A longtime marketer and communicator — and now head of Garside Group LLC — Betsy Garside has broad and deep experience in the world of food. She began her food career at Peasant Stock restaurant in Somerville, Massachusetts, as a sous- and dessert-chef. She continued at Self Chef, a gourmet take-out on the upper East Side of New York City. At the University of Pennsylvania, she was a server and manager for three years for Penn Caterers, the university’s innovative high-end student-run catering firm.
Upon graduation from college, she worked for Ketchum Communications in Washington and in New York for eight years. Building upon that marketing and communications training, Betsy became the first director of marketing for Hay Day Country Farm Market, a regional fresh- and prepared-food retailer. When Sutton Place Gourmet (now Balducci’s) bought Hay Day, Betsy became head of relationship marketing and communications for the whole company, leading food education efforts and creating the first affinity program for the company.
In 1998, Betsy joined American Farmland Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to saving America’s farmland. In her role as senior communications director, she shaped messages and programs to engage Americans in agriculture and food issues, connecting what we eat to the land from which it comes. These early efforts, in part, led to the current “fresh and local” movement.
That combination of sustainability issues and a basic love of eating well is what drives Betsy’s current goal: Reacquainting people with preparing and eating good food. Among other recent projects, she has developed market-driven positioning for a sustainable seafood program; defined strategic direction for a two-year-old online cooking business; and is guiding a 19-year-old food retailer in refreshing its brand and marketing strategies to handle increased competition in the marketplace.
Betsy has worked on two cookbooks – testing recipes for “The Hay Day Country Market Cookbook” (Workman) and editing the rough recipes for Joan Nathan’s “Jewish Cooking in America” (Knopf). She has attended the Culinary Institute of America’s Writing Workshop and is currently working on a family dessert cookbook. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Betsy lives in downtown Washington DC with her husband.