Food & Farm Business Outreach Specialist
Food SPICE coordinators can connect entrepreneurs to a pipeline of no-cost financial, business, and technical assistance consulting from our network of food systems organizations. Contact your regional coordinators to learn about available assistance opportunities. Financial support loans and business support such as described below are available as funds and staff capacity allow:
Marketing services ($2,500 - $3,000 + per business) - $25,000 / year
Contracting with local marketing agencies, CRFS offers the businesses it supports access to branding and marketing services including:
- Website development
- Social media content creation
- Food product label design
Design packages ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 allow food and farm businesses the opportunity to sell direct to consumer through online platforms such as Shopify, connect with customers and meet industry standards for wholesaling food products in the market.
Accounting services ($1,500 - $2,500 per business) - $20,000 / year
CRFS contracts with several accounting agencies able to provide tailored services for food and farm businesses. More than accounting and tax services alone, these agencies provide education to prepare entrepreneurs for financing to help them understand their business financials and profitability. Services range from $1,500 to $2,500.
Kitchen Incubator Consulting ($1,000 - $5,000 per business) - $6,000 / year
Contracting with a sector specific consultant, CRFS coordinates services to new and current kitchen incubators ranging from business planning to online kitchen rental platform development to other education. This service supports not only the kitchen incubators, but the multitude of startup food entrepreneurs seeking commercial kitchen space to manufacture their products.
Consumer Packaged Goods Consulting and Product Testing ($100 - $1,000+) - $12,000 / year
In partnership with the MSU Product Center, CRFS connects packaged goods makers with one-on-one business coaching, product testing, and food safety plan development. Specific services offered range from nutrition analysis to create nutrition facts panels to meet FDA requirements for labels to food safety plans required for products that include meat ingredients. Fees range from $100 for registration to $250 per recipe analyzed. Depending on the number of recipes, costs can be up to $15,000 for one business.
Food Safety Education ($175 - $500) – $3,500 / year
Food safety among food and farm businesses is critical to ensuring a food safe environment for consumers. Food safety courses including SERV Safe, Better Process Control School, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, and on-farm programs like Group Gap may be required to sell products into wholesale and institutional markets (depending on the ingredients, buyer, etc.). Regulating agencies like Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Food and Drug Association may require these courses and certifications for entrepreneurs in this sector of the economy. Registration and course fees typically cost $175 - $500 per owner.
Contact a Food SPICE Coordinator
For technical assistance including direct food and farm business counseling and to understand your additional business support options, contact:
Eastern Upper Peninsula
Western Upper Peninsula
If you have a food product or farm business and would like support to develop your business or work on product development (for example: nutrition facts labeling, PAR process, etc.), register to become a client with the MSU Product Center.
If you are based in Southwest Michigan or the Upper Peninsula, mention Food SPICE in your MSU Product Center registration and we may be able to cover your registration fee.