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.
“Visit Jacksonville” sponsoring our Hospitality Awards Winners October 21, 2020!
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
Applicants must work full-time (min. 25 hours) in the food, beverage or hospitality industry and related fields. Membership dues are $75 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.
WOMENS FOOD ALLIANCE 2021 Advisory Council:
Womens Food Alliance 2022 Advisory Council
The Womens Food Alliance is honored to have these talented, successful and hard-working members guide our organization through 2022!
Leigh Cort, President and Founder
Womens Food Alliance Advisory Council 2022:
Kelly Mabry ~ Owner/ Tropical Smoothie
Cindy Stavely ~ Exec. Director/ St. Augustine Pirate/Treasure Museum/ Colonial Quarter
Amy Morales ~ Creator/ Sweets for the Soul
Nancy Guarnieri ~ St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine/ Cook/Chef
Terri Sherman ~ FBX Business Exchange, Inc. /Business Intermediary
Nancy Slatsky ~ Mr. Greens Produce/ Culinary Sales Consultant
Leigh Cort ~ President/ Womens Food Alliance & Owner/ Leigh Cort Publicity
Faye Lance ~Artisan Gourmet Studio & Sugar Snob Chocolates/ Owner
Betsy Hill ~ Content creator/food, wine & travel/BetsiWorld
Womens Food Alliance MISSION:
The Womens Food Alliance (WFA) cultivates and advances networking, education, and collaboration for women in the culinary and hospitality industry in the Northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia region.
Get to know the WFA Advisory Council
“I have been honored to be on the Advisory Council and have truly enjoyed being involved in planning and executing events for this wonderful group of women. Being on the board for 5 years has kept me very involved and given me the drive to inform other women in the industry to join and enjoy the benefits of networking and supporting one another. Leigh is a wonderful matriarch and her wisdom and insight is inspiring.”
Nancy Slatsky ~ Mr. Greens Produce ~ Culinary Sales Consultant
“The Womens Food Alliance is one of the most dynamic organizations I've been involved in as a tourism and hospitality professional. The high-level educational programs and networking opportunities are invaluable! It’s a privilege to be able to serve on the Advisory Council and be involved with the continued success and growth of the WFA.”
Cindy Stavely, Executive Director ~ St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum ~ Colonial Quarter
"It was seven years ago that I begin representing the St. Francis Inn Bed & Breakfast as a member of WFA. It’s been an amazing experience for me, enriching my journey being a part of the hospitality industry. I look back at all of the photos on our Facebook page and recall so many events and so many talented women, especially making lifelong friends as we did ‘food judging’, a live TV spot, a radio show interview, parties at various locations. I never imagined all of these amazing things that I would experience”.
Nancy Guarnieri ~ St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine ~ Cook
“It is indeed an honor for me to have been asked to join the Advisory Council of the WFA. I am in the process of my professional reinvention and I look forward to getting to know this group of amazing and diverse women. I have been an educator for over 30 years, and the transition to business owner and entrepreneur is proving to be exciting and frightening all at the same time. It is through Leigh’s positive attitude, support, and friendship that I have come to believe that my dreams can become a reality. Ultimately, I hope to use my chocolate sauce as a platform for positive change in the world, one jar and one spoonful at a time!”
Amy Morales ~ Sweets for the Soul, LLC ~ Maker of Amy’s Amazing Chocolate Sauce…the only chocolate sauce that comes with a spoon!
“Being a member of the Woman’s Food Alliance the past six years has been a rewarding and uplifting experience. Our uniquely versatile group of strong and talented ladies each bring their own creative and passionate style to the table. The energy, knowledge and support that our ladies share has been truly inspiring. I am so excited and proud to be a part of this Advisory Council where we continue to grow and build our Legacy.
Kelly Mabry ~ Owner/Operator ~ Tropical Smoothie Cafe
“It’s such a deep honor to know and empower our hospitality members throughout Florida and southeast Georgia. Our organization’s mission statement has not changed since we launched in 2013 ~ we cultivate and enhance networking & collaboration, education and friendship in our chosen industry. As the hospitality/food/beverage industry continues to explode with talent, creativity and passion, we are reminded that hospitality is simply ‘love in action’. It has much more to do with the resources of a generous heart than with sufficiency of food and space”.
Leigh Cort, Founder & President ~ WOMENS FOOD ALLIANCE
“Being a member of WFA for the past 3 years has given me insight into the hospitality industry and I’m proud to continue in our organization under the leadership of Leigh Cort ~ especially among my peers in the food/wine/event industry”
Betsi Hill ~ food/wine/travel content creator for Betsi World
“Discovering and joining the Women’s Food Alliance has been so impactful on not just my business, but on me as an individual. WFA is unlike any other networking group I’ve ever been a part of—the members are not only brilliant, but they are genuinely eager to help and to share. I’m so grateful that the WFA accepted me as member, and I am confident that anyone who comes for the first time will immediately share my sentiments!”
Terri Sherman ~ Florida Business Exchange/Business Intermediary
“Being a Womens Food Alliance member has been eventful in more way than one. This organization has provided me encouragement and support throughout all the years I've been a member. Each time we meet, I’ve had the opportunity to leave with meeting someone new or a new business connection. WFA membership list is full of awesome women who are making major moves within their business. I've watched them, I've learned from them and I am honored to be one of them. I look forward to being a member for years to come”.
Faye Lance ~ Artisan Gourmet Studio & Sugar Snob Chocolates
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
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
"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
"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
FIRST ANNUAL WOMEN'S FOOD EXPO:
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questions about effective public relations or would like more information, please contact us
us, or use our online request form.