Wholesale Readiness Program for Food Entrepreneurs
January 12, 2024 - May 17, 2024Free
Are you an early-stage, but established food entrepreneur selling a consumer packaged good or value-added product in the northeast? Are you primarily selling direct to consumer and ready to begin selling to stores (or more stores!) in your region? Join us between January and May 2024 to learn from industry experts and entrepreneurs like yourself who have grown their CPG brands in the Northeast. Click here for more information.
This program will be hosted primarily online via live sessions on Zoom between January and May of 2023 with an optional (in-person) final event:
- Ten 1.5 hour virtual workshop sessions (required)
- Eight 1 hour virtual office hour sessions (suggested)
- One in-person gathering/wrap up session (optional)
- Virtual Speed Trading Matchmaking Event (optional)
- In-person SBN Local Food Trade Show (optional)
Sessions include a mix of:
- Presentations by industry experts
- Panel discussions with industry experts and buyers
- Group discussion
- Pre-work assessments and suggested homework
Eligibility & Cost
This program is open to established CPG companies who:
- Utilize at least one locally grown ingredient in their food products.
- Can demonstrate at least one year of direct to consumer sales.
- Have a baseline understanding of their production and operational costs.
- Can commit to at least eight program sessions.
- Is located in the Northeast (New England & New York)
This is a hands-on program that requires a commitment to be successful. You are a perfect candidate to join our program if you are willing to put in the work to scale your business.
This program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Local Food Promotion Program; there will be no cost to participants.
What you will learn
This program will cover the following topics:
- Cost Analysis, Pricing & Profit Margins
- Market Analysis, Marketing & Branding
- Sales Strategy & Developing Relationships with Store Buyers
- Working with Food Distributors
- Production scale up, including working with co-packers
Participants who attend all sessions will qualify for:
- Specialized marketing & waived fees at the Local Food Trade Show (March) hosted by the Sustainable Business Network of MA (SBN).
- Subsidized prototype trial at the Western MA Food Processing Center
- Free counseling sessions throughout program with program facilitators
- Free technical assistance offered by a menu of industry experts (link) including experts in branding, marketing, sales, fundraising, product development, food safety, & more.
*Please note that office hours will be offered on alternate Fridays throughout the course of the program!
- Friday January 12, 9:00-10:30am – Course Introduction
- Friday January 26 – 9:00-10:30am – Market & Analysis & Creating a Marketing Plan
- Tuesday February 9, 9-10:30 – Branding & Messaging
- Friday February 23, 9:00-10:30 – Perfecting Your Pitch (Prep for Local Food Trade Show)
- Early March – Local Food Trade Show hosted by Sustainable Business Network of MA
- Late March – Speed Trading Event hosted by Sustainable Business Network of MA
- Friday March 8, 9:00-10:30am – Selling Your Product to Retailers
- Friday March 22, 9:00-10:30-am – Working with Food Distributors
- April 5 – 9:00-10:30 – Analyzing Your Cost of Goods & Setting Appropriate Pricing
- April 19, 9:00-10:30am – Scaling Your Production
- May 3, 9:00-10:30 – Cash Flow Management
- May 17, 9:00-10:30am – Final Presentations
- June – In-person networking event