Value-added and specialty foods consultant Lou Cooperhouse will present “Food Business Basics: Getting Started and Finding Your Niche in the Specialty Foods Business” workshops March 11-13 in Hilo, Honokaa, and Pahala.
The workshops are designed for farmers seeking to develop their raw product into a value-added product and bring it to market, entrepreneurs and restaurateurs interested in diversifying their revenue streams with specialty food products, and established producers looking to take their food businesses to the next level.
The Kohala Center and University of Hawaii Maui College are sponsoring and facilitating the workshops, which are made possible by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program grant. The East Hawaii Community Development Corporation is providing additional support.
The dates, times, and locations of the workshops are:
* Hilo: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, March 11, Hawaii TechWorks, 230 Kekuanaoa St.; co-sponsored with East Hawaii Community Development Corporation
* Honokaa: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, North Hawaii Education and Research Center, 45-539 Plumeria St.
* Pahala: 9 a.m.-3p.m. Wednesday, March 13, Pahala Community Center, 96-1149 Kamani St.
Following Cooperhouse’s three-hour “Food Business Basics” workshops, Nicole Milne, Agricultural Business Development Specialist at The Kohala Center, will present two one-hour sessions focused on financial resources available to Hawaii farmers and strategies for marketing agricultural products.
Registration is $35 per participant in advance, and includes access to all three workshops and lunch. Registrations at the door will be on a space-available basis for $50 per participant with lunch subject to availability.
Participants may register by calling 443-2755 or online at www.laulimacenter.org/foodbasi…
“Lou Cooperhouse’s workshops will prepare island agricultural producers and culinary entrepreneurs to enter the specialty foods industry,” Milne said. “These workshops will help participants understand the specialty foods marketplace, distribution channels, and current and emerging food industry trends, while also helping them define their target audiences, unique selling propositions, and the importance of business and strategic planning.”
“We are thrilled that The Kohala Center and UH-Maui College are bringing Mr. Cooperhouse to Hawaii, and to be a part of this program by serving as host for Lou Cooperhouse’s Hilo workshop,” said Anthony Marzi, executive director of the East Hawaii Community Development Corporation.
“Many of the constituents we serve are anxious for this knowledge and training,” Marzi said. “Having this kind of direct access to Mr. Cooperhouse’s expertise will benefit our island’s farmers and entrepreneurs, and has great potential to strengthen our local economy.”
Cooperhouse is the president of Food Spectrum, LLC, a management consulting company with expertise in business innovation and incubation. He has led cross-functional teams in a wide array of settings throughout his career, including new business startups, family-run companies, global manufacturing operations, and retail and foodservice operations.
Cooperhouse also served as director of the globally recognized Rutgers University Food Innovation Center, and as an adjunct professor in the Rutgers Business School.
Earlier in his career, Cooperhouse held positions at Campbell Soup Company, ConAgra, and Nestle-funded Culinary Brands in areas of business development, product development, quality assurance, and operations. He is the publisher and co-author of a landmark study on the prepared refrigerated food industry, and has spoken at more than 100 industry conferences.
The Kohala Center is an independent, community-based center for research, education, and conservation. The Center was established in direct response to the request of island residents to create greater educational and employment opportunities by enhancing — and celebrating — Hawaii’s spectacular natural and cultural landscapes.
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