee, wine, beer, spirits…no matter the industry, you can find success with hard work and a great product.  Learn what these entrepreneurs do to stand out in an industry that has lots of star players.

Moderator: Terricinia St. Clair, The Tipsy Sommelier


Ed Cowdrey, Castle Glen Farms Winery

Ajay Brewer’s, Brewer’s Café

Tom Martin, Legend’s Brewery

Workshop #4:  Alternative Professions in Culinary, Hospitality and Spirits

Now that I have the degree, now what?  The culinary and hospitality industries are strong and vibrant.  Hear from industry leaders in the area who have ventured out of the kitchen to explore the bigger picture in the culinary world.


Shane Thomas, Caterer and Restauranteur

William McCormack, Mixologists and Bar Owner

Tyler Darden, Food Photographer and Blogger

Ladonte Cooper, Executive and Personal Chef

Tickets are only $45 and includes all workshops and the reception.  To purchase, go to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2722515.

The Crown Plaza Richmond (555 E. Canal Street) is the official host hotel for The Exclusive Blacklist Weekend.  Room rates are $139.  Parking deck is available or there is plenty of free street parking.  For reservations, call 1-804-788-0900 and refer to The Vine Wine Club room block.

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About VSheree

V. Sheree Williams is the publisher of Cuisine Noir Magazine, the country's first digital and print culinary magazine that connects the African diaspora through food, drink and travel. For more, in-depth stories, visit www.cuisinenoirmag.com
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