This just in from VA Extension....
Food Entrepreneurship WORKSHOP SCHEDULED IN MARTINSVILLE-HENRY COUNTY REGION
Throughout Virginia, interest in new food items has developed into thriving business ventures for many entrepreneurs. Local communities are working with this growing group of business owners to provide training and space for the preparation of high quality food products. However, food regulations as well as food trends constantly change requiring food-based businesses to continually update their understanding of food safety and marketing strategies. In partnership with the Spencer-Penn Centre and the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, Virginia Cooperative Extension will host the “Starting a Food-Based Business Workshop” on Wednesday, July 22, 2009, at the Spencer-Penn Centre, Alumni Hall, located at 475 Spencer-Penn Road in Spencer Virginia. Beginning at 8:45 a.m. and concluding at 3 p.m. with a tour of the newly launched Spencer-Penn certified community kitchen, participants will discover new ideas to enhance their food-based businesses. The Spencer-Penn Centre is located about 10 miles west of Martinsville just off of U.S. 58 on Spencer Penn Road. Participants will review Virginia’s regulations for food-based business inspections presented by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Henry County Health Department; learn about a virtual network of business support services available to help start-up businesses; and discover marketing resources presented by a Virginia Cooperative Extension marketing specialist.
Joell Eifert with Virginia Tech Food Science and Technology will address the steps involved in developing the product and navigate the regulatory environment. In addition, a panel of successful food-based business entrepreneurs will share their successes and challenges.
The workshop is free, but you must register by Friday, July 17, 2009. Attendees who already produce a specialty food product, or who provide business services that assist entrepreneurs, are welcome to set up a small display, but they must register in order to do so. Lunch will be provided to all attendees.
To register contact the Henry County Virginia Cooperative Extension office at 276-634-4650 or e-mail Donna Draper firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on agritourism programs, please contact Dr. Martha A. Walker by phone at 434-766-6761 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Martha A. Walker, Central District Office, at 434-766-6761 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120. ###