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Course Title
Soup to Nuts Strategy for Starting a Successful Food Business


There is good news in North Carolina for food entrepreneurs.  No longer are you required to rent expensive commercial space in order to bring your creative recipes to market. Thanks to cottage food laws you can now create a small food business in your own kitchen as long as you follow all of the rules. Sales for specialty food products have increased over 18% in the last three years as more consumers seek out the quality and taste of artisan products. Take advantage of this growing market and learn the intricacies of the laws that allow you to create food products at home and create a winning recipe for a successful food business.


Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Understand cottage food laws of NC
  • Explore the creation of a sellable, profitable food product
  • Investigate the feasibility of manufacturing at home or in a commercial space
  • Discuss product packaging requirements
  • Become familiar with steps for taking a food product to market


1. NC cottage food laws

  • Home manufacturing - low risk packaged foods versus high risk products
  • Good manufacturing practices
  • Local licensing and zoning
  • Health permits
  • Well water inspection

2. Home Processing Inspection

  • Application and Process
  • Product testing

3. Product Development

  • Ingredients, supplies, equipment and storage
  • Food costing and pricing
  • Food safety and scale
  • Manufacturing

4. Logistics

  • Packaging
  • Labeling
  • Transport/Shipping

5. General Business Requirements

  • Setting up business ownership
  • Tax id number
  • Name registration
  • UPC code

6. Taking the product to market

  • Research specialty foods industry and consumer demand
  • Competition
  • Branding and Marketing
  • Sales channels, distribution




Method of Instruction



Test: No

Participation: No

Attendance: Yes