Workshop provides basics of starting specialty food business
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Entrepreneurs can learn what it takes to break into the food products business by attending a workshop sponsored in part by Purdue University.
An Introduction to Starting a Specialty Food Business in Indiana takes place 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 21 at Indiana Farm Bureau Inc., 225 S. East St., Indianapolis.
The workshop is geared toward those interested in developing a food or food ingredient business, whether they are small farmers, homemakers or those who have always wanted to work for themselves in a food-related business, said Maria Marshall, Purdue agricultural economist and workshop coordinator.
"We'll be providing information on business planning, marketing, food safety, food regulations, product development, process development and packaging," Marshall said. "We'll also talk about organic products."
Specialty food businesses run the gamut from those who sell products at farmers' markets to running restaurants and catering operations, and making pet food. Despite the sluggish economy, between 30,000 and 50,000 new or improved food products are introduced each year, Marshall said.
"Because of the economic downturn it's even more important that people make good business decisions based on sound knowledge," she said. "This workshop will help people understand what they need to do to start a business and make it successful so that they're not just starting on a wing and a prayer."
In addition to Marshall, workshop speakers include Kevin Keener and Steve Smith of Purdue's Department of Food Sciences; Sharon Farrell of the Indiana State Department of Health; and Annie Schmelzer of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
Workshop attendees also will hear Tashia St. Clair, founder and owner of Sweet Poppins, a Kokomo-based maker of gourmet-flavored popcorn. St. Clair will talk about her experience starting a specialty food business.
Registration is $100 per person and due by April 8. Enrollment is limited to about 35 people in order to provide as much one-on-one interaction between attendees and speakers as possible. The registration fee includes workshop materials, lunch and refreshments.
For more information and a registration form, download the workshop brochure at http://www.ag.purdue.edu/foodsci/Documents/workshops/feep_brochure.pdf
The workshop is sponsored by Purdue's departments of agricultural economics and food science, and the Indiana State Department of Health.
Writer: Steve Leer, 765-494-8415, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Maria Marshall, 765-494-4268, email@example.com
Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics