Wholesale Readiness Program for Food Entrepreneurs
A collaboration between the Western MA Food Processing Center & the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts
Are you an early-stage, but established food entrepreneur selling a consumer packaged good (CPG)? Are you primarily selling direct to consumer (D2C) and ready to begin selling to stores in your region? Join us between February and April 2023 to learn from industry experts and entrepreneurs like yourself who have grown their CPG brands in the Northeast.
The program will include:
- 4 panel discussions with industry experts
- 4 debrief sessions with program organizers
- 1 in-person gathering at the end of the program
- Free office hours (up to 3) with industry experts.
Eligibility & Cost
This program is open to established CPG companies who:
- Can demonstrate at least one year of direct to consumer (D2C) sales.
- Utilize at least one locally grown ingredient in their food products.
- Can commit to all eight program sessions.
This program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Local Food Promotion Program; there will be no cost to participants.
This program is organized and facilitated by the Franklin County Community Development Corporation and the Sustainable Business Network of MA.
What you will learn
This program will be held online (live sessions on Zoom) between February-April of 2023. A final wrap up session will be held in person. The program will cover the following topics:
Participants who attend all sessions will qualify for:
- Specialized marketing & waived fees at the Local Food Trade Show (March) & Local Food Festival (June) hosted by the Sustainable Business Network of MA (SBN).
- Free Exhibitor Booth at the Local Food Trade Show on March 1st
- Office hours with SBN staff for networking support to help meet sales goals
- Subsidized prototype trial at the Western MA Food Processing Center
REGISTRATION IS CLOSED FOR THE 2023 PROGRAM. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO REGISTERED!
Questions? Contact Kate Minifie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-774-7204 ext. 104
Friday February 3, 9:00-10:30am, Course Introduction & Calculating Unit Economics for Your Business
Friday February 10, 9:00-10:30am, Group Debrief of Calculating Unit Economics for Your Business
Tuesday February 21, 1:00-2:30pm Branding & Marketing Your Business
Friday March 10, 9:00-10:30 - Group Debrief of Branding & Marketing Your Business & Discussion with Good Egg Marketing
Friday March 17, 9:00-10:30am Sales Strategy for Your Business
Friday March 24, 9:00-10:30-am Group Debrief of Sales Strategy for Your Business
April dates TBD - Working with Distributors
April dates TBD - Group Debrief of Working with Distributors
April/May, field trip details TBD
The (Wholesale Readiness Program) helped grow our small sauce company through providing resources, connections, and expert knowledge of the food processing business. As a new business breaking into the consumer packaged goods space there was a lot we needed to know. By bringing together many small food businesses, the (program) created a great environment to learn and expand our business knowledge. There was an exchange of information and ideas between the members of the cohort that helped our business expand into new distribution paths. (Program organizers) brought in experts on distribution, retail, and production to share their experience and provide us the time to ask questions and receive feedback. They expertly facilitated these sessions to get at how these spaces actually operate. The Food Program provided excellent support to our small business and know they can support other small businesses as well"
- Matt Dzaugis, Co-owner of Scraps (Portland, ME)
Running a specialty food business is a new venture for me, and there's so much I need to learn how everything works. The (Wholesale Readiness Program) has been helping me tremendously, and I can't say enough good things about it. I love that they invite guest speakers who also share their extensive knowledge and it's great that we participants get to ask questions to them directly. Also all the participants are fellow small business owners like myself so there's a positive learning environment in the program. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is new to the specialty food business.
- Aya Forster, Owner of Tasty AF Chili Oil (Fairfield, CT)