Providing a Launchpad for
discovery, creation and success.
Food Commercialization Program The Food Commercialization Program is Food Starter's premier programming for assisting entrepreneurs to take food ideas from the drawing board to full commercialization. This multi-stage program is for entrepreneurs who are ready to turn their food idea into a business.

+ Food Commercialization Program: Launch Stage

Food Commercialization Program: Launch Stage – ideal for very early stage food businesses who are pre-revenue or selling at farmer’s markets and festivals.  This program helps entrepreneurs to refine their concept and get off to a strong start.

The Discovery Stage is 13-weeks long and aims to provide food entrepreneurs with the following tools and competencies:

  • Detailed business model and plan for their food business.
  • Introduction to food production and training with production equipment.
  • Introduction to the regulatory environment for food production.
  • Validation and testing of their food products at a large-scale production operation versus bench top trials.

The program includes 13 training sessions covering the following areas:

  • Business Fundamentals
    • Validation of Strategic Business Development
    • Defining Your Value Proposition
    • Product Development
    • Defining Your Market
    • Business Model Development
    • Brand Development and Management
  • Food Fundamentals
    • Training on Commercial Food Grade Equipment
    • Food Plant Sanitation
    • Introduction to Manufacturing
    • Introduction to Food Regulations
    • Introduction to Packaging Options
    • Building a Supply Chain

In addition, clients at the Discovery Stage also benefit from:

  • 15 hours per month of food production assistance (45 hours total)
  • Additional food production hours at a reduced rate
  • Production support
  • Reduced rate on storage space
  • Delivery and mail support
  • 2 hours per month of one-on-one advisory services (6 hours total)
  • One-on-one mentoring with food sector mentors
  • Access to expert roundtables
  • Touchdown computer work station

The cost of the Delivery Stage of the Food Commercialization Program is $1,200 per month for 3 months. Clients can start at any time.

+ Food Commercialization Program: Development Stage

Food Commercialization Program: Development Stage – suitable for early stage food businesses who have a fully developed product but need to optimize marketing, packaging and production systems.

The Development Stage is 13-weeks long and aims to provide food entrepreneurs with the following tools and competencies:

  • Customer validation and market analysis.
  • Development of brand and marketing plan.
  • Refinement of food production processes to confirm large scale productivity rates.
  • Development of a supply chain.
  • Adoption of government outlined food regulations, labelling standards and packaging parameters.

The program includes 13 training sessions covering the following areas:

  • Business Fundamentals
    • Customer Validation
    • Marketing and Branding
    • Market Access and Sales
    • How to Sell to Retailers
  • Food Fundamentals
    • Enhance and Optimize Product Development and Launch Process
    • Process Development of Technologies and Impact on Raw Materials
    • Packaging Options for Food Products
    • Building Your Food Product for Production
    • Establishing Operational Standards
    • Food Plant Sanitation
    • Building Your Manufacturing Process
    • Understanding Food Regulations
    • Building and Qualifying a Supply Chain

In addition, clients at the Development Stage also benefit from:

  • 20 hours per month of food production assistance (60 hours total)
  • Additional food production hours at a reduced rate
  • Production support
  • Reduced rate on storage space
  • Delivery and mail support
  • 2 hours per month of one-on-one advisory services (6 hours total)
  • One-on-one mentoring with food sector mentors
  • Access to expert roundtables
  • Product testing at St. Lawerence Market
  • Use of Touchdown computer work stations
  • Client profile on Food Starter website and mailing list

The cost of the Development Stage of the Food Commercialization Program is $1,350 per month for 3 months. Clients can start at any time.

+ Food Commercialization Program: Growth Stage

Food Commercialization Program: Growth Stage – designed for food businesses on the tipping point of growth. This program helps entrepreneurs to ladder up their sales to get listed and stay listed with retailers and distributors.

The Growth Stage is 26-weeks long and aims to provide food entrepreneurs with the following tools and competencies:

  • Detailed plan for taking a product to market – from commercial scale production to marketing for sales.
  • An ability to implement a production scale manufacturing plan.
  • Insights necessary for preparing to transition to your own production facility.
  • Development of plans for operating your own production facilities.
  • Adoption of software resources and systematization for sales, finance and client management.

The program includes 15 training sessions covering the following areas:

  • Business Fundamentals
    • Market Access and 5 Ways for Selling
    • Financing Your Food Business
    • Adopting Systems for Financial Management
    • Adopting Systems for Client Relationship Management
  • Food Fundamentals
    • Preparing Marketing and Merchandising
    • How to Approach Food Distributors
    • Understanding Food Regulations
    • Implementing a Production Scale Food Manufacturing Plan
    • Preparing Floor Plans for Food Buildings
    • Adopting Systems for Operations

In addition, clients at the Growth Stage also benefit from:

  • 30 hours per month of food production assistance (180 hours total)
  • Additional food production hours at a reduced rate
  • Production support
  • Reduced rate on storage space
  • Delivery and mail access
  • 6 hours of one-on-one advisory services
  • One-on-one mentoring with food sector mentors
  • Access to expert roundtables
  • Discounted trade show opportunities
  • Networking with industry and retail buyers
  • Product testing at St. Lawerence Market
  • Use of touchdown computer work stations

The cost of the Growth Stage of the Food Commercialization Program is $1,500 per month for 6 months. Clients can start at any time.

+ Food Commercialization Program: Cruising

Food Commercialization Program: Cruising – as clients prepare themselves for the next stage of the Food Commercialization Program, they can continue to access Food Starter’s resources on a month to month basis.

During this period, clients benefit from:

  • 30 hours per month of food production assistance
  • Additional food production hours at a reduced rate
  • Production support
  • Reduced rate on storage space
  • Delivery and mail support
  • 1 hour of one-on-one advisory services
  • One-on-one mentoring with food sector mentors
  • Access to expert roundtables
  • Product testing at St. Lawrence Market
  • Touchdown computer work station

The cost of Cruising between Food Commercialization Stages is $1,250 per month.

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Program Advantages
  • Affordable access to shared production and packaging equipment.
  • Industry insights and business advisory services from food sector specialists.
  • Training on all facets of starting and growing a food processing business – from selling to retailers and developing your production line, to implementing systems and building a solid business model.
  • Mentoring from food sector experts and successful entrepreneurs.
  • Food Starter provides ongoing hands on assistance to help food entrepreneurs bring their products to life and become successful in the market.