Coming this March & April: Free, virtual workshops on how to start or grow your small-scale food business 

February 7, 2022 

The UW-Madison Extension Community Food Systems Program will provide no-cost virtual workshops for small-scale food and farming business start-ups every week from March 9th to April 24th

The sessions will cover topics such as:

☐ food safety planning, 

☐ selling products at the farmers market, 

☐ selling at your local retail food co-op, 

☐ business incubator support for entrepreneurs, and 

☐ finding customers for new and growing food businesses.  

“Wisconsin has a wealth of food and farming entrepreneurs who are creating amazing products in their communities. The FEED Webinar Series this spring highlights Wisconsin food entrepreneurs from across the state, features local and regional business support organizations in Wisconsin, provides tools and worksheets to help businesses make well thought-out decisions, and gives entrepreneurs a chance to interact, discuss, and get to know each other,” said Jessica Jane Spayde, Food Entrepreneurship Specialist at the Community Food Systems Program at UW-Madison Extension. 

Thursday, March 9 – The Sweet Taste of Success: Safe, Value-Added, Maple Products

UW-Madison Professor of Food Science, Barbara Ingham, will provide guidance on food safety planning for food businesses using maple sugar in products such as maple-flavored sauces and dressings, sparkling maple water, and infused maple syrup. This session is facilitated by Extension Specialist Jessica Jane Spayde and introduces Bill Klase from the UW-Madison, Division of Extension Maple Sugar Program.

Monday, March 13 – Selling at the Farmers Market: Case Study of Selling Eggs at the local Farmers Market
Join Extension Educator Michelle Grimm and the Wisconsin Farmers Market Association to learn about how to become a farmers market vendor. We’ll hear from food safety experts about how to navigate the mobile food retail licensing requirements in Wisconsin, using an example of a small-scale chicken farmer selling eggs at their local market. 

Monday, March 20 – Starting a Mobile Food Business: Working with a Shared-Use Kitchen

Join Extension Educator Jess Guffey Calkins and the director of the FEED Kitchen in Madison, Wisconsin, Chris Brockel, to learn how using a shared-use kitchen can help your food business get started.  We’ll hear from an entrepreneur who started their mobile food business by using the shared-use FEED Kitchen.

Monday, March 27 – Getting Your Product on Shelves at Your Local Food Coop

Join Extension Educator Lissa Radke and Chequamegon Bay Food Coop’s Marketing and Membership Coordinator Sara Beadle to learn about how to sell your food products at your local food retail cooperative. We’ll hear from a food business owner who sells at the food coop in Ashland, Wisconsin. 

Monday, April 3 – Getting to Know Your Local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) 

Join Extension Educator Patrick Nehring and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay to learn about how to work with your local SBDC. We will hear from a Wisconsin food entrepreneur to learn about how the SBDC helped their business start up and grow over the years. 

Monday, April 10 – Navigating Business Resources with the Help of Your Local Business Incubator

Join Extension Educator Addison Vang and the Community Manager of Co-Lab Adam Accola to learn about how local business incubators can help your food business navigate business resources. We’ll hear from a food business that has used CoLab business incubator to help navigate the business startup process, by helping them identify resources, such as insurance, banking, marketing, financing, business planning, website, storefront, health insurance, licensing, networking, and finding customers.

Monday, April 17 – Local Foods – Safe Foods: Starting a Farm- or Home-Based Food Business in Wisconsin

Join Extension Specialist Jessica Jane Spayde to learn about food safety for farm- and home-based food businesses in Wisconsin. UW-Madison Professor of Food Science Barbara Ingham will share information on food safety for products made at your farm or home.

Monday, April 24 – Successfully Find Customers for Your Food Business: Lessons from a Wisconsin Food Cooperative

Join Kelly Maynard, Co-op Development Specialist at the UW-Madison Center for Cooperatives to learn about the process of identifying and connecting with your customers. We’ll hear from a local food cooperative about how they found customers when launching their food business and how they have continued to build their customer base while growing the business. 

All workshops are free to the public and will be hosted on Zoom. Registration for the event is available online at:

For additional information about the workshops email Jessica Jane Spayde, Food Entrepreneurship Specialist at the Community Food Systems Program at the UW-Madison Division of Extension, at

link to press release as a Google doc

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