Your friends and family rave about your homemade chowder, biscotti, blueberry jam, fudge, or other special food product. They say you should sell it and make a fortune. Are they right? Where do you start?

To find answers, University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a five-part workshop series at the UMaine Extension in Waldo beginning March 22 and running Thursday evenings through April.

“From Recipe to Market: Cashing in on Value-Added Opportunities” provides an overview of what is involved in taking a specialty food product to market. Learn about licensing, how to prepare and package food products safely, to access potential profits and discover resources available to support a developing business.

You must have a specific food product or recipe in mind and are expected to attend all sessions. This program is for individuals currently operating a value-added business or those seriously considering one.

The program cost is $40 per person (scholarships are available). Registrations must be received by March 13 to reserve a space. For complete info and online registration, visit umaine.edu/waldo/from-recipe-to-market or contact us at 342-5971, toll free 1-800-287-1426 or email sonia.antunes@maine.edu.

UMaine Extension programs are open and accessible to all in accordance with programs goals.

Key presenters are: Dr. Beth Calder, UMaine Extension Food Science Specialist; Dr. James C. McConnon, UMaine Extension Business and Economics Specialist; Jane Haskell and Ellie Libby, UMaine Extension Educators, Waldo and Knox-Lincoln Counties.

2012 Workshop dates and agenda:

March 22 – Are you an entrepreneur? What is involved in being a food entrepreneur?

March 29 – Developing your product and process – the critical factors: food safety, labeling, packaging, product development, food regulations and licenses.

April 5 – Business realities – the critical factors: market research, business structure, insurance, pricing, promotion and sales options.

April 12 – Resource panel – discussion by an insurancer, banker, attorney and food business entrepreneur .

April 19 – Individual business counseling

April 26 – University of Maine, Orono pilot plant tour – see the equipment and resources available to assist with food product development research.