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5 Tips to Start a Food Business


Do you want to start your own food business?

Starting your own food business is not as easy as making your special sauce at home and selling it to friends and family. There’s a lot to consider and know before taking the plunge. Do you know how to increase batch sizes without compromising the flavor? Or what about specific requirements to sell at farmers markets, online, or beyond?

To be successful and avoid issues, it is essential to have a plan in place. Here are the top five tips to consider before starting a food business:

1. Have a Business Plan

Get educated on your own product and know all your details. Know your costs, do a competitive analysis and understand what makes you unique. Determine where you would sell your product.

2. Incorporate the Business

Make sure to keep your business separate from your personal finances for organizational and tax purposes.

3. Understand Regulatory Licensing and Registration

Ensure that you are compliant with state and/or federal requirements unique to your food product.

4. Food Safety Training

All companies must comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and other safety practices to ensure food is ready for consumers.

5. Product and General Liability Insurance

This is critical. Various outlets, including retail stores, will require this before allowing an item onto their shelves.

We have experts on staff at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK), a program of CIFT, that can assist you each step of the way through an onboarding process, no matter where you are in your journey. Our food business specialists and experts have helped hundreds of early stage food producers scale up their products and enter new markets. Learn how we can help you.

Many have successfully launched a product under our guidance and we look forward to making your ideas a reality!

Have questions about the NOCK? Read our frequently asked questions and important facts about the facility.

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