Don’t let the photo fool you. Josh may look more like a lumberjack than an agency founder, but beneath the thick mustache, bushy beard, and straight bourbon whiskey lies a refined and thoughtful entrepreneur, whose passion for food has evolved into a career helping food companies build brands.

He spent almost 14 years helping to build MarketPlace into one of the preeminent food marketing agencies in the country, but as the business grew, it became more and more challenging to accommodate the modest budgets that commonly constrain emerging brands. Feeling like it was time for a change, and recognizing an opportunity, Josh left MarketPlace to launch Upstart Food Brands; a virtual agency, geared for, and specifically focused on, helping small food and beverage companies create big brand presence with tons of personality at a reasonable agency rate.


Anyone who knows Josh will tell you that food and beverages aren’t just the focus of his occupation, they’re core to his identity. Conservatively, he does 93.25% of the food and drink preparation in the Schipkowski household, often crafting elaborate creations from scratch and constantly trying new techniques. He commonly uses many of Upstart’s brands (Pilot Knob Comforts, Mama’s Sugo, Foraged & Found, Axel, For Wellness, and Sauer Frau, just to name a few) to experiment with new food ideas, not just because he’s invested in their brands, but because the products are legitimately wonderful. He appreciates the finest food and drink, from the very best spirits to the most complex beers to the choicest cuts of meat to the freshest vegetables to the most carefully roasted coffee. He grows his own hops, grapes, and cider apples, not just to brew beer, make wine, and ferment cider, but for the purpose of creating memorable experiences, centered on food and drink, to share his passion with friends and family.

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