From Cottage Industry to Commercial Enterprise
Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance’s® (HACA) ChefZone Presents From Cottage Industry to Commercial Enterprise Program is aimed at cultivating the next generation of Hawaii’s value-added entrepreneurs in partnership with Leeward Community College (Leeward CC) and the Wahiawa Value-Added Product Development Center (WVAPDC). 30 local entrepreneurs utilizing Hawaii-grown, raised or caught ingredients have been selected to incubate their cottage industry, consumer packaged good (CPG) or value-added products with guidance from industry experts to establish their new food businesses.
As part of the HACA program, each entrepreneur received a scholarship to Leeward CC’s new 12-week Aina to Makeke course developed to bring food products to market and build successful food businesses. Featuring industry experts and guest speakers, with opportunities for one-on-one individual coaching, participants complete the program with a comprehensive business plan, presentation and pitch to start and scale your food product.
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MEET THE 2023 COHORT PARTICIPANTS
30 local value-added entrepreneurs were selected by application for the Cohort 1 & 2 of Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance’s® (HACA) ChefZone Presents From Cottage Industry to Commercial Enterprise Program in partnership with Leeward Community College (Leeward CC) and the Wahiawa Value-Added Product Development Center (WVAPDC) this year. Utilizing Hawaii-grown, raised or caught ingredients, their food products will be on sale at an Entrepreneurs Marketplace at the Thirteenth Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival in October.
- Scholarship to Leeward CC’s 12-week food product course from May 1 – July 19, 2023 (includes tuition, books, supplies, and course fees)
- Classes held Mondays & Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 P.M.
- Mentor sessions with industry leaders, celebrity chefs and other food & beverage professionals
- Opportunity to feature product at a showcase as part of Thirteenth Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival in 2023
- Opportunity to promote product on HASHI Life’s digital media platform to a global audience of over 65,000 people
- Opportunity to utilize Wahiawa Value-Added Product Development Center (WVAPDC) when completed in Summer 2023
- Must be based in Hawaii and 18 years of age or older
- Product must include a Hawaii-grown, raised or caught ingredient
- Must be an early-stage food and/or beverage company with a consumer packaged good (CPG) or value-added product. Restaurants or food-truck concepts are NOT eligible
- Must have an annual revenue of less than $1,000,000
- Producing under Cottage Industry laws or out of a commercial kitchen
- Direct to consumer sales through an established storefront/retail presence, e-commerce, farmers markets, or other vendor markets are allowed
- Products already being sold in a specialty store or supermarket are also allowed to apply
- Must have obtained food safety training from Department of Health (DOH) or from a program approved by DOH
- May NOT have previously participated in another incubator or accelerator program
- Must be able to participate in all activities of the program including training classes, mentorship sessions, product showcase event, etc. Travel may be required for businesses headquartered on the Neighbor Islands. Classes will be held from May 1 – July 19, 2023 on Mondays & Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 P.M.
12-WEEK LEEWARD CC PROGRAM
Brought to you by the Leeward Community College, Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, this 12-week program examines what it takes to become a successful food business entrepreneur. Workshop sessions guide participants in how to scale-up a kitchen recipe into a commercial product ready for market.
Instructor Christiane Bolosan Yee will be joined by food industry professionals to lead students in how to:
- PRODUCE a safe and wholesome consumer food product
- PROMOTE a food product through established market channels
- PROFIT as a business from the manufacture and sales of your product
Program will provide sessions with business advisors, coaches or entrepreneurs in the creation of their new business and the logistics of sourcing ingredients and packaging, regulatory compliance, and approaches to specialty food marketing.
- Week 1: Your Product & Consumer, Marketplace Survey, Product Costs
- Week 2: Licensing & Regulations, Introduction to Cost of Goods
- Week 3: Food Science Workshop, Working in a Commercial Kitchen
- Week 4: Working with a Co-Packer, Cost of Goods & Recipe Scaling
- Week 5: Business Law, Start-Up Costs, Margins, Break-even
- Week 6: Food Safety Modernization Act, Managing Your Business
- Week 7: Branding, Packaging
- Week 8: Doing Your Pitch – Sales Sheets and Evaluation Night Information
- Week 9: E-Commerce and Social Media
- Week 10: Selling at Supermarkets & Farmers Markets
- Week 11: Distribution
- Week 12: Pitch Presentations
Click here for more information on Leeward CC’s 12-week food product course and the Wahiawa Value-Added Product Development Center.
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