14
Mar
2017
ANNE MAXFIELD

BLOGGER AND RADIO HOST, ACCIDENTAL LOCAVORE

Anne is someone who makes her way through the world of food with true curiosity and passion. We’re not surprised that she’s using her impressive business experience to help other entrepreneurs, or that she enjoys hosting a radio show where she meets new people and asks them lots of questions. The value that she gleans from working with new food businesses is inherent, and proves how beneficial it is to do what you love.

When did you know that you wanted to work in food?

While I’ve been eating all my life, it wasn’t until we moved to the Hudson Valley that I truly became involved in cooking and eating local and fresh. I started out with my blog, Accidental Locavore, focusing on the food scene here and beyond.

Last fall, I added a radio show, The Accidental Locavore Live!, to my portfolio. Now I get to talk to all sorts of interesting local food influencers (like Dorothy and Taylor). If any of you want to do a segment, interesting guests are always welcome!

Recently, I’ve combined my love for food and businesses into a successful consulting business. I focus primarily on women-owned businesses in the food space, helping them harness the power of their numbers to reach their greatest goals. 

When did you know that you wanted to work in food?

I didn’t. My original love was fashion and I had a great career designing sportswear, until I got bored. I took a huge leap of faith and started a business representing freelance fashion designers. Twenty years later, I sold it and have been able to pursue the projects I love. Now, they focus around food and consulting with entrepreneurs in the food business.

How did you get your current good food job? 

I created it with help from my local farmer. It’s morphed over time from being a concept for a food program, to a passion project—my site, the Accidental Locavore. Lately, Accidental Locavore has branched into being a radio show on Pawling Public Radio (which I got in a roundabout way through GFJ) and I’ve started A Maxfield Consulting to work with entrepreneurs in food-related businesses.

How did your previous work or life experience prepare you for a good food job?

Since almost day one, I’ve been a good food eater…

Seriously – having run a business for 20 years, bootstrapping it, building it into a multi-million-dollar company and selling it taught me a lot! Since I’ve experienced all phases of a business, I’m eager to share that knowledge with others. Even if my experience was in fashion, rather than food, business is business and the issues that entrepreneurs deal with are almost universal. I’m fascinated by businesses and what makes them tick.

What was the greatest obstacle you had to overcome in pursuing your Good Food Job dream?

When the idea for the Accidental Locavore as a television series was turned down for the third time by Food Network. However, it makes you come up with alternative strategies to meet your goals and/or rethink those goals into something more lucrative. Now, I get to meet and help so many different businesses doing delicious products and that’s so much more interesting!

Name one positive thing that a former employer taught you that you continue to appreciate? 

Although it doesn’t sound positive, my former boss and business partner told me a long time ago that the worst thing anyone could tell you was “no” and people tell you “no” all the time. To this day, it empowers me to ask for or just about anything. I’m always surprised how willing people are to share their stories, experiences and advice with others. I’ve learned a lot from not being afraid to ask and I’m grateful to everyone who has answered.

What can you identify as the greatest opportunities in food right now?

I think we have to make farming attractive to young people. We desperately need the next generation of farmers, especially those who want to work in a sustainable, humane fashion. There need to be incentives to keep farmlands and to compensate farmers fairly for what is always an extremely difficult occupation.  

If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?

Easy—an apartment in Nice that I could use (or swap for my Hudson Valley home) and/or travel almost anywhere.