Championed as a week-long event, Small Business Festival in Austin is almost upon us! Supporting individuals and helping them make business ownership a reality, Small Business Festival showcases those that started small and grew big and aids in inspiring other future business owners to do the same. Even though getting your food and beverage to market can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task, there are multiple ways to achieve your product goals and become successful. We invite you to the Cook’s Nook on Monday, May 1st at 1PM to come and hear from our panel of five experts how to make it less stressful with tips and real-life examples. Bring your questions, we will be sure to have time for Q&A. You can register to our event for free here.


Panel Speakers


Erin Asaad, founder of Kokonut Yogurt, struggled to find a complementary (and delicious) diet after discovering she was allergic to dairy. After a succession of trying out dairy-free products whose taste and quality felt compromised, she began making her own dairy-free products. With her launch of Kokonut Yogurt, Asaad uses a variety of organic coconut milk flavors to make savory yogurts with delightful textures and tastes.

Ben Ponder is COO at Siete, a Mexican food brand that advocates for healthier lifestyles, and the founder of Barcode, a monthly startup workshop joined by their desire to equip emerging consumer brands and  serve the Austin CPG community.

Curt Nelson’s early years involved co-founding web software developer Silicon Space with Dema Zlotin. After Nelson’s move to Austin, he became a business mentor for UnLtdUSA, a social venture partner with Mission Capital, a judge for Food+City, a member of Black Fret as well as the advisor board for The Cook’s Nook and a supporter of Slow Money Austin and the Capital Area Food Bank, among others.

Aimy Steadman became the founder and COO of Beatbox Beverages, a brand passionate about bringing people together through tasty portable punch. Her past experiences include working in online marketing agencies and helping run the UT-based startup incubator, Texas Ventures Labs.

Founder of The Cook’s Nook, Joi Chevalier combines her technology background with her passion for culinary arts into a shared space geared towards cooks at the initial stages of their business. Chevalier has also catered large scale events like Austin City Limits and Austin Food and Wine Festival. In the past, she has worked as an e-commerce product manager and marketing director for venture startups and Fortune 500 companies to create a personalized and top notch experience for online customers.


Special parking note: Please utilize the parking lot diagonally across the street at the Capital Metro Access Special Transit Services lot as well as Gilbert Business Forms’ parking lot at 505 Thompson Ln once the Cook’s Nook parking is full.

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