By SUE NOBLE, executive director

Vernon Economic Development Association

At the next Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club meeting, Justin Johnson, CEO and founder of Sustainable Kitchens, will talk about how he launched his scratch-food-focused consulting firm in his home office in 48 hours, with no capital and no plan.

A 20-year restaurant veteran, Johnson had an idea he thought would change the way institutional operators approached food service. Today, just four years later, Sustainable Kitchens is a million-dollar company and has executed projects all over Wisconsin, in hospitals, schools, restaurants, and retirement homes and even for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Johnson will share his experience building a new category, scaling a business from nothing, recovering from mistakes and bad decisions, as well as his biggest victories and most crushing failures along the rocky road to revolutionize institutional food service. You can also view his TED talk at

The meeting will be at the Food Enterprise Center, 1201 N. Main St. in Viroqua, on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Networking starts at 5:30 p.m.; the program begins at 6 p.m.

The I&E club is organized jointly by Vernon Economic Development Association and Viroqua Chamber Main Street. For more information, contact Sue Noble at or 638-8332 or Nora Roughen-Schmidt at or 637-2575.

The meetings are free, and no reservations are required. Whether you have an idea or just like to think business, join us for a dynamic evening of networking with lots of creative people. Everyone is welcome.