P'Chelle Posts

Bravo! to Eataly World


Gary A. White, President, P'Chelle Internationaal

Gary A. White, President,
P’Chelle International

Eataly World has captured the attention of the world’s food and beverage industry, offering an inspiring example to economic developers worldwide.

Located in Bologna, Italy the project was conceived in 2013, with its grand opening slated for the summer of 2017.  Although hardly a large project with only 20 acres (roughly the size of Buckingham Palace), those acres are thoroughly developed.

Eataly World will contain ten classrooms, 40 processing facilities, 43,000 sq. ft. of convention space, 79,000 sq. ft. featuring 25 Italian restaurants (what else?), 105,500 sq. ft. of markets and stores  and 107,600 sq. ft. of demonstration fields (vegetable gardens and fruit orchards), two aquariums and five animal breeding farms.

They hope to attract six million visitors  annually (1.5 million foreigners, 4 million Italians and 500,000 school children on culinary field trips). Six million seems a bit far-reaching, but then Bologna has developed a significant tourism industry that Eataly World will only enhance.

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Food Cluster (Wine) Gamble

Courtesy of ATOUT FRANCE-France Tourism Development Agency


One can imagine a tired, hungry Roman soldier stopping for a moment to relax, shaking the dust off his sandals to contemplate his future, nibbling on a hard, dry cut of cheese and an even harder, dryer biscuit, washing them both down with sweet red wine from the mother country. He seats himself along the shore of the Garonne River, in a land referred to as Burdigala, today known as Bordeaux (from the French au bord de l’eau, meaning “along the waters”) in southern France.

He realizes the soil beneath his feet is perfect for growing wine grapes, the temperate, marine climate is ideal and water is available, not only for watering the grapes, but also for transportation down the Garonne River, into the Gironde Estuary and finally the Atlantic Ocean. He decides to turn his sword into a plowshare, gather his fortune, invest in land, plant vines, most likely from the Rioja region of Spain, build a processing and packaging facility and create an industry.

If not a Roman soldier, maybe a Roman merchant, farmer or mariner. Whoever it was and whatever his trade, history records that the development of the Bordeaux wine region dates back to ancient Romans. In 71 AD Pliny the Elder recorded the first evidence of vineyards in Bordeaux. Today, it is considered the wine capital of the world, with some 7,400 wineries producing approximately 75 million cases annually, valued at over two billion dollars and home to Vinexpo, considered the world’s primary wine trade show. It is also now home to the world’s primary Wine Museum and Cultural Center…..La Cité du Vin.

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Industrial Cluster (Food) Success

Gary A. White Photo

Gary A. White, President, P’Chelle International

FABREO Columbia Basin, a food and beverage industrial cluster program, has been remarkably successful over the last year and one-half in positioning the Columbia Basin, centered in Tri-Cities (Richland, Kennewick, Pasco), Washington, as a globally recognized food and beverage region. Highlights for 2015 include:

The first annual FABREO Expo in Pasco, WA was launched on June 12th, a regional (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) food and beverage trade show that exceeded expectations!

On August 5th a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), designed to develop food and beverage opportunities between the Columbia Basin and Hong Kong, Mainland China and Southeast Asia. This is a major step forward in developing FABREO’s Strategic Gateway Concept, to position the Columbia Basin as the strategic gateway between America and Asia in the food and beverage industry.

On November 5 – 7th the local wine industry (the largest in the Pacific Northwest) was promoted and Asian food and beverage buyers were recruited to attend the FABREO Expo 2016 through exhibiting in the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair.


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The Columbia Basin Century

Gary A. White, President, P’Chelle International

The Columbia Basin Food & Beverage Processing Survey 2014 highlighted seven recommendations necessary to position the Columbia Basin (Southeast Washington State) as a globally recognized food and beverage processing region: 1) Develop a Hospitality Program – recently accomplished by Washington State University Tri-Cities in 2015 2) Develop a Culinary School 3) Develop a Food Processing Training Program 4) Develop a Technical Skills Training Program 5) Produce an event to showcase locally processed foods and beverages to buyers – accomplished with the recently completed and highly successful FABREO Expo 2015 6) Develop a public relations program – currently being implemented with local, regional and national media and 7) Develop the Strategic Gateway Concept.

The final recommendation, number seven, is the most exciting, while also the most challenging. The Strategic Gateway Concept is designed to position the Columbia Basin as the strategic gateway for the food and beverage industry, and all support industries, between America and Asia. It’s vision is ambitious: 1) Trade and investment opportunities between Columbia Basin and Asian food and beverage companies 2) Cooperative networks between Columbia Basin and Asian educational, packaging, research & development, storage and logistics companies and organizations and 3) Cross promotion and participation between the FABREO Expo and Asian food and beverage trade shows. Why Asia?

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Volkswagen Autostadt

Gary A. White, President, P’Chelle International

IN THE 1930’s ONLY ONE GERMAN IN 50 OWNED A CAR. German car manufacturers focused on luxury models, well beyond the reach of most citizens. The Führer decided to change that. In 1933, Adolf Hitler demanded the production of a basic vehicle, affordable to the German people, that would accommodate two adults and three children, reaching a top speed of 60 miles per hour. The Volkswagen (People’s Car) would be financed through a government sponsored savings plan. The government wanted a car, so consequently, they needed a car factory. In 1938 a car factory, and a town for its workers, was created in what is known today as Wolfsburg (named after the Wolfsburg Castle), one hour from Berlin.

In 1939 Hitler got distracted and started World War II. The factory was converted to the production of military vehicles. The “to purchase a car” savings accounts of 336,000 people were eventually seized by the Russians in 1945 when they captured Berlin. The vodka flowed, the Cold War started and 336,000 Germans were wondering when their cars would be delivered. Ironically, the company owes its survival to the British occupying forces, in particular to one impressive chap, Major Ivan Hirst, of the British Army, whose forces were in charge of the occupation zone containing Wolfsburg. Being in short supply of light transportation vehicles, Major Hirst convinced headquarters that the Volkswagen “Beetle” was the right car, at the right time, in the right place. They placed an order for 20,000 cars and the rest is history.

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