Our Team

At Community Co-Pack NW it is our mission to foster a more equitable and inclusive consumer products industry.

True to our vision, we practice shared leadership and collaborative decision-making. Our founding team is Chris Bailey, Ashani DeGruy and Hannah Kullberg.


We are a team of community-centered entrepreneurs, diverse in background, experience and knowledge. Collectively we have more than 40 years of experience in the food industry. We have founded and led food businesses, run catering companies, operated restaurants, worked in food distribution, planted seeds and harvested CSAs and worked too many farmers market booths, vendor fairs and trade shows to count. 

Learn more about us below.

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Chris Bailey

Operations Director

Chris Bailey is a passionate food entrepreneur, small business advisor and trained chef. Growing up in Hawaii to a Thai immigrant and restaurant entrepreneur, he spent his childhood growing up in the back of the restaurant, curiously watching the inner working of a startup food business. Here Chris developed a passion for food that followed him to Oregon. He has worked with dozens of clients to help get their products onto shelves and is excited to help companies take the next step forward!


Chris is a micro-enterprise developer with the Portland Mercado, the Northwest’s only Latino market hall and business incubator. He has worked with 50+ businesses to help take their ideas to the marketplace. For his work with the Portland Mercado he was awarded a Willamette Week Skidmore Prize. As an entrepreneur, he has developed a line of products for New Seasons Market and has won a 2019 Good Food Award. Prior to his role at Mercado he specialized in operations and logistics as a national expansion manager with Dinner Lab, a startup recognized by Fast Company as “most innovative” in the food and hospitality sector, and worked as a research chef in product and process development at Oregon State University’s Food Innovation Center. He also does food product design with New Seasons Market, developing a line of value-added products under their partner brand banner. Chris serves on the board of directors for Built Oregon and an advisory committee member for Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. He is also a member of the Good Food Foundation's Equity Task Force, building equitable practices into various areas of the craft food industry. Chris has years of experience tying culinary and food product development with logistics and activating kitchen production spaces.

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Hannah Kullberg

Business Development Director

Hannah is a food startup connector and project catalyst with the mission to collectively build an equitable, regenerative, resilient, regional food system. She works specifically with emerging packaged food and beverage entrepreneurs, the creative changemakers of our food system. While co-founding and scaling The Better Bean Company from farmers markets to national distribution, she intimately experienced the barriers to success. Over nine years building Better Bean Company she held all roles in the business including business development, sales, marketing, HR, basic accounting and operations. While operations manager, Hannah implemented a HACCP program and supervised three-fold growth in production, adding equipment, new filling lines and hiring new team members. She took the business through Non-GMO and B-Corp certifications. As sales and marketing manager, she launched the product into several new regions growing sales and velocity. She has creative directed and project managed five packaging and branding design projects and a website redesign. For seven years, she managed social media, digital marketing and PR launching a successful influencer outreach program.

Since exiting from Better Bean Co in 2018, she has become a holistic business consultant and advisor. As a business advisor to the Small Business Development Center’s “Getting Your Recipe to Market Program” she helps new food companies launch into the ecosystem. Kullberg is a coach for XXcelerate and a mentor with BUILT Oregon and OEN’s Angel Food. Working with Prosper Portland she helps organize networking events for food businesses. She is passionate about helping the next generation of food business founders navigate the industry, actively catalyzing solutions to make it more equitable and accessible. Her first project is a resource sharing network for founders and leaders of Pacific Northwest Packaged Food & Beverage companies it is now a vibrant community of almost 600 members. 

Hannah obtained a BA in Geography from Vassar College in 2010. She studied food systems & worked on a non-profit educational CSA farm. Returning to Portland she served on the Portland Food Policy Council. She received equity training from the City of Portland and non-violent communication training through Alternatives to Violence Project. Through her experiencing building a mission-driven business, she found business to be a nimbler vehicle for change. She recently completed Lift Economy’s Next Economy MBA program. She is currently serving on the board of the Portland Farmer’s Market and the Farmer’s Market Fund.

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Ashani DeGruy

Product Development Director

Ashani comes from humble beginnings. He grew up in Portland a homeless youth helping raise his two younger brothers. Upon graduating Benson high school, he attended Howard University Business School, majoring in marketing and minoring in community development. He then attended The Art Institute of Northern Virginia igniting his culinary journey across the country to develop his craft, cooking at restaurants, convention centers and catering companies. Ashani eventually landed in Seattle where he opened a catering and bartending company, DeGruv Liquid Catering. The business operated for 10 years executing over 8,000 Events with major clients such as Microsoft and Amazon.


In 2017, he has moved back to Portland where he worked with Earthly Gourmet and teamed up with the owners of Sensei Sauce, managing the co-packing acidified foods. Ashani developed his own sauce, a Caribbean fusion finishing sauce called Lion’s Breath. Working with MESO business development organization He got the opportunity to attend Portland Community College's Getting Your Recipe to Market Course, we’re he learned the intricacies of the packaged food ecosystem. During this process, he immediately recognized the barriers that discourage entrepreneurs of Color from participating in the retail food product industry.


A saucier and tastemaker, Ashani recently finished a fellowship with Oregon State’s Food Innovation Center to hone his skills as a food scientist and product developer. Ashani is truly dedicated to serving the Black + Indiginous POC maker community.

 

Equity Action Plan

Portland’s food product makers who are members of historically underserved racial, ethnic, and linguistic groups experience pervasive and chronic disparities in access to food contract manufacturers, information and resources for retail product development. Among others, recent research has identified evidence of disparities in access and outcomes in areas such as access to capital, job training and food business support. The findings raise strong concerns about persistent inequities for resources and access for people at the intersection of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability. Community Co-Pack NW (CoCo) will provide powerful infrastructure and a platform for systematically reducing disparities and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion. This Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) Action Plan was developed in partnership with Multicultural Collaboration to help address this need. Action steps within each area are intended to help move Community Co-Pack NW toward a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive food ecosystem for Black + Indigenous, POC and women-led businesses in Oregon.

As a company, we will...

  • Employ consensus decision-making processes

  • Build a shared ownership model

  • Provide EDI Training for team members

  • Workforce diversity —The workforce of Community Co-Pack NW will reflect the diversity of racial, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural groups, and disability identities of individuals residing in Portland, Oregon. 

  • Increase the recruitment, retention, and advancement of individuals from underserved groups as full-time and part-time employees with a particular emphasis on leadership and professional development. 

  • Increase the number and proportion of individuals from racial, ethnic, linguistic, and disability groups entering related professions in direct service, policy, and advocacy to better reflect the diversity of the overall organization. 


With our clients and community, we will...

  • Demonstrate the impact of participation with Black + Indigenous, POC and women-led businesses by Community Co-Pack NW’s workforce development, food contract manufacturing, aggregation of local produce from BIPOC farmers, and systems change initiatives and activities, including the implementation of this ED&I Action Plan.

  • Advance and disseminate knowledge and innovation gained from the evaluation of ED&I and related initiatives for people with Black + Indigenous, POC, and Women-led businesses from underserved groups throughout Oregon.

  • Promote the adoption of policies and legislation focused on reducing disparities and barriers to services for Black + Indigenous, POC and Women-led businesses.

  • Convene and provide a forum for reporting progress and updates. Additionally, Community Co-Pack NW will invest in the core functions of our mission that is so instrumental in our Equity, Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. 

  • Develop partnerships with other contract food manufacturers in Portland to allow our clients to scale their businesses beyond Community Co-Pack NW’s capacity. We will require these businesses to sign a memorandum of understanding regarding the initiatives of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives. By holding them accountable we will ensure that we are fostering a safe and inclusive environment for our clients to transition into. Avoiding the problem of cultural misunderstandings and prejudices that distract and hinder Black + Indigenous, POC, and Women-led businesses from being successful. 

  • The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team will continue its role as a repository of information on equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as a provider of technical assistance to clients of Community Co-Pack NW on reporting information requested by the ED&I Action Plan initiative. 

Focus Areas

  • Enhance workforce diversity, and the use of systems change strategies to achieve local and state impact. Recognizing the importance of grounding Community Co-Pack NW’s efforts in partnerships with organizations whose mission is to serve Black + Indigenous, POC and Women led businesses.

  • Promote the systematic collection, analysis, and dissemination of disparity data across all areas of emphasis identified in the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to serve as a benchmark against which progress can be measured.

  • Over a five-year period, develop guidance to include the indicators listed in the ED&I Action Plan areas (i.e., Workforce Diversity, Cultural Competence, Local/State Impact) in the annual Program Performance Report.

  • Collaborate with CoCo’s Advisory Committees to identify specific goals, objectives, and actions steps from the ED&I Action Plan to incorporate into their five-year plans. Note that clients of Community Co-Pack NW  are not expected to address every area or objective in the ED&I Plan, rather they should work with the leadership team to prioritize items based on their businesses assets, resources, needs, and capacity. 

 
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