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Food Business Basics Virtual Workshop for Food Entrepreneurs


The Food Innovation Center at Rutgers is having a Food Business Basics Workshop for early stage entrepreneurs on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 10-11, 2022 from 9:00am-1:00pm.  This is a WEBEX virtual workshop.  


Food Business Basics is a unique opportunity for food entrepreneurs to learn critical aspects of entering or growing their business in the prepared food and beverage industry. Attendees will be in front of movers and shakers working in the industry, who will give advice on to how create, commercialize, market, and sell in this competitive market.


On day one, there will be information on consumer trends, category overview, brand strategy, packaging trends, accounting basics, business structure, protecting intellectual property, and a variety of resources from the NJ Business Action Center.  On day two, we’ll have presentations on product development to commercialization, sales strategy, food safety, developing a business plan, an entrepreneurial success story, and a video tour of FIC South with capabilities.    

The Food Innovation Center at Rutgers is excited to announce the Food Business Basics Workshop keynote speaker as David Hodges, Collingswood Farmer’s Market Director, who will share information on marketing products at farmer’s markets and inform attendees about the cottage industry regulations.  

Also, in our line-up of speakers, hear from Jared Cannon, developer of Simply Good Jars, healthy and convenient, chef-crafted, meals packaged in re-usable jars.  Jared worked with the Rutgers Food Innovation Center on product development and commercialization of his product and then found himself on Shark Tank delivering the pitch of his life!

Hot Panel Discussions & Panelists (as of 04.26.2022) will include: 

Day 1 (Tuesday)

9:00am – 9:15 Sho Islam, Business Associate, NJ Business Action Center 

Connecting Businesses to Assets and Resources for Growth

9:15am – 9:45 David Hodges, Director, Collingswood Farmer’s Market

Keynote Speaker - Marketing Your Product at Farmer’s Markets/Cottage Industry Regulations

9:45am – 10:45 Joyce Friedberg, Marketing Research Specialist, Food Innovation Center at Rutgers

Consumer Trends & Topline Category Review 

10:45am – 11:15 James McIntosh, CPA, MST, Audit Partner, Grassi Advisors & Accountants

Accounting Basics and Entity Structure/How To Register Your Company


Break 15min 


11:30am – 12:00pm Lisa Kent, Founder & President, The Luminations Group

Positioning Your Product and Brand for Success

12:00pm – 12:30 Jack Lang, CEO, LabelWorx

Packaging Trends – Package Types and Graphics

12:30pm – 1:00 Danielle DeFilippis, Esq., Norris McLaughlin P.A. Attorneys at Law

The Legal Aspect Protecting your Brand: IP, Trademarks, Trademark Registration Process


Day 2 (Wednesday)

9:00am – 9:30 Julie Elmer, Associate Director, Food Technology, Food Innovation Center at Rutgers

From Bench to Commercialization - Product Development and Operations

9:30am – 10:30 Ron Tanner, President, Tanner Food Group

Developing your Businesses Sales Strategy:  Distributor vs. Direct Channels, Online Sales Channels

10:30am – 11:00 Mellonie O’Neill, Senior Manager – QA Compliance and Training, Food Innovation Center at Rutgers

Trends in Food Safety & Requirements (for an additional fee, multiple certificate classes are offered) 


Break 15min


11:15am – 12:00pm Guy Salisch, Food Specialist Consultant, NJ Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC), at the Rutgers School of Business, Camden

Developing Your Business Plan – Elements, Financial (Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement, Profit & Loss), Monitor & Control (KPIs, Measurement) 

12:00pm – 12:30 Jared Cannon, Owner, Simply Good Jars

Entrepreneurial Success Story, Food Innovation Center at Rutgers

12:30pm – 1:00 Pre-taped video of FIC South 

Tour of the Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University: Available FIC Equipment, Layout of Facilities


Registration fee: $300 per person registration fee

Last day to register is May 5th.



To learn more about the workshop, contact us by email at [email protected].

About the Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University

The Food Innovation Center is a unique food business incubation and economic development program, which is part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Our Center provides business and technology expertise to startup and established food and value-added agricultural businesses, locally and globally. We operate out of two USDA and FDA-certified manufacturing facilities located in Piscataway and Bridgeton, NJ, facilitating the commercialization of products into distribution, while also providing mentoring assistance in marketing, R&D, food safety, regulatory, manufacturing and sales and distribution.