Entrepreneurship Through
Food Processing Centers
Mary Pat Carlson
Food Processing Facilities….Consultant
Farm Market Kitchen Incubator
Shared-Use Food Processing
• Commercially, state approved kitchens
shared by a variety of food entrepreneurs
– Specialty Food Businesses
– Canners
– Chef
– Caterers
– Bakers
– ….the list goes on….
Encouraging Entrepreneurship
Food Processing Business
• There are many types of shared-use
kitchens….not all are business incubators.
• Business Incubators provide not only
access to facilities, but also business
assistance and technical support...”hand
• Business incubation can be actual
facilities…or incubation without walls.
Models of Food Processing
Business Incubators
• Models vary from community to community
University based
Government based
Community based
Faith based
For- Profit
Business Incubator Model ………..and more
The right fit for the community
Assess community needs
Draw on existing resources
Target the needs of the entrepreneurs
Build a network of strong partners
Be actively connected to the community
Growing Businesses….
• Start up stage… often entrepreneur with a
• Providing targeted training, support, and
one-on-one coaching helps move from
dream to reality.
• Realty means they are a real business and
need to function like a “real business”!
Food Processing
Businesses…creating jobs
• From “start-up” to becoming a “real
business”…often results in expanded job
– Direct job creation…production assistance,
marketing and distribution partners…..
– Indirect…packing, labeling, ingredients…
• Encourage the concept of buying local as a value
adding concept
Wisconsin’s Growing Network of
Shared-Use Food Processing
• Ten years ago…..3 facilities
• Today….15 and counting
– Rural
– Urban
– Start-Up Businesses
– Co-Packing Facilities
Success & Job Creation
• Wisconsin has a very strong network of
Business Incubators and are recognized
nationally for encouraging and supporting
businesses….resulting in job creation.
• The Farm Market Kitchen has worked with
over 100 businesses since 2002…
• Example of success….Nutorious Nuts
– International Business Graduate Finalist
Food Processing…not just food
• Creative, Innovative, artistic,….food is a
component of self and community expression
• Draw on the culture, history, emotion of food to
add value to products created and the
community/region the food is created.
• Most food processing entrepreneurs are very
artistic…creative….and passionate about their
“creations”….use this to promote your

Entrepreneurship Through Community Based Food Processing