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The NJFPA Stradley Ronon Food Forum

This series will focus on stories about the people changing the face of the food processing in the Garden State through innovation, hard work and lending a caring hand. The NJFPA will endeavor to tell the stories that might now get attention in other mainstream channels.

If this series inspires and provides actionable ideas, it will achieve its aims.

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Apr 20, 2021

Welcome to the third episode of the NJFPA Food Forum. In this episode, Bill Mandia, Partner at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, speaks with Nolan Lewin a member of the NJFPA Board and Director of Operations for the Rutgers Food Innovation Center. Bill and Nolan talk about the FIC and how its capabilities for both large and small companies give NJ food processors an advantage.

Guest Bio

Nolan Lewin is a member of the NJFPA Board, contributing expertise and relationships to the success of the organization’s work. Nolan joined the Rutgers Food Innovation Center in April 2018 as the Director of the Piscataway Facility. Shortly thereafter, he was assigned additional responsibilities as Director of Operations for both Bridgeton and Piscataway facilities. The Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University is a unique food business incubator and accelerator that is a unit of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). The Center supports established early stage entrepreneurs and existing food companies from concept to commercialization.

Nolan’s previous experience includes several Plant Manager positions with Hanover Foods, Stay Fresh Foods and LiDestri Food and Drink. He has also owned retail markets, restaurants, catering facilities and cheese operations over the past 30 years. Of note, Nolan and his wife continue to own and operate a food truck.

Nolan is Food and Beverage HACCP certified (Seafood Lead Instructor) PCQI Lead Instructor, FSVP Lead Instructor and has performed in over 12 BRC, SQF and 3rd party audits. He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from Rutgers in Communication and Information.

Listeners will hear: 

  • How the Rutgers FIC was started as a community investment in local economic development.
  • How the pandemic first slowed operations, then bounced back busier than ever.
  • What the Rutgers FIC has to offer startups: including ingredient analysis, packaging, sample runs and more WITHOUT taking any IP.
  • What the Rutgers FIC has to offer large companies like Conagra: including testing new recipes, packaging, and processes without taking time and space away from manufacturing facilities.
  • Nolan’s predictions about what food innovation will look like over the coming year.

Download the Edited Interview Transcript