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Register once then choose the sessions you need for your business


Plan or Improve Your Food Business Series

  • Tuesday, February 13, 2024, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday, March 6, 2024, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

This unique offering is for food producers and entrepreneurs in northern New
York. It’s best suited to producers who want to engage in making improvements to their
business in a supportive environment with like-minded local entrepreneurs and instructors.
Participants of all backgrounds and skill levels are encouraged to participate. This includes
individuals in the planning stages as well as existing business owners eager to gain new skills.

Each of the 4 webinars will focus on a particular facet of managing a food business. Every session will include a presentation, activity for the group, plus resources to learn more after each session including recorded conversations with other small NYS food entrepreneurs. Sessions 1-4 are webinars held on Zoom 6:00-7:30pm on a weekday. See below for exact days.

4 Online webinars, attend 1 or more as needed for your business

Session 1: Understanding Food Business Types, Tuesday, February 13th

  • This session offers an overview of the landscape of making food products in New York State including the relationship and responsibilities of the various regulatory bodies that may affect your business including: Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Dept of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Health (DOH), and NYS Ag and Markets (NYSAM). The session covers the differences and similarities of the various permits for selling food including Home Processing Registration, 20C Food Processing License, and Food Service Permit.

Session 2: Estimating Costs of Starting a Food Business, Wednesday, February 28th

  • It’s frustrating and possibly damaging for a new food entrepreneur when your passion for making a food product is obstructed by unexpected costs. This session offers an overview of types of costs to help guide decisions for the scale and efficiency needed to achieve profitability. Each participant will receive tools for your own planning including a checklist of possible costs as well as a spreadsheet to plug in various figures to get a better sense of the cost per unit of food produced.

Session 3: Tackling Recipe Approvals, Record Keeping, and Food Safety, Wednesday, March 6th

  • Do I need to get my recipe approved to sell? What is a process authority? How do critical control points relate to the products I want to make? What do I need to record when I make each batch of product? This session will answer all these questions and more.

Session 4: Creating Effective and Legal Product Labels, Wednesday March 13th

  • When selling food products to others, entrepreneurs need to capture the attention of buyers while communicating certain information that is legally required. This session offers a window into the legalities of food labeling, requirements for allergen declarations, nutrition panels and health claims. It also touches on considerations for marketing and branding your product, including an interactive break-out session.

Session 5: In-person, Wednesday, March 27th, 6:00-7:30pm

  • Shared meal at the Harvest Kitchen at the Extension Learning Farm. Mingle with other beginning stages food entrepreneurs, tour the Harvest Kitchen for a mock inspection that covers expectations of commercial kitchen space.


The course instructor for this series is Flip Filippi. She is the Local Foods Program Leader at the Extension Learning Farm and manages the onsite shared-use space the Harvest Kitchen. Flip works with everyone from producers looking to create value-added products to consumers eager to access foods produced in the region. Flip has a Master's in Education, and has completed trainings as Master Food Preserver, Food Safety Manager's Training, Better Process Control School for Acidified Products, and FSMA Regulations for Small Food Producers.

What should I expect in the online classes? Each online class will include a presentation from the instructor covering new material as well as an activity and period of Q and A. Participants will gain perspective on the questions to ask to make important decisions to adapt their business. Every session will introduce new resources and goodies for entrepreneurs to use as they improve their businesses. Also, instructor is available immediately after each class ends to stay online 7:30-8pm to chat about other questions participants may have that are beyond the current days topic. 

Can I attend just one session? Participants can attend every week to experience the entire course OR simply participate in the session that is most useful for them. Click below to sign up for any or all of the four online sessions. The closing event, with dinner, tour and mock inspection costs $15 and requires a separate simple registration to RSVP. This RSVP sign-up will become available after the programming begins.

This programming is made possible with funding from the USDA Rural Business Development Grant.





Maria 'Flip' Filippi
Local Foods Program Leader & Harvest Kitchen Manager
315-379-9192 ext 229


This event is online


Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County
2043B State Highway 68
Canton, NY 13617

Last updated March 12, 2024