MSU Extension to offer UP Food Summit on commercial food operations May 17

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Michigan State University Extension will host a UP Food Summit on how to start a food business from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Central time Friday, May 17, at Bay College West, 2801 U.S. 2 in Iron Mountain.

This free event will feature experts on the regulatory, business, equipment and retail aspects of operating a commercial food business. Sessions include —

— 9 to 9:50 a.m., “Food Business 101 — Is a Food Business Right for You?”: Explore how to turn a concept into a successful business, with information on business structures, financial planning and pricing for profit. Presenter is Sally Miller of the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s Woodland Kitchen and Business Incubator in Aurora, Wis.

— 10 to 10:50 a.m., “Food Safety”: Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment is not only an expectation in a commercial food business but is vital to selling a safe product to the public. This session will cover basic sanitation to keep in mind. Presenter is Beth Waitrovich of the MSU Extension.

— 11 to 11:50 a.m., “Going Commercial”: – There are many regulatory entities within the food sector with overlapping jurisdictions and differing licensing and production requirements. Specific topics will include labeling laws, production facility options and food establishment licensing. Presenter is Angela Juhola of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

— Noon to 12:50 p.m., “Retail Ready”: Learn how to compete for consumers in the crowded grocery store aisle through product differentiation, product placement and in-store marketing tactics. The logistics of self-distribution will be covered and when to consider working with a distribution company. Presenter is Parker Jones of the MSU Product Center, plus Tim White of Pat’s Foods also will be available to answer questions.

Refreshments will be provided. Registration should be done at least a week before the event at Registration closes May 10.

For more information, contact Parker Jones at 614-893-6191 or