Online Support for New England Food Entrepreneurs; New England Extension Food Safety Consortium

Starting a Food Business

Business and Marketing

About Your State

Food Regulations

Product Development

Training and Education


New England Extension Food Safety Consortium; Universities of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont

This website is funded by a grant from the NE Extension Consortium.

NE Extension Consortium provides equal program opportunities without regard to race, age, sex or preference, creed, or disability (2011).

Thinking of Starting a Food Business

Starting or growing a food business is just like any other small business. Consider these questions as you develop your food product and business.

  • What is your reason for starting a food business?
  • What impact will a home-based business have on your life?
  • Do you have the necessary capital to fund this new business?
  • What are your strengths and where will you need help?
  • Will you need additional outside help?
  • What is your product?
  • Where will you make your product?
  • What local, state and federal regulations apply?
  • Where will you sell your product?
  • How will you promote your product?
  • How will you price your product?

Information and Resources

Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship Pros and Cons of Starting a Specialty Food Business and Steps to Start a Specialty Food Business The food business start-up steps outlined include: the product, business planning, labels, market decisions, and production.
North Central Regional Extension Publication Selling Food Products: A Business From Your Home (pdf) Outlines what you need to consider when starting a food business with particular emphasis on food safety.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension So You Want to be a Food Manufacturer… Reviews the basics and includes a resource section of books, food industry directories and trade magazines.
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service Food Product Development Comprehensive guide featuring a step-by-step system and worksheets for developing food products.

PennState Cooperative Extension

Starting a Food Processing Business

Outlines food business start-up steps from thinking about a business to product development.
Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center

Complete Solutions for Food Producers and Entrepreneurs

Provides technical assistance, workshops and resources to help start or expand a food business.