Making it in Michigan Conference aids food business launches

Chris Quijano launched Mamma Q’s with the help of the MSU Product Center Making it in Michigan Conference.

Chris Quijano applied his knowledge of product branding from the 2012 Making it in Michigan Conference to the start-up of Mamma Q’s, producer of Cuban-style bean mixes. “The conference definitely helped us with our first steps,” says Quijano.

Registration for MSU Product Center’s annual Making it in Michigan Conference for new and established entrepreneurs, like Quijano, is now open.

The 2013 Making it in Michigan Conference will be held Nov. 12 at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich. Topics to be covered include starter recipes, attractive and effective packaging, legal protection, co-packing, food product licensing, growing pains, and working with retailers. Tim McIntyre, Vice President of Communications for Domino’s Pizza, is scheduled to present the keynote address. Additionally, the Marketplace Trade Show is expected to draw over 150 vendors of Michigan products, many of whom are clients of Michigan State University Extension and the MSU Product Center.

Looking back at last year’s conference, Quijano recalled, “We split up so that we could attend more sessions. Following the conference we met with Becky DeYoung, MSU Product Center Innovation Counselor, who reviewed our logo and helped us get into sales without over-extending ourselves.” Mamma Q’s began selling Michigan-grown black bean products at farmers markets this summer.

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