Which came first: the chicken or the egg? As fun as it is to debate the age-old question, at Chiknegg, we don’t think it really matters. Both stages are integral to chickenhood!
Here at Chiknegg, we welcome eggs, chicks, and hens alike, because we know how daunting it can be just trying to break out of your shell. We also know that with the right amount of knowledge, support, and drive, it’s definitely possible to succeed out there. Whether you’re stuck in idea phase (and your food business is still an egg), have hatched your business into a cute fluffy chick that now needs a little loving care and guidance, or whether you’ve already survived the statistics to become a thriving hen who just needs a little advice, we’re here to support you.
Whether you’re looking for advice from an expert who knows the ropes, training to keep up with food safety regulations, or a commissary kitchen space, you’ve come to the right place. Chiknegg is here to incubate, hatch, and nurture you and your food businesses to the next level. Are you ready?
Chiknegg owner Lisa Dearden spent 20+ years in sales, management, marketing and training before one too many car accidents left her nearly disabled. As part of her recovery, Lisa and her husband moved to rural Goochland County, Virginia, where they bought a small farm, and she became interested in organic gardening.
This led to her earning a degree in Horticulture and a Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture. Before she knew it, she was running one of the largest and most successful farmers markets in Central Virginia and consulting state-wide on market management. In addition, she began facilitating a Virginia Tech-based course for farmers on the business of farming.
Over the last 15 years, Lisa noticed again and again that excited food entrepreneurs were often discouraged because they didn’t understand how to grow their business. This inspired her to take action.
Lisa opened an affordable incubator and production kitchen, and began educating and consulting food entrepreneurs on packaging, marketing and distribution. Several of her clients have earned the prestigious “Virginia Finest” label, and one received the highly coveted “Best New Product” award at the 2016 Virginia Food and Beverage Expo.
Lisa’s professional affiliations include: ServSafe® Food Protection Manager Instructor & Proctor; Member, Conference for Food Protection, and has completed her Certificate of Training for the Food Safety Preventative Controls Alliance’s course – Preventative Controls for Human Food.
Lisa was a founding member and currently serves as Treasurer on the board of the Virginia Farmers Market Association. She served on Goochland County’s Rural Economic Strategic Development Committee, which led to her current role as Chair of the Goochland County Economic Development Authority. In addition, Lisa serves as Executive Director of Chiknegg’s sister non-profit, RVAg, which is the organization that runs the farmers markets she founded, in addition to other markets and pop-up events.