In the age of digital media, it can be difficult to sit down with a good old-fashioned book. But besides the many benefits associated with the act of reading, taking the time to dive into a book can also be beneficial for your food business. Even if you’re someone who normally learns by doing, or really good at faking it until you make it, you can still benefit from great books when it comes to difficult topics like finance or management.
But the business book section of your local bookstore might be vast (or you might be shopping on Amazon), and it can be impossible to know what to choose. We asked Foodboro readers and food entrepreneurs, as well as our staff, for their favorites. If you have one to add, comment below! We’ll keep updating as you make suggestions.
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The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. “A total classic that is just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.”
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, by Kim Scott. “You don’t have to be a boss to appreciate this book. This method of communication has been taking both startups and big businesses by storm.”
Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company’s Future and What to Do About It, by Tien Tzuo. “We’ve been reading this in my business book club. It’s eye-opening!”
“Honestly, a lot of foodie-preneurs have not received any formal business training and can lack basic business skills, jargon, etc. I recommend anyone in that boat to brush up on basic MBA skills via books like The Personal MBA or The Ten Day MBA.” – Reed Allen, Redd Bar
Setting the Table, by Danny Meyer. “The iconic book on hospitality for a reason. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in the industry who hasn’t read this.”
“The first book that made me realize I could be an entrepreneur was The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. Growing up, I’d started things, but they’d always been small and not very profit-driven. So even though I had this experience of starting things, I hadn’t realized I could do business. And so that flipped a switch for me.” – Maddie Purcell, Fyood Kitchen
“The two books that inspired me to continue on my quest toward a career in sustainable food systems and companies are: The Farm on the Roof: What Brooklyn Grange Taught Us About Entrepreneurship, Community, and Growing a Sustainable Business by Anastacia Cole Plakias and Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter.” – Alex Kisielewski