Starting an at-home food business

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 6:11 PM EST
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ORONO, Maine (WAGM) -

Do you get rave reviews for your holiday pastries? Have you been wondering if you could turn your treat into a business? In this week’s County Ag Report, Kathy McCarty has more on a Recipe to Market workshop that’s designed to help food entrepreneurs turn their hobby into cash.

The pandemic has given many of us more time to focus on hobbies and at-home activities involving food, leaving some wondering if they might be able to turn their passion into a business. An upcoming online workshop offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is designed to help you decide.

“I think that anyone who’s interested or curious, whether it’s a farmer, a food entrepreneur, someone at home that just has a recipe in mind and they’re interested in starting a home-based food business, this workshop is for them,” says Beth Calder.

James McConnon, Professor of Economics, says there are more than 740 such businesses in the state, most small organizations. He says interest in home-based food businesses is on the rise.

“During the past 10 years or so, both food and beverage manufacturing businesses have grown about 50 percent over that time period, or about three and a half percent per year. And interestingly enough, the majority of these businesses are very small, home-based kinds of businesses without employees,” says James McConnon.

Maybe you’ve got a candy recipe everyone asks you to make for the holidays, or your bread and butter pickles are to die for. Maybe it’s time to market your creation.

McConnon says, “This is an opportunity for folks who want to take that next step and kind of explore rally what’s involved with starting and growing this kind of a business, and - from the perspective of, you know, what are the licensing requirements and regulations, to what are some of the business things you need to pay attention to before you start and launch a business like this.”

One of the benefits of the program is it’s online, making it easier for those interested anywhere in the state to attend. Calder says there is a fee of $25, but there is financial assistance available. The workshop will take place November 20th, from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, visit Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

For more information, or to register, visit Deadline to register is November 16th.

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