The food industry in northeast Florida and surrounding ten counties is continuing to explode with talent, creativity and passion - in careers that revolve in and around food, beverage and hospitality. The knowledge, hard work, respect and fellowship that we share leads us to believe that more women in the industry could benefit from and contribute to the Womens Food Alliance.
The Womens Food Alliance (WFA) cultivates and advances networking, education, and collaboration for women in the culinary and hospitality industry in the Northeast Florida region.
The WFA provides members with educational events and business-related seminars. Through networking opportunities and ongoing food and beverage workshops, field trips and dinners, we pledge to provide member-generated programs that benefit the community and membership.
The Womens Food Alliance offers educational, enlightening and fun monthly events in various venues throughout the northeast Florida region. Meetings and events are primarily held on Monday or Tuesday evenings that vary with the theme, location and season.
These are excellent opportunities to: Connect with a diverse group of great women on the move!
- Dinners and Luncheons that feature our members' venues
- Food and Spirit Tastings
- Culinary Focus Groups
- Introduction of New Food Products
- Gatherings that highlight the Monthly Venue
- Featured Hospitality Industry Speakers
FIRST ANNUAL WOMEN'S FOOD EXPO:
Applicants must work full-time (min. 25 hours) in the food, beverage or hospitality industry and related fields. Membership dues are $50 a year. Each planned program/event is priced according to the program and venue: ranging from $15/pp - $45/pp. Attendance is Optional for any month's planned event.
PROGRAMS & EVENTS:
WFA plans eight to ten programs & events a year with a pre-event hour of networking and business exchange. We expand our events based on member invitations to their businesses!
- Being a part of our valued association of food professionals and networking to advance your career or taking it in new directions
- Receiving a timely e-Letter of Industry NEWS that encourages members to share their company's News and Promotional Information
- Learning from fellow members and sharing your unique expertise
- Having an opportunity to receive Media Attention for your organization
- Industry-related door prizes at each event
- Visiting unique venues open to WFA members
- Exploring different cuisines through educational events
- Receiving invitations to tastings and new culinary product introductions
- Meeting noted culinary experts & celebrities through events & dine-arounds
- Attending hands-on chef presentations
Published to facilitate communication among members, the WFA E-Newsletter announces news of individual's projects, business, media and current events. We keep our membership in touch with the pulse of our organization, current job postings, events in the food community and each other.
Culinary Sales Representative ~ Swiss Chalet Fine Foods
I am a classically trained pastry chef and food lover who is currently a Sales Representative and Consultant with Swiss Chalet Fine Foods, a direct importer of gourmet ingredients for the food service industry throughout North Florida and Southern Georgia.
Chef and Owner of Hot Shot Bakery N' Cafe
I created Datil B Good Products and have been a part of the culinary scene in St. Augustine for 30 years.
I'm a professional food and product photographer who shoots photos for the media, regional restaurateurs, chefs and businesses requiring commercial photography with character.
Rebekah Blakely Lowry, CMP
I'm the Director of Catering at the historic www.CasaMarinaHotel.com
in Jacksonville Beach. I sell and coordinate our off property events in addition to the hotel's meetings, weddings and galas.
I'm an Atlantic Beach, Florida-based Author of Cookbooks, Food & Travel Features ~ from a long line of Cajun Cooks and raconteurs!
As Marketing Director for Woody's Franchise System, I assist owners in individual location Marketing plans, the Annual Marketing Calendar, Campaign ideation, art direction and Marketing Training for Coordinators at the local store level. www.woodysbarbq.com
Dana Stallings, Owner
My two hospitality-food related companies in the Jacksonville area fill my busy days with patrons at Kilwin’s Chocolate at the Town Center and Jax Kitchen, a commercial licensed kitchen where caterers and specialty food manufacturers come to cook. www.Jax-Kitchen.com
A 14-year veteran bed and breakfast owner who has recently sold her beautiful historic inn in St. Augustine, ( www.casadesuenos.com
) Kathleen Hurley brings a wealth of hospitality savvy to the Womens Food Alliance. Her understanding of guest service, attention to detail, food & beverage and exquisite ambience ~ inspires her creative style and passion for the hospitality industry!
I am the Assistant Food and Beverage Manager at The St.
Francis Inn and Casa de Suenos ~ two historic Bed and Breakfasts in St.
Augustine, Florida. You will find me in the kitchen creating breakfast,
social hour, and dessert offerings each day. I also wear many hats: dining
room hostess, barista and concierge for our guests keeping the culinary
presentations plentiful and beautifully served during breakfast daily.
Andrea Jones, owner of The Tasting Tours, St. Augustine - attended the Womens Food Alliance April event at Raintree Restaurant. During dinner, WFA member Monica Stouder presented a food photography mini workshop for attendees to learn a few amazing 'hints' about how to snap award-winning food photos.
The winner, chosen by Monica, was Andrea Jones with the following image: Crab Appetizer with micro greens. The prize is a featured story in Buzz Magazine, written by Monica. Congratulations Andrea...your cell phone photo is gorgeous!
Leigh Cort Publicity
“Leigh, I can't convey how utterly impressive & inspiring it is to see all these determined, hard-working women come together with such positivity and kindness. I'm in awe of the Womens Food Alliance and still reveling in the warm, fuzzy feeling of participating in such a wonderful event. It's an honor to work with you and to have the privilege of standing by your side.”
Blair Bassett, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
“Leigh, My career and my accomplishments are my foundation. You and Womens Food Alliance and its members remind me of how important that is. Your example as a hard-working, accomplished professional woman buoy me tremendously.”
Wendy White, Owner of Publishing Partners, Inc./The Restaurant Times
“Leigh, I wanted to say THANK YOU for everything you do. You have helped us spread the word about Rummies & Yummies. Anne Roy, Producer of Channel 4 Morning Show, invited me on the morning show as a result of YOU. She went through one of your emails, looking for interesting people / companies and found us. So, I was on the show Tuesday morning. Here is the link
Amy Hales, Master of Mixology, Rummies & Yummies, LLC.
"Women's Food Alliance is a great organization to get together with women who share the entrepreneurial drive, creative spirit and determination to achieve greatness. If you're willing to share ideas, information, have fun, meet new people and see new places ~ this is a great organization"
DeeAnn Hobbs - Executive Chef ~ Renaissance World Golf Village Resort
"The Women's Food Alliance is a fantastic, high energy group of women all with a common interest in culinary & hospitality. Every member has a strong belief in the hospitality field and how we can help each other. Our meetings are a gathering place to engage, relax and unwind. I challenge all women in hospitality to join us and you, too, will be encouraged to better yourself and your business.
DANA STALLINGS, Owner Kilwins and JaxKitchen
"When I had a dream of starting Amelia Toffee, I was lucky to find a gorgeous commercial kitchen owned by Dana Stallings, a member of Womens Food Alliance, who encouraged me to join this great organization. Leigh Cort suggested that I bring samples of our first batch of toffee to an event while meeting other professional women to partner with. It would have taken me years to develop those kinds of relationships but within two hours I had networked with amazing women who have helped me grow my business in lightning speed. I am an avid fan of WFA and what they are achieving in northeast Florida!" Anita Comisky, Creator of Amelia Toffee
"I want to let the world know how much I appreciate Leigh Cort, my hero in so many ways! Leigh, you have a natural gift for hospitality, as well as a glow and charisma that's as genuine as it is beautiful. I'm grateful to you for putting together this esteemed group of women" Carol Lombardo ~ Owner Seagull Bakery
Leigh - "I've been a member of Womens Food Alliance for a little over a year. It has been such an amazing experience having the opportunity to represent the St. Francis Inn Bed and Breakfast. I am able to spend time enjoying the company of such talented and successful women, sharing ideas and thoughts over great food, drink, and atmosphere at our monthly events. I look forward to having my "WFA night out!" Always a pleasure! And always exciting to receive that email invitation to the next event. It is a privilege to be surrounded by women who love what they do in this industry. I am also thrilled to see how our membership continues to grow thanks to Leigh!" Nancy Guarnieri - Asst. Culinary Mgr., St. Francis Inn
"I just read through the list of "Amazing" members you have brought to the WFA. Your drive to have this group grow and succeed I find wondrous. I truly feel privileged to have met you. I and all of the women are being given this fabulous networking opportunity, to meet with so many intelligent women and to be able to share individual strengths and wisdom with each other". Marian Aiksnoras - Bloody Amazing Seasoning
"How refreshing to join a group of such diverse women who all love food, beverages and our amazing hospitality industry. The best part about WFA that I have found is the diverse professional backgrounds of the women with a common interest. The events are so unique and down right fun! Thanks Leigh for pulling it all together! You ROCK!"
Anne Urban, President - Destination Planning
"There are many professional organizations that offer continuing education and networking opportunities. WFA stands apart because each of us truly wants to see the other women succeed. I never feel the need to compete, instead we help one another any way we can!"
Allie Olsen - SimplyStAugustine.com
"WOW!!! What amazing exposure for both the Women's Food Alliance and Intuition Ale Works! Thank you thank you Kelly for such a thoughtful and well done write-up. I can't tell you how much Robin, Riley and I enjoyed hosting WFA at the Intuition Ale brewery. This article is a great example of the benefits and exposure the WFA affords its members. Thanks so much Leigh!"
"I want to take a minute to thank you for the opportunity to host the Womens Food Alliance 1st Anniversary Dinner. I was taken aback by the spirit of your organization. It seems every member truly embraces hospitality and you've done an amazing job in such a short time this year. Thank you again for allowing us to participate; I hope everything was up to par and everyone enjoyed themselves"
Mark Vandeloo - General Manager, Casa Marina Hotel - Jacksonville Beach, Florida
"You're really on the ball with everything! I just looked through the member list, what a great group of leading ladies! I'm proud to be a part of this movement. Thank you for the opportunity and for accepting me with open arms, I'm honored.”
Jessica Tyree ~ Owner of Restaurant Compliance Solutions
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