About 20 local food entrepreneurs gathered in Raleigh Tuesday to share their achievements and challenges breaking into the competitive food market. Small business owners representing a variety of specialties, from agricultural co-ops and flavored peanuts to seasoning packets and flavored drinks, attended the roundtable discussion held at the NCDA&CS Agronomic Lab.
The roundtable discussion is one of several events facilitated by the department to encourage the growth of small agribusinesses and home-based food businesses. NCDA&CS food business specialist Annette Dunlap organized the event, which covered topics on financial assistance, packaging design, marketing, exporting and other questions brought before the group.
“The food market is extremely competitive and there’s a large learning curve for an individual just starting out,” Dunlap said. “These events are great opportunities for food entrepreneurs to learn from each other, network and become a resource for each other in the future.”
The next roundtable discussion will take place in Salisbury Tuesday, April 10. In addition, the department will host the first-ever Food Business Conference in Burlington May 8. If you are interested in attending either session, please contact Dunlap by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.