Research in support of community development
Technical and business development assistance is needed by small to mid-sized food companies and food entrepreneurs. These companies spur economic development by capital investment, job creation and spending for services. The mission of the Food Technology Center in Caldwell is to provide a facility and resources to assist Idaho businesses with food related issues that involve processing, R&D, marketing, education and business strategy. To provide a multi-use facility to a very diverse industry, the Food Technology Center houses both a commercial kitchen to serve the needs of food entrepreneurs, restaurants, caterers and specialty food producers, and a pilot plant to accommodate the needs of larger food companies. The Food Technology Center, run by Jim Toomey and Josh Bevan, provides education and resources to small and pre-venture food companies. Having sufficient background in areas such as food safety, sanitation, food regulation and business planning are critical to ensure success and growth.
The Food Technology Center offers several workshops including, “Developing Your Food Product Idea: A Blueprint for Pre-Venture and Start-up Food Companies.” The course provides participants with the information necessary to start a food business and serves as a prerequisite for use of the commercial kitchen. The course includes interactive take-home assignments and information from local agency personnel to provide insight into licensing, marketing resources and liability concerns.