Food Processing Center offers Seminar for Food Business Entrepreneurs

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Jan. 18, 2013

            LINCOLN, Neb. — Food manufacturing businesses continue to develop throughout the country. The Food Processing Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln provides the nationally recognized Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program, which is specifically designed to assist individuals who want to start a food business.

            The program consists of two phases. The first phase is the Recipe to Reality seminar, which helps attendees understand how the food industry works, the challenges they will encounter and the decisions they should make before starting a business. Following the seminar attendees may choose to enter the second phase, Product to Profit. During this phase attendees receive individualized assistance through all the steps of starting their food business.

            The next Recipe to Reality seminar will be presented on March 16.

            "The Food Entrepreneur Program was started by the Food Processing Center in 1989. Since that time over 2,000 individuals have attended the Recipe to Reality Seminar.  As a result hundreds of entrepreneurs have started their own food business," said Jill Gifford, program manager.

            Cindi Weiss, owner of Punkindoodle Foods in Lincoln, is among those entrepreneurs.  She completed the program less than one  year ago and is now successfully marketing her line of salsas throughout the state.  

            "Every year at the Nebraska State Fair I saw a posting for the upcoming Recipe to Reality seminar. When my window of opportunity opened I took the one day seminar and knew right then and there that the Food Processing Center was very knowledgeable and would be an incredible guide for me in my quest to bring my salsa to market.  It is such a tried and true program, and it helped me every step of the way to do things thoroughly, correctly, and safely.  The program kept me on the right road and I'm so grateful that it also helped me to avoid costly mistakes.  At completion of the program I was able to order my first production and began selling my salsa the day after I took delivery!  I cannot imagine starting a small business without the encouragement and expertise that is provided through this amazing program," explained Weiss.

            Recipe to Reality seminars are offered throughout the year. Pre-registration for the March 16 session or others is required. To register or to receive an information packet, contact Gifford at: Food Processing Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 143 Filley Hall, Lincoln, Neb., 68583-0928; phone 402-472-2819; email,, or check out details on the Web at

Jill Gifford
program manager
Food Processing Center

Dan Moser
IANR News Service

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