Searching for some reading material that will help you build your successful food business?

We’ve pulled together a list of must-reads for every food entrepreneur – ranging in topic from launching a business to sales and psychology. Check out these picks from our staff and Accelerator Members:

Our staff picks

The Lean Startup

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.


To Sell is Human

To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds.


The Buddha Walks into the Office

Apply the simple Buddhist teachings and practices Lodro Rinzler provides here to whatever you do for a living, and you’ll not only avoid jerk-hood, but you’ll be setting out on the path toward making your livelihood an expression of your inherent wisdom, honesty, and compassion.


Accelerator Member Recommendations:

How to Win Friends and Influence People (Andy Brown, Eat Pizza)

Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.


What Every Body is Saying (Rebecca Peress, Swapples)

Read this book and send your nonverbal intelligence soaring. Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer and a recognized expert on nonverbal behavior, explains how to “speed-read” people: decode sentiments and behaviors, avoid hidden pitfalls, and look for deceptive behaviors. You’ll also learn how your body language can influence what your boss, family, friends, and strangers think of you.


Ben & Jerry’s Double Dip (Kathleen Tozzi, The Fancy Schmancy Co.)

Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., has done more than win the tastebuds of America — it has earned the admiration of Wall Street and established a model for business owners and employees eager to earn profits without compromising their principles. In Ben & Jerry’s Double-Dip, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield offer the ultimate insider’s guide to creating a values-led business that makes money while benefiting the entire community.


Thinking, Fast and Slow (Krishna Matturi, Sasya Foods)

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives―and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.


Interested in learning more about starting a successful food business? Check out our website for more information on our accelerator program.  

Are you a current or aspiring food producer? We’re looking to recruit Member businesses who make the following products:

  • Nut Butters
  • Flavored Roasted Nuts (ex.: almonds roasted with rosemary)
  • Frozen Meals
  • Grab and Go Meals
  • Canned or Bottled Meals
  • Jam
  • Tomato Ketchup
  • Harissa
  • Hummus
  • Pesto (jarred)
  • Utility Cracker
  • Bagels–Bagel Chips
  • Cereal
  • Shelf stable juice – 32 oz
  • Shelf stable pasta sauces
  • Cured Meat
  • Alternative milks
  • Croissants/Cookies/Pound Cake/ Scones
  • Gluten Free Products


If your product is listed here or if you’re thinking of starting a business making one of these products, reach out to our Membership team at

Swapples BYT

Startups to Start Noticing: Swapples – “… The problem of course, is that what usually makes breakfast food so damn delicious, is how easy it is to make it unhealthy. You can douse everything in bacon grease, fry everything up, stuff yourself with more bread than should be allowed, etc etc. Which is what makes Rebecca Peress’s Swapples so interesting. Comprised entirely of vegetables, the waffle impersonators (and I mean that in the best way) manage to pretty much maintain the consistency of crispy chewy regular waffles, without any of the ingredients. So we met up with Peress to talk about the creation of all veggie waffles, how it feels to be a part of the Union Kitchen community, and the healthiest way to shop.” – Brightest Young Things


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DC Council Considers Bills To Boost Local Innovators – Union Kitchen Members Compass Coffee and Tipple Supply Co. joined representatives from Union Kitchen in testifying for the Made In DC Program Establishment Act, which aims to create a branding strategy for D.C.- based producers, to increase visibility to the local maker, artisan, and culinary communities. – DC Inno


“Here’s the latest in restaurant business plans: get into a food incubator (in this case, Union Kitchen’s first class), develop a farmer’s market following that is impossible to satisfy, and when the lines get too ridiculous, commit to a bricks-and-mortar location. Done.” – On Tap Magazine 



11 Places That Put it on a Pretzel Bun –  Don’t be surprised to find more restaurants adding Pretzel Buns to their menus, including Federal City Bros. and Swizzler. – Eater DC

Reuben pizza is a thing. Here’s where to try it.  – “Forget Raymond. Everybody loves Reuben, apparently. Within the past month, two local pie-slingers — &pizza and Timber Pizza Co. — began serving a new option inspired by the classic sandwich, which is traditionally made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian or Thousand Island dressing.” – The Washington Post