Food entrepreneurs share ideas during Raleigh roundtable discussion

By on April 4, 2012

Local food entrepreneurs met to share ideas with each other during a roundtable discussion April 3 in Raleigh.

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

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  1. Lisa Shively
    April 5, 2012

    Another fantastic meeting held by Annette Dunlap. Giving the Food Entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet, talk and share is a huge part of succeeding in this competitive market. I can’t thank Annette and the NCDA&CS for giving us this forum to grow and learn.

    Thank you and keep up the great work!

    Owner of Lisa Shively’s Kitchen Helpers, LLC