Cottage to Commercial: Ingredients for a successful food business

Cottage to Commercial training will help you understand how to turn your food business idea into a commercial reality.

Michigan State University Extension and MSU Product Center Educators will conduct four food business planning classes September through November in Berrien, Muskegon, Ingham and Kent County, Michigan locations.

The two-hour session addresses basic food processing, regulatory requirements, business development resources, and related topics. The program targets individuals who are interested in starting a licensed, commercial food business.

The Niles session will be held 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the Niles Entrepreneur & Culinary Incubator (NECI) 219 North 4th Street/2nd Floor, Niles, MI 49120. NECI, a program of Niles Main Street, is designed to help local entrepreneurs start and grow food businesses. There is a $25 fee. Make checks payable to Niles Main Street, and mail to 333 N 2nd Street Suite 303, Niles, MI 49120 by the deadline of Sept.26, 2014. For more information call NECI at 269-687-4332.

The Muskegon session will be held 3:00-5:00 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1 at the Muskegon County (South Campus) Building, 133 E. Apple Avenue, Muskegon, Michigan 49442. The fee is $20, and registration is available online  through Sept. 26. For more information, call 269-944-4126.

The Ingham County program will be held 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Thursday, October 16, 2014 at the Hilliard Building, Conf. Room B, 121 E. Maple, Mason, MI 48854. The fee is $20, and registration is available online through the Oct. 10. For details, call 517-526-7895.

The Kent County session is scheduled for 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 at Kent County MSU Extension 775 Ball Ave. N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49503. The fee is $20 per person, and registration is available online through Nov. 4, 2014.

The MSU Product Center helps aspiring entrepreneurs and existing businesses to develop and launch new product and service ideas into food, agriculture, bioenergy and natural resources markets. A statewide network of Innovation Counselors is available to counsel individuals interested in starting related business ventures. Last year the MSU Product Center assisted 647 clients with business planning.

Those who are unable to attend one of the offerings are invited to request counseling with a field- based MSU Product Center innovation counselor at , or by phone at 517-432-8750.

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