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Cooperhouse to conduct Food Business Basics workshops

Value-added and specialty foods consultant Lou Cooperhouse will present “Food Business Basics: Getting Started and Finding Your Niche in the Specialty Foods Business” workshops in Hilo, Honokaa, and Pahala, March 11–13.

The workshops are designed for farmers seeking to develop their raw product into a value-added product and bring it to market, entrepreneurs and restaurateurs interested in diversifying their revenue streams with specialty food products, and established producers looking to take their food businesses to the next level. The Kohala Center and University of Hawaii Maui College are sponsoring and facilitating the workshops, which are made possible by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program grant. The East Hawaii Community Development Corporation is providing additional support.

The Honokaa workshop is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, March 12, at the North Hawaii Education and Research Center.

Following Cooperhouse’s three-hour “Food Business Basics” workshops, Nicole Milne, agricultural business development specialist at The Kohala Center, will present two one-hour sessions focused on financial resources available to Hawaii farmers and strategies for marketing agricultural products. Registration is $35 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. Registrations at the door will be on a space-available basis for $50 per participant with lunch subject to availability.

In addition, Cooperhouse will also conduct 30-minute one-on-one consulting sessions each 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 being offered at no additional charge.