The From Cottage Industry to Commercial Enterprise program provides scholarships to Leeward CC’s food product development course, mentorship from culinary & business leaders and marketplace opportunities for food products highlighting local ingredients
HONOLULU, HI (December 16, 2022)—Today, the Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance® (HACA) announced a new 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). The From Cottage Industry to Commercial Enterprise program will select a cohort of 15 local entrepreneurs utilizing Hawaii-grown, raised or caught ingredients to feature their cottage industry, consumer packaged goods (CPG) or value-added products and help them incubate their new businesses.
As part of the HACA program, each entrepreneur will receive a scholarship to Leeward CC’s new 12-week bootcamp developed to bring food & beverage products to market and build successful food businesses. The course will feature food industry professionals with experience in producing, promoting and profiting from value-added products. Lessons will include topics such as licensing and regulations to working in commercial kitchens, branding & marketing, packaging, sales & distribution and more. Cohort participants may also be among the first to utilize the WVAPDC when completed in Summer 2023.
“This food product bootcamp will be an invaluable resource for anyone who is curious about what it takes to create a value-added food product for the market,” shared Chris Bailey, WVAPDC Manager. “By offering a comprehensive 12-week program that touches upon everything from food safety to e-commerce we will provide participants a holistic understanding of the industry.”
HACA is no stranger to promoting local culinary talent and Hawaii’s diverse agricultural landscape—the organization is responsible for programming the premier culinary destination event of the pacific, the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (HFWF). In addition to the scholarship to Leeward CC’s program, cohort participants will receive mentorship from HFWF’s network of industry leaders, chefs, and food & beverage professionals. The From Cottage Industry to Commercial Enterprise program will culminate with an opportunity for cohort participants to showcase their products at the Thirteenth Annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival in 2023, among other marketing opportunities through the Festival’s digital media platform—HashiLife.com.
“As we look to diversify our economy and create greater food security and sustainability for our islands, consumer packaged goods and value-added products will be an integral part of increasing demand and production of local agricultural crops,” said Denise Yamaguchi, CEO of Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance. “The From Cottage Industry to Commercial Enterprise program, combined with resources available through the WVAPDC, will be game changing for many of our small batch producers who will now have the resources and tools to scale globally.”
The inaugural cohort runs from January 31 – April 20, 2023. Interested applicants must apply by December 30, 2022 to be considered for selection. HACA plans to select a second cohort of 15 entrepreneurs for the spring at a later date. For more information on the program, requirements, application and more, please visit www.hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com/cottageindustry.
For Press & Media inquiries, please contact:
Kristen Lau-Grover, Director of Marketing & PR | [email protected] or 808-721-1849
ABOUT HAWAII AG & CULINARY ALLIANCE®
The Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance (HACA) is the parent organization of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (HFWF)—the premier epicurean destination event of the Pacific, and Hashi Media—the digital platform for curated culinary stories featuring the global network of HFWF ambassadors and talent. Founded in 2011 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, HACA’s mission is to attract national and international attention for Hawaii’s extraordinary culinary talent and diverse, high-quality locally grown products—ensuring the islands maintain their competitive edge as a world-class destination. Since it’s inaugural year, HACA has donated over $3.1 million to local community and aina-based organizations that support food sustainability, culinary education and agriculture. For more information, visit www.HFWF.me, follow HFWF on Twitter/Instagram @HIFoodWineFest and Facebook at @HawaiiFoodandWineFestival.
ABOUT LEEWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE
As part of the University of Hawaii system, Leeward Community College provides an environment for academic learning and a center of cultural life for neighboring communities. With a main campus in Pearl City and an educational center in Waianae, and the Wahiawa Value-Added product Development Center, Leeward Community College’s proven commitment to affordable, quality education is the foundation of its mission. From professional career studies to liberal arts, the College offers diverse and comprehensive opportunities for all students.
For more information, visit www.leeward.hawaii.edu, follow @Leewardcc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or contact Tad Saiki, Marketing Officer, at [email protected]. For information about the Wahiawa Value-Added Product Development Center, contact Chris Bailey at [email protected].