Food Enterprise Workshop Finishes

After a successful run of 17 months, The Food Enterprise Workshop has now come to a close.  The free introduction to food business workshop, which started at the end of March 2012 helped over 160 people progress their food business ideas with the last workshop finishing on August 30th of this year.

Leicester Market created the Food Enterprise Workshop to facilitate food businesses starting up in the city including new traders at the market and Leicester Food Festivals.  After many weeks of hard work securing finance, Leicester Market was granted funding from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Working Neighbourhoods Fund.

The workshop included a theory day where individuals could learn about key aspects of starting a business such as marketing, business planning, legal requirements and food hygiene in a purpose built unit in the indoor market.  Day 2 was the ideas/test trade day, where participants had the chance to sample their food idea and get feedback from the general public in order to conduct market research.

Workshop Manager, Adam Piotrowski said, ‘The workshop has had really good response from individuals completing.  There seems to be a real lack of support specific to new food businesses locally and this was one of the main reasons we came up with the concept of the workshop.’

The Food Workshop also had the privilege of a visit from none other than Levi Roots, of Reggae Reggae Sauce fame in September of 2012 to give workshop participants a chat about starting up in the food business.

‘When Levi Roots came, it was very exciting for the workshop.  He was very down to earth and I think that he gave some really useful advice to our new food entrepreneurs including the importance of believing in yourself and your product as well as a strong 5 year business plan,’ said Adam Piotrowski. 

The workshop certainly satisfied it’s goals in terms of helping individuals in food business.  Many of the participants that completed the workshop went on the trade at Market Corner and at the various food festivals that take place at Leicester Market.  The Summer Food and Drink Festival 2012 saw 3 former participants trading and this number increased subsequently for the next two festivals to 4 and then 8. 

One of the indicators of success was how many businesses were created.  The project was set a target of 7 businesses created by the ERDF, but it seems The Food Enterprise Workshop has surpassed this.

‘My estimate is that we will be able to evidence 10 businesses created as a direct result of the project, so we are really happy with this result,’ said Adam Piotrowski.

Shaun Miles, Head of Markets said, ‘We are very keen to support new food businesses in Leicester and although the project has sadly come to an end, we are looking to do something similar in the future.’

Please check the Leicester Market Website for any future updates.

What to expect

We offer practical support with professional equipment and kitchen space in order for you to develop your idea.  When starting your own business, the sky is the limit and this workshop is designed to break down barriers that you may face in a motivating and practical tone.

The Food Enterprise Workshop is an intensive two day introduction to food business intended to help people hoping to open their own food business.  Although it is intensive, there are no requirements for prior education or knowledge.  We are committed to being flexible and inclusive and will make every effort for you to come on our workshop.

The Workshop is an exciting opportunity that is very beneficial to new business people.  We want you to come and get some real practical experience and have fun too.

The Workshop is broken down into two days: the first day being a theory day based in our custom built workshop and the second being a practical day where you can test your ideas.

The Food Enterprise

Day One: Theory

  • Introductions, what you hope to get out of the course, individual aims
  • Food hygiene, health and safety and legal requirements for your business
  • Business plan and the language of business.  Tips and pointers for successful business and sustainable business practices
  • Other business support help available locally, where to go next and additional resources.
  • Plan and agree action plan for ideas testing day.

Day Two: Ideas / Test Trading Day

  • Preparation: go over action plan, shop for ingredients, prepare food
  • Ideas / Test Trade
  • Clean down / Put away
  • Feedback, evaluate, next steps.

Make sure you bring a packed lunch as food is not provided.  Other than that, all you need is a passion for food and to be ready to cook your food idea.

We have a flexible approach that offers friendly and valuable advice in a theoretical and practical manner.  By the time you finish the workshop, you should be one step closer to starting your own food business.

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