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Join the Entrepreneurial Revolution: Food Business Basics Workshop

Entrepreneurial foodies, restaurateurs and sustainability fans alike will benefit from a Food Business Basics Workshop in March. Specialty foods consultant Lou Cooperhouse, President of Food Spectrum, LLC of Princeton, New Jersey will offer the workshop in Hilo on March 11, in Honoka‘a March 12 and in Pahala March 13. Participants will discover how they can get started in the specialty foods business by finding their unique niche.

Our island home produces a vast array of agricultural products, from papayas and a multitude of other tropical fruits to garden vegetables and herbs, honey, cacao, nuts and much more. Marketing produce in its just-picked form is great, but think of all of the value-added products that you might make from them: jams and jellies, butters, dried products, baked goods… the list is endless. Getting started can be confusing and tricky, but with the sponsorship of the Kohala Center and the University of Hawaii Maui College, this workshop will open the door to creativity and possibly a successful new business venture. A grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program is making it all possible.

Hosted by the East Hawaii Community Development Corporation, this workshop will focus on ways that producers and farmers can “develop their raw product into a value-added product and bring it to market,” according to the EHCDC website. Additionally, businesspeople and restaurant owners will learn ways they can “take their food businesses to the next level.”

But Wait! There’s More

Cooperhouse’s Food Business Basics workshops will be three hours long. As an added bonus, and at no additional cost, participants will glean more information about financial resources that local farmers can take advantage of during two one-hour sessions given by Nicole Milne, Agricultural Business Development Specialist at The Kohala Center.

After the workshops, Cooperhouse will meet with selected participants to advise them about the specifics of their business ideas. There’s no additional charge, but you must apply in advance.

“We are thrilled that The Kohala Center and UH-Maui College are bringing Mr. Cooperhouse to Hawai‘i,” said Anthony Marzi, Executive Director of the EHCDC. “Many of the constituents we serve are anxious for this knowledge and training. 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.”

Where To Go and How To Sign Up

The workshop will be held at these locations and times:

Hilo: Monday, March 11, from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Hawaii Food Hub/Hawaii TechWorks location, 230 Kekuanaoa Street.

Honoka‘a: Tuesday, March 12, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the North Hawaii Education and Research Center, 45-539 Plumeria Street.

Pahala: Wednesday, March 13, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Pahala Community Center, 96-1149 Kamani Street.

Registration is $35 in advance or $50 at the door if space is available. Your entry fee includes all three workshops and lunch. You may register online at or by calling (808) 443-2755.

For More Information

East Hawaii Community Development Corporation:

Kohala Center:

Food Spectrum: