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Webinar and seminar prep Iowa food entrepreneurs for the marketplace

Contact: 

Rob Williams, business analyst, UNI Strategic Marketing Services, 319-273-4333, rob.williams@uni.edu

Samantha Heerdt, communications coordinator, Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation,
712-264-3474

Rebecca Schultze, communications and public relations manager, UNI College of Business Administration, 319-273-3309, rebecca.schultze@uni.edu

'From Recipe to Reality' gives insight into food-manufacturing business

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Have you ever considered bringing that favorite family recipe -- whether homemade salsa, jellies, BBQ sauce or, perhaps, pickles -- to the marketplace, considered adding value to an agricultural product or wanted to move your product from the farmer's market to the grocery store?

Two entrepreneurial-inspiring events, co-hosted by the University of Northern Iowa MyEntre.Net team and the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, are scheduled for the coming weeks to provide guidance and advice on how to move a recipe to the marketplace.

Jill Gifford, manager of the University of Nebraska Food processing Center Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program, and Kathy Evert, president and CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, will present a webinar hosted by MyEntre.Net at noon Thursday, Feb. 17. Gifford and Evert will discuss key steps to move from a good recipe to a marketable food product and answer questions from entrepreneurs statewide. Anyone with Internet access can create an account and log in to MyEntre.Net to watch this free webinar and ask the presenters questions.

An all-day seminar, "From Recipe to Reality," will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 5, at King's Pointe Resort in Storm Lake, Iowa, as a follow-up to the webinar. The seminar is an introduction to the Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program and is designed to help entrepreneurs understand issues involved with starting a food business. This seminar is the first phase of the Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program, which began in 1989 and is the only program in the nation to provide complete assistance to individuals wanting to start a food-manufacturing business.

Topics covered in the seminar include market research and selection; product and process development; food regulatory issues and agencies; packaging and labeling; pricing and cost analysis; product introduction and sales; promotional material package; food safety and sanitation; and business structure.

The seminar costs $200 for each set of training materials. (If you have a partner or family member who will attend with you but only want one set of training materials, the registration fee is $200 total.) Early registration for the seminar is encouraged due to limited space. To receive a Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program information packet and registration form, contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation at 1900 Grand Ave., North, Spencer, Iowa 51301, 712-264-3474, 1-800-765-1428 or hpearson@lakes.corridor.com. A registration also can be downloaded from the corridor's website, www.lakescorridor.com.

MyEntreNet is administered by UNI's Regional Business Center, a program of the Business and Community Services division within the College of Business Administration.

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is the regional economic development agency for Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties. Its mission is to foster, encourage, aid, promote or otherwise assist in the economic growth and development of the region. For more information about the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, call 712-264-3474 or visit www.lakescorridor.com.