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Food Business Basics workshop on Molokai

Kohala Center News Release

Value-added and specialty foods consultant Lou Cooperhouse will present his “Food Business Basics: Getting Started and Finding Your Niche in the Specialty Foods Business” workshop March 15 from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Lanikeha Community Center in Ho‘olehua, Molokai.

The workshop is designed for farmers seeking to develop their raw product into a value-added product that they can bring to markets, entrepreneurs and restraunteurs interested in diversifying their revenue streams with specialty food products and established producers looking to take their food business to the next level.

Cooperhouse will deliver his three-hour “Food Business Basics” workshops, and then Nicole Milne, agriculture business specialist at the Kohala Center, will present two one-hour sessions focused on financial resources available to Hawai`i farmers as well as strategies for marketing agricultural products.

Registration is $10 per participant in advance and includes access to all three workshops and lunch. Participants may register online at http://www.laulimacenter.org/foodbasics.html or by calling (808) 443-2755. Registration at the door will be on a space-available basis for $15 per participant with lunch subject to availability.

fruit (Small)Cooperhouse will also conduct 30-minute one-on-one consulting sessions that afternoon with pre-selected workshop participants. Registrants interested in the one-on-one consultations must complete and submit a brief application, available for download at http://www.laulimacenter.org/pdf/FBB_Consult_App.pdf, by Friday, March 1. Applicants will be notified by March 8 whether or not they are selected for the consultations, which are no additional charge.

“Lou Cooperhouse’s workshops will prepare island agricultural producers and culinary entrepreneurs to enter the specialty foods industry,” Milne said. “These workshops will help participants understand the specialty foods marketplace, distribution channels, and current and emerging food industry trends, while also helping them define their target audiences, unique selling propositions, and the importance of business and strategic planning.”

Cooperhouse is the president of Food Spectrum, LLC, a management consulting company with expertise in business innovation and incubation. He has led cross-functional teams in a wide array of settings throughout his career, including new business startups, family-run companies, global manufacturing operations and retail and foodservice operations. Cooperhouse also served as director of the globally recognized Rutgers University Food Innovation Center and as an adjunct professor in the Rutgers Business School.

The Kohala Center and the University of Hawai‘i Maui College are sponsoring and facilitating the workshops, which are made possible by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program grant.



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