Food Business Basics:
Getting Started and Finding Your Niche in the Specialty Foods Business

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HILO, Hawai‘i Island
Monday, March 11, 2013
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Hawaii TechWorks
230 Kekuanaoa Street
Register for Hilo

HONOKA‘A, Hawai‘i Island:
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center
45-539 Plumeria Street
Register for Honoka‘a

PĀHALA, Hawai‘i Island:
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Pāhala Community Center
96-1149 Kamani Street
Register for Pāhala
HO‘OLEHUA, Moloka‘i:
Friday, March 15, 2013
8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Lanikeha Community Center
2200 Farrington Avenue
Register for Ho‘olehua

Looking for the One-on-One Consulting Session Application?
Download it Here

Value-added and specialty foods consultant Lou Cooperhouse will present “Food Business Basics: Getting Started and Finding Your Niche in the Specialty Foods Business.” The workshops are designed for farmers seeking to develop their raw product into a value-added product and bring it to market, entrepreneurs and restaurateurs interested in diversifying their revenue streams with specialty food products, and established producers looking to take their food businesses to the next level.

The Food Industry offers many exciting opportunities, and this three-hour workshop will provide attendees with critical assistance to develop, build or evolve their businesses. Topics that will be discussed include:
  • Understanding the food marketplace and channels of distribution
  • Top trends affecting the food industry and their impacts on new product innovation
  • Identifying your target consumers and developing your product niche
  • The strategic planning process and business plans
  • Local, state and federal food regulations and inspection requirements
  • Food processing options, and what to look for in getting your product produced
  • Food safety technologies from “Farm to Fork” that will enhance quality and safety
  • The Product Development Process: scaling up from concept to commercialization
  • Funding options, and what banks and investors will want to know
Following lunch (included with pre-registration), Nicole Milne, Agricultural Business Development Specialist for The Laulima Center, will present two one-hour trainings:
  • Financial Resources Available for Hawai‘i Farmers
  • Marketing Agricultural Products

In addition, Cooperhouse will also conduct 30-minute one-on-one consulting sessions each afternoon with pre-selected workshop participants. (PLEASE NOTE: All one-on-one sessions for Hilo have been booked; slots are still available in the other locations.) Registrants interested in the one-on-one consultations must complete and submit a brief application. Applicants will be notified by March 8th whether or not they are selected for the consultations, which are being offered at no additional charge.

Lou Cooperhouse is the President of Food Spectrum, LLC, a management consulting company with expertise in business innovation and incubation. He has led cross-functional teams in a wide array of settings throughout his career, including new business startups, family-run companies, global manufacturing operations, and retail and foodservice operations. Cooperhouse also served as Director of the globally recognized Rutgers University Food Innovation Center, and as an Adjunct Professor in the Rutgers Business School. Earlier in his career, Cooperhouse held positions at Campbell Soup Company, ConAgra, and Nestlé-funded Culinary Brands in areas of business development, product development, quality assurance, and operations. He is the publisher and co-author of a landmark study on the prepared refrigerated food industry, and has spoken at over 100 industry conferences.  

The Kohala Center and University of Hawai‘i Maui College are sponsoring and facilitating the workshops, which are made possible by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program grant. The East Hawai‘i Community Development Corporation is providing additional support.