River Valley Food Company

A meeting place for entrepreneurs, innovators and technology-focused knowledge workers opened in late 2007 in Appleton -- the River Valley Food Company.

I just learned about this new deli / coffee shop / takeout restaurant at a BNI meeting this week. My ears perked up when it was mentioned that in addition to coffee and pastries in the morning, they also have free wireless internet. I'm always looking for new places with coffee, good munchies and free wireless for NEW NET meetings (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology issues), for meetings with AMW clients or for just hanging out and relaxing.

The Appleton Post-Crescent had a brief article on the River Valley Food Company on 23 Nov 2007. The article mentions that RVFC has a strong focus on natural ingredients and healthy meals.
"...The Rechners' vision for the place reflects good memories from the distant and recent past. Patty remembers going to a quaint coffee shop near the Appleton YMCA with her mother many decades ago and wanted to recreate that feeling of comfort and warmth. Paul loved the healthy approach of places like Whole Foods, a favorite stop when they lived in Mill Valley, Calif., earlier this decade. "We're trying to use natural ingredients and higher-end ingredients whenever with can," said Paul. "The meats, for example, have no hormones. The cheeses are all from Grande, a company near Waupun that only uses top-grade milk..."
When I made my first visit to RVFC on Friday, 08 Feb, one of the highlighted sandwiches was a Humboldt Chicken Sandwich. Since I just spent a couple weeks in Humboldt County, California, visiting my daughter, the name of the sandwich made me curious. Once again I was shown what a small world we live in. When I asked about the origin of the name of the sandwich, one of the RVFC people explained he used to live in Humboldt County, California, and that's where the name came from. He lived in McKinleyville just a couple miles from Arcata, where my daughter lives. It was fun talking with someone acquainted with that area, a beautiful section of northern California amidst the redwood forests between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains.

Another uplifting experience during my visit to RVFC on Friday was a conversation I partly overheard between two apparent entrepreneurs, or at least people very interested in entrepreneurism. It was the northeast Wisconsin equivalent of sitting in a Starbucks in Silicon Valley and overhearing numerous conversations between geeks working on startups, tech nomads doing their daily work via laptop and the internet, or investors talking with people looking for funding. When I visited my daughter recently in California, I had occasion to spend an hour in a downtown San Francisco Starbucks. Even at 9 PM on a Thursday night, with only six other people in the coffee shop, there was a meeting going on at that Starbucks involving two tech guys talking with an investor about the startup they were working on. It was gratifying to sit in a coffee shop in Appleton and hear similar talk, albeit likely on a less-high tech topic.

On my way out of the RVFC, I paused briefly at the table of the two people talking animatedly about entrepreneurism in the New North and gave my business card to the woman leading their discussion. I suggested if she was interested in meeting with more people who had the same passion about the topic that she did, I'd be happy to try and connect her with others I know of in the area.

I look forward to seeing and hearing many more knowledge workers and excited EIT collaborators (entrepreneurism, innovation, technology) at RVFC and other area coffee shops in upcoming months!

River Valley Food Company
201 W. Northland Ave.
Appleton, Wisconsin, USA
Mon - Sat ~~~ 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM



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