From Cottage Industry to Commercial Enterprise

Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance® (HACA) invites you to participate in the From Cottage Industry to Commercial Enterprise Program 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). A cohort of 15 local entrepreneurs utilizing Hawaii-grown, raised or caught ingredients will be 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 will receive a scholarship to Leeward CC’s new 12-week course developed to bring food products to market and build successful food businesses. Whether you have a food product idea, are in the testing phase or are already selling out of your home, this course is designed to provide the fundamentals to building your food business. Featuring industry experts and guest speakers, with opportunities for one-on-one individual coaching, you’ll complete the program with a comprehensive business plan, presentation and pitch to start and scale your food product.

Cohort 2: May 1 – July 19, 2023

To apply for Cohort 2, please complete the below application by March 31, 2023.
Selected applicants will be notified by April 10, 2023.

Please contact if you have any questions.


  • 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.


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.


Fifteen local value-added entrepreneurs were selected by application for the inaugural cohort of Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance’s® (HACA) 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 January. Utilizing Hawaii-grown, raised or caught ingredients, their food products will be featured in a showcase event at the Thirteenth Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival later this year. Click here to see the full list!

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival recognizes the use of diacritical markings in the modern orthography of Hawaiian language including the ‘okina [‘] or glottal stop, and the kahakō [ā] or macron. However, in order to ensure the best online experience visitors to our website, these markings may be omitted throughout our site. We thank you for your understanding.