ONLINE — There’s something agriculture, food, and beverage industries have in common. Too often the founders and innovators in these spaces feel they need to do it all on their own.
Maureen Ballatori is breaking through the imposed isolation with frank conversations around the highs and lows of business.
The industry is bouncing back from the pandemic. Analysts are projecting growth for 2024 and beyond. These businesses are adopting technology and innovative strategies to secure their share of the marketplace. But with change comes challenge.
As the founder and CEO of a creative agency, Maureen is no stranger to the challenges of building brands. “There’s so much uncertainty in business and it’s only made worse when leaders feel stressed and unsure of where to focus in their business. Hearing this theme from many leaders inspired my Spilled Salt podcast. I wanted to create a platform for those stories to help the up-and-comers avoid the same pitfalls.”
The first season of the Spilled Salt podcast featured leaders in diverse segments of the industry from farming to product development to consumer packaged goods. Each guest shared the hurdles they’ve overcome in the journey, providing relatable perspectives on the ag, food, and beverage industries.
Maureen, as host, brings decades of experience in brand building – as well as her own heritage on the family farm – to the microphone.
She founded 29 Design Studio in 2007 and has scaled the agency to a team of eight focused on strategy work, identity development, and marketing projects for food, beverage, and agriculture companies. In addition to her own experiences, Maureen has acted as both judge and mentor for startup competitions and business incubators, like the international Grow-NY Food and Agriculture Competition, SUNY Research Foundation, and various parts of the Cornell University ecosystem.
“Business is not a solo sport and voices from outside of our typical circle are exactly what we need when we come up against challenges. The Spilled Salt title of the podcast is a play on words – the superstition of bad luck plus it reminds me of sharing hot gossip and who better to get the details from than the source,” Maureen said.
Maureen describes the podcast as How I Built This meets Mind Your Business, tapping into the heartfelt and hard-won experiences of leaders to find common ground in success. The first season of Spilled Salt is now live on all podcast platforms and Maureen is beginning production of season two, available November 2023.
You can find Maureen and 29 Design Studio on most social media platforms, where they showcase their passion for food, beverage, and agriculture firsthand with case studies, industry news, and peeks behind the scenes.
—29 Design Studio