View Upcoming Webinars here


Past Webinars

10 Things to Improve your Online Store

Jacob Dubois, Owner of Uptown Cow, offers tips and solutions to improve your online store before the holiday season. Get clear,  immediate steps to take your eCommerce website to the next level.

Watch Recorded Webinar Here

Plan to Execute, Execute to Plan: Staying Food Safety & Quality Audit Ready!

VSFA Member Plex hosted this panel discussion with industry veterans who shared their perspectives on:

Panelists Included: Colin Christmas, Eagle Certification: SQF/BRC certification body; Chad Yiengst, Ledge Consulting: Outsourced quality firm; Bob Combs, Plex Systems: Quality management software provider. Download slide presentation here.

Watch the Recorded Webinar here

Lessons Learned from Co-packing & Facility Upgrading

VSFA held a panel discussion around opening, updating, and expanding food or beverage manufacturing facilities. If you are thinking of taking that next step to opening your first facility, upgrading to a new location, or opening a co-packing facility then this webinar is for you! Thank you to our panelists: Cathy Bacon of Freedom Foods/Hillside Lane Farm, Claire Georges of Butterfly Bakery of VT, Mark Elvidge of Vermont Nut Free Chocolates and our moderator: Food Safety Specialist Omar Oyarzabal.
Watch the Recorded Webinar here

DOL Unemployment Guidance and Trust Fund Update

DOL Commissioner Michael Harrington and UI & Wages Division Director Cameron Wood will help employers better understand what they and their employees should do to successfully utilize the unemployment system during the COVID pandemic and other future downturns. Also discussed will be changes to the unemployment tax rate schedule and the potential increase businesses will be facing next year under the current system.

Watch the Recorded Webinar here

Handling Employee Health, Safety, and Quarantine During COVID-19

Kristina Brines, Director, Paul Frank + Collins will lead this session focused on managing the health and safety needs of employees including how to handle employee quarantines, what to do about workplace COVID exposure, and any new info about mandated FFCRA leave available at the time of the webinar.

Watch the Recorded Webinar here

Advanced E-Commerce Optimization Webinar

On this webinar, Bud Reed, Partner, Lean Edge Marketing covers:

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Trade Spend: What is it? How much does it cost? Where to Account for it?

This webinar will provide an introduction to Trade Spend: the amount a company spends to increase demand for its products, including coupons, preferential shelf display locations (slotting), co-advertising, and more. During this webinar you'll learn distributor and retailer expectations, accounting for Trade Spend, and how to leverage this knowledge in negotiations and profitability planning.

In the spirit of cooperation during these hard times, these Webinars are FREE for all. If you believe there are businesses that would benefit from this information, please feel free to share.

 Watch the Recorded Webinar

Planning for Business Interruption: COVID and Beyond

In preparation for unforeseen business interruptions in the future or a potential resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall, a crisis management plan is important for your business long-term. These two webinars will highlight the important pieces you should consider when drafting a plan for your business. You will come away with clear objectives and tools to help create and implement your plan.

In the spirit of cooperation during these hard times, these Webinars are FREE for all. If you believe there are businesses that would benefit from this information, please feel free to share.

Part 1: Making a Profit - Financial Planning & Resources (Aired July 22nd) 
Presentation by Ted LeBow, Kitchen Table Consultants; Resource Update by Cassandra LaRae-Perez, Gravel & Shea

How do you know if you’re profitable? Kitchen Table Consultants intertwined an actual case study of a specialty food processor that learned how to do this and shared actual tips and tools. In this 30 minute session they stepped (quickly) through the following: Setting your books up to tell a profit story, How do measure your profit on a daily basis, and How to identify your most critical numbers and benchmark them.

Missed this webinar? Catch up with the recording and supporting documents:

Watch the Recorded WebinarKTC SlidesG&S Slides

KTC Chart of AccountsKTC Schedule Tool

Part 2: HR & Employee Safety (Aired July 29th)
Do you have a business continuity plan? This session will walk you through why you need one and the steps to take when starting a plan...

Shannon Prescott of The Richards Group will discuss what is Business Continuity planning, why is it important and how do businesses get started with a plan. Shannon will use the example of COVID and planning now for the potential Fall surge, but also touch on other situations that businesses should think about for overall crisis management.

Heather Hammond of Gravel & Shea shares that when COVID-19 hit, businesses were forced to make many quick and difficult decisions about their employees in a rapidly changing and uncertain environment. In her presentation, we will look at what has changed since the early days of the pandemic (FFCRA, unemployment, etc) and what has not changed (ADA, FMLA, FEPA, etc.). We’ll discuss strategies to incorporate practical and legally-sound employment policies into your business continuity plan.

 Watch the Recorded Webinar Here

Maximizing PPP Loan Forgiveness by Downs Rachlin Martin

For businesses that received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the rules are still being refined, regulations continue to evolve and new guidance continues to be published. Despite the rapidly evolving nature of the PPP, this webinar will help you position your business to maximize the amount of loan forgiveness during this period of uncertainty.

In this webinar, Scott Jaunich, Mary Parent, and Walter Judge will cover the latest developments, including:

If you have questions that you would like addressed during the webinar, please direct them to Jolie Frechette in advance of the webinar at jfrechette@drm.com

Watch the Webinar Here


Dealing with Workplace Conflict During COVID-19

A Panel Discussion and Q&A

As tensions rise during the COVID-19 Pandemic, stores have been dealing with more conflict in the workplace than ever before. Whether it's customer against employee or customer against customer, arguments and physical conflict seem to be increasing. What can you do to be prepared and handle these incidents?

This webinar features a panel of HR, Security, Law Enforcement and Legal professionals who will provide you with the knowledge you need to deal with incidents of workplace conflict.


Shannon Prescott, of The Richards Group, assists clients with compliance and safety program evaluation and implementation. Shannon will speak to the policies and practices you should have in place to prepare for an incident of workplace violence.

Kerin Stackpole is a Director at Paul Frank + Collins in Burlington, and is the leader of the Employment and Labor Law Group. Her practice areas include employment law, business counseling and general civil litigation. Kerin will speak towards the legal ramifications of workplace conflict, how to instruct staff response to stay within your legal abilities, and how she has worked with various businesses to keep their security programs legally compliant.

Chris Mecca is Safety and Security Manager for City Market. Chris will share how he works daily to ensure the safety of staff and customers at both City Market locations. With over four years at City Market alone, and a decade plus in security operations, Chris will share how he has successfully prepared for and handled incidents of workplace conflict in the real world.

Mark Carignan is Captain at the Bennington Police Department. Mark will offer tips and strategies for de-escalating when confronted, how to keep staff and customers safe if someone becomes violent and what you can and can't do to respond to these types of aggression.

Watch the Webinar Here


VSFA Virtual Spring Meeting

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VSFA pivoted this year’s meeting to a virtual event in order to continue strengthening and supporting our community during these challenging times. Our Virtual Spring Meeting was held on June 3rd and while it was strange to not be together in person, it was a nice opportunity to stay connected with our community.Thank you to those who attended and participated, we hope you enjoyed the event.

VSFA Members may access the meeting recording here


Webinar Wednesday: E-Commerce Series

The Vermont Specialty Food Association developed this webinar series in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets. This series will focused on certain aspects of E-Commerce for companies looking to expand, leverage, and grow their current E-Commerce business. Thank you to Lean Edge Marketing and KW Content for sharing their expertise and developing these sessions with us.

1.Optimizing your E-Commerce Strategy, Presented by Bud Reed, Lean Edge Marketing

Watch the Recorded Webinar Here

Slide Presentation - Optimizing E-Commerce Strategy

Best Google Analytics Reports - Lean Edge

2. Selling on Amazon, Presented by Tom Funk, Lean Edge Marketing

Watch the Recorded Webinar Here

Slide Presentation - Selling on Amazon

3. Digital Communication with Consumers, Presented by Katie Wight, KW Content

Watch the Recorded Webinar Here

Slide Presentation - KW Content

Marketing Terms Glossary - KW Content


How to Retail in the time of COVID-19

Presenter: Bob Phibbs, known as the Retail Doctor. Bob has worked with hundreds of large retail brands including Bernina, LEGO, and Yamaha, as well as the smallest mom and pops, and everything in between. 

We know you have been struggling ... and we want to help. VRGA in conjunction with the Council of State Retail Associations (CSRA), is hosting a webinar that will refocus your retail plan to not only survive COVID-19, but help you thrive!

This webinar is different from the traditional “woe is me” message. It will get you focused on something positive. The webinar covers how store operations must change, how to market yourself -- including the do’s and don’ts of Facebook live -- and how to get in the right mindset to not just survive but to win as stores re-open. 

Watch the Recorded Webinar Here

This free course from Bob aims to help you develop a plan for reopening as well as train your staff how to interact with customers in this new normal -- to care for them rather than wait on them.

This course includes these 8 lessons, based on questions submitted from retailers all over the world:

How to See Opportunity in the Chaos
How to Reform and Rebuild Your Team
Quick Tips for Adapting to Long-Term Changes
How to Successfully Manage the Merchandise Conundrum
How and Why to Approach Reopening like a New Business
How to Welcome Customers to Your New Normal
How to Pivot Conversations to Keep Things Positive
How and Why to Use Role Play in Sales Training
The course also includes 5 role play exercises to download and use with your staff.

Course on Reopening Retail and Rebuilding Trust

How to Stay Growth-Oriented and Resilient in Your Retail, Grocery, or Specialty Foods Business

This interactive online workshop from DowntownUp will give you strategic tools, perspectives, and support to sustain and grow your business during the COVID-19 crisis and come out strong as the crisis passes. We will avoid getting stuck in the whirlwind of fear and uncertainty and instead help you create a focused, doable action plan based squarely on what you have proactive control over that will give your business an edge for growth and on-going resiliency.

View the Online Marketing Referrals here

View the Slide Deck here

Watch the recorded Webinar here  

What You Need to Know About COVID-19

VSFA and VRGA collaborated with UVM Extension to present some basic information about the virus (SARS-CoV-2), the disease (COVID-19), and additional online resources. We respond to some of the questions we have received about COVID-19 in the context of the daily activities of food manufacturer/food handler

Watch the recorded webinar here


Doing Business in these Uncertain Times 

Presented by Paul Frank + Collins P.C. on 3/25, VSFA and VRGA members joined Senior Partners Karen Stackpole, Kris Brines, Chris Leff, Shane McCormack, and Bob DiPalma from Paul Frank + Collins for a live webinar to discuss employment issues, financing issues, contact problems and related questions that may arise as this pandemic continues to evolve. Download the slide presentation.

Watch the Recorded Webinar Here


Business Planning in Uncertain Times

The business world has changed radically in recent months and more change is coming. Business owners need to make tough decisions to survive and, ultimately, to adapt their business models to the new reality that emerges. There are great risks, but also great opportunities for the businesses that navigate the next several months successfully.

Bryan Ducharme of Venture 7 Advisors presents three different analytical tools that any business owner can use to make data-driven decisions at a time when emotions are running high and business outlooks are changing on a daily basis. He reviews each model in detail discussing its purpose, its strengths and limitations. Download the slide presentation.

Watch the Recorded Webinar Here


Getting started with virtual retail in the Covid19 era

With the closure of businesses nationwide, the ability to sell product direct to consumer online is more important than ever. Jacob Dubois, founder of Burlington based UpTown Cow, leads this session on virtual retail platforms. Uptown Cow is a full service e-commerce management company that works with clients to grow their online sales.

Jacob covers how to get started with online selling platforms, plugins, photography tips, and more. You'll leave the session with a solid understanding of how to get your e-commerce program up and running.

Watch the Recorded Webinar Here


Social Media 101: The Basics of Facebook and Instagram for Business

Molly Goodyear, founder of 802Social, leads this session focused on the basics of instagram and facebook for businesses. From best practices for account setup to post examples, general trends, and more, this session will provide what you need to get your accounts up and running!

Watch the Recorded Webinar Here