James Sprunt Community College Small Business Center in Kenansville, North Carolina is pleased to announce the “American Food Finds” specialty foods entrepreneur program began with its first series of workshops on March 25, 2009. The JSCC Small Business Center is teaming with the Duplin County Cooperative Extension Services, North Carolina State University, and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture to teach entrepreneurs how to start their own specialty food business.
At the first workshop, there were 19 attendees from restaurants, farms, and individuals interested in starting their own speciality food business. We began the evening by sampling many speciality food products from existing specialty food companies. The Country Squire Restaurant also brought samples of their marinated turkey and Korean beef, as an example. This restaurant is interested in bottling their marinates. Gary Bullen from NC State University presented an overview of the food business, industry and consumer trends, and market planning.
On April 1, the second workshop was help with 20 attendees. Ms. Nancy Wilson brought a blueberry lemon cake and black walnut cake both made with products on her farm. Ms. Evett Pickett brought a warm pound cake with cream cheese icing. Yum!! Both of these ladies hope to package their cakes and offer for sell. We also sample three different BBQ sauces, and David Whitman's BBQ. He currently sells "natural" pork to Whole Foods, and would like to sell natural, wood-fired BBQ to them as well. G.W. Stanley from the NC Dept. of Agriculture gave us an overview of the NC Goodness Grows Marketing Program, and David Green from NC State University discussed nutritional labeling, food safety and facilities.
The third and final workshop is coming up April 8 where we will discuss entrepreneurship, business plan development, insurance, and legal issues. Also, the web site is underdevelopment. More later!!!