Cindy Calhoun: Enthusiastic Team Player
December 3, 2019
An avid mentor, volunteer and sports enthusiast, NCFIL Senior Food Scientist Cindy Calhoun is a bona fide team player, a spirit that bodes well for this innovative lab. As a previous food entrepreneur herself, Cindy looks forward to offering NCFIL clients guidance, support and encouragement.
Product Development Lab Starting Line-Up
NCFIL helps both startups and established companies test and launch new plant-based products, and Cindy is a big part of that process. She serves clients in the state-of-the-art Product Development Lab/Test Kitchen, a stainless steel wonderland of kitchen equipment, both large and small. Whether mixing dough, roasting coffee beans or operating the combi oven, Cindy works with NCFIL clients to take a “hard look” at novel ideas, helping them through the food science process that leads to new or improved plant-based products.
Meeting with Cindy may be a client’s first stop at NCFIL: she listens to clients’ needs, deciphers where they are in the process and identifies how NCFIL can best help them. “Clients’ needs will vary,” says Cindy. “They could be developing a new product, proposing a line extension, finalizing advanced stages of development or investigating issues with a fully-developed product.” NCFIL customizes services to support all client situations.
NCFIL: A Touchdown for N.C.
NCFIL looks to score big for North Carolina’s agricultural industry, and the odds are in its favor. Cindy identifies many reasons why NCFIL helps clients succeed:
State-of-the-art equipment for almost every plant-based application
Ideation with knowledgeable teams to develop and improve plant-based products
Ability to test and manufacture products in a Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) environment
Between training courses, ideation sessions and product innovation, NCFIL offers clients a new facility that helps keep development costs affordable for entrepreneurs and established companies alike, with the hope that these entities will then contribute to the N.C. economy.
Experienced Player on the Field
For 30+ years, Cindy has held various roles in the food industry. Her experience includes:
Leading product development teams in the creation of food and beverage products from inception to commercialization
Owning and managing a bakery/deli business
Creating a sensory program for a major flavor company
Managing procurement for a large restaurant chain
Skilled in ideation, product development, consumer research and management, Cindy already mentors entrepreneurs in the Charlotte community through Innovate Charlotte. She is thrilled with the opportunity to participate in developing NCFIL “from scratch” as she sees a great need for this type of facility.
Ready to Score Big
On and off the field, Senior Food Scientist Cindy Calhoun is ready to be a team player at NCFIL. Her enthusiasm is certain to spur NCFIL’s success just as the facility will spur the growth of agricultural innovation in North Carolina and beyond.