LITTLE ROCK – Starting a business starts with a good idea, but turning it into reality takes a lot more. This is where the Share Grounds program at the Division of Agriculture System at the University of Arkansas can help, from helping entrepreneurs develop recipes to understanding the laws on food or to provide a licensed kitchen space where food entrepreneurs can work.
The Agriculture Division will be offering training on Saturday November 6 on how to start your food business on the sharing ground. The in-person workshop is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CDT) at the State Office of the Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave. in Little Rock. In-person participation is limited to 20 people; Lunch will be provided.
A virtual option will also be offered via Zoom. Participation in the webinar is free, but registration is required. To register, visit https://bit.ly/3gmc78H.
Participants will learn how to bring their food idea to market and how to start a food business at Share Grounds. The webinar will provide information on the Arkansas Food Freedom Act, food creation, food manufacturing, and business planning. Participants will also benefit from a virtual tour of the Kitchen Incubator site and the Division of Agriculture Share Grounds aggregation center in McCrory.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to start a food business to learn what it takes to successfully market a product,” said Amanda Philyaw Perez, Food Systems and Food Safety Specialist in the Division of Agriculture’s Local, Regional and Safe Foods. team. “They can be a perfect candidate to use our Share Grounds facilities.”
The division has two Share Ground locations – one in McCrory, Woodruff County and one in Rison, Cleveland County. Both use the existing facilities and infrastructure at the County Fairgrounds. The kitchens are certified and licensed.
“Our goal is to help entrepreneurs develop successfully food products, which increases access to and consumption of local foods in Arkansas, ”Perez said. “It also supports local farms and the wider regional food economy. “
Since 2020, Share Grounds staff have worked with approximately 45 customers, who are in various stages of product development.
To learn more about Share Grounds, visit www.uaex.uada.edu/sharegrounds.