There is something so special about surrounding yourself with people who "get it". Maybe you share the same religious traditions, love a certain sport, or you share similar political views with someone. Having a shared passion for something means a lot of different things to people. Upon entering the High Line Hotel, I immediately knew that I was among women who also loved food and wanted to encourage and inspire others. I knew that many of these women have worked endlessly to perfect their niche in the food world. Cherry Bombe was exactly where I needed to be.
This was the first year of Cherry Bombe Marketplace, a place for women to network, listen to panels, attend demonstrations and create genuine connections with others in the food industry. Cherry Bombe Marketplace is an extension of the wildly popular Cherry Bombe Jubilee (that I didn't get the chance to go to but am crossing my fingers for next year!) Located at the High Line Hotel, Marketplace's primary location was in a grand hall filled to the brim with vendors, free samplings of food and drink and passion. In addition to the main exposition room, cooking demos, book signings and panels on a range of topics were going on throughout the whole afternoon. Jordana Rothman of Food & Wine hosted my favorite panel of the day : "Money, Honey? : How to Start a Business on a Shoestring". Ellen Bennett, Christina Ha and Fany Gerson spoke of their experiences as business owners in the food industry with next to nothing. From Bennett working on the line to Ha hating her desk job, each woman had a very unique niche into how they bloomed into their business and into the food world. Every one of their stories somehow felt incredibly relatable too, despite their different paths and backgrounds from mine.
Every woman I spoke with at Marketplace loved what they were doing, and believed in their product or their service 110%. Being surrounded by women who made a name for themselves in the food industry has stirred an urgent desire for me to pursue a place within the food industry. What has been stirring in my heart the last year or so was reinforced here and it was so uplifting to have complete strangers (or people I have been stalking on Instagram...?!) encourage me to pursue my passions. What better time than now?