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Purdue extension hosts specialty food meeting
By MICHELE F. MIHALJEVICH
Indiana Correspondent

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — An upcoming workshop will help teach people with an interest in creating a specialty food business the basics of getting started, an organizer said.

The workshop, An Introduction to Starting a Specialty Food Business in Indiana, is Oct. 24 at the Allen County Purdue extension office. The cost of the program is $75, and includes a three-ring binder of information, and lunch. Registration deadline is Oct. 18.

The workshop is geared toward farmers, homemakers and anyone who is interested in starting a specialty food business, said De Bush, extension assistant in the Department of Food Science at Purdue University.

“This is a good overview and gives them a flavor of what they need to do,” Bush said. “It’s also a reality check because sometimes, starting such a business is a little more than people thought.”

Examples of specialty food busineses include fresh salsa, barbeque sauce and frozen meats, Bush said.

The workshop will touch on several subjects, including marketing, creating a business plan, food safety and regulations, and packaging, she said.

“People should remember to start small, and of course, you want to make a profit,” Bush said. “You have to have drive and ambition and passion to do this.”

Potential specialty food business owners sometimes may not know the basics about producing their product, she said.

“You can’t just make this in your own kitchen and sell it,” she said. “You also have to be registered with the health department.” Twenty to 40 people generally attend each program, she said.

The Allen County extension office, 4001 Crescent Ave., is on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne. For information or to register, contact Bush, 765-496-3832 or 888-EXT-INFO.

This farm news was published in the Oct. 11, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

10/10/2006