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So You Want to Open A Food Business

So you make a killer oxtail stew and you want to be in the food business.  Then the Jamaica Food Entrepreneurship and Services Training Space is for you.  Jamaica FEASTS is a free incubator program for aspiring food entrepreneurs.  It entails 12 weekly classes on how to open your own food business.  Topics include, but are not limited to, licensing, fees, menu planning, banking, human resources and real estate.  Expert guest speakers from the food business community including lawyers and QuickBooks professionals will help guide participants.

Halfway through the program, participants are assessed by their presentation of a business plan, elevator pitch, operational plan along with planned next steps to ensure they are advancing successful through the program.  At the end of the program, participants are given a final evaluation and recommendations for future success. 

FEAST is part of a two year grant from the New York Economic Development Corporation.  The program is administered by the Queens Library and classes are held at the Central Branch.  The grant covers 3 sessions a year.  The upcoming session, which begins in October, is its final cohort for 2017.  The next session will open in January of 2018.  On Tuesday, July 25, Jamaica FEASTS Manager Morgan Earle held an information session for interested entrepreneurs at which she outlined the details of the program and the selection process.

Participants selected for the program must begin by submitting an application.  After that, individuals will be interviewed to assess their level of program readiness.  The program is looking to seat individuals that have a clear vision of what they want to do in the food industry including tested recipes.  Just wanting to open a bakery and sell muffins and scones are not sufficient objectives warranting entry.  Interested parties must know the types of scones or have proven muffin recipes.

Resources for starting and running a food business as well as the food truck industry are also covered in the program.  Future iterations of the program will include access to a commercial kitchen space.  (The kitchen space is currently under construction.)

The application deadline for the upcoming session is Friday, August 4th at 5PM.  To apply online visit this link.  For questions and more information call 718-990-8699.