Food Entrepreneurship

Growing Hope contributes to a vibrant community by providing access to an equitable, sustainable, food secure economy.

Growing Hope envisions a community with a strong economy that offers room for food entrepreneurs and businesses to grow and develop, making both the community and the people in it healthier. Growing Hope works to create an environment conducive to fostering and supporting local food businesses through our work in advocacy, our kitchen incubator, and job and internship training programs. Besides providing a forum for local small businesses at our Farmers Markets, we also aim to provide the community with the knowledge and skills to grow their food businesses. Our Building Blocks For the Food Entrepreneur workshops educate new food and existing food businesses on best practices needed to grow their businesses.

Building Blocks for Local Food Entrepreneurs 2018

Building Blocks for the Food Entrepreneur is a series of free workshops put on by Growing Hope, with partnership from the MSU Extension Service, Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan Small Business Development Center, SCORE – Washtenaw County, the Entrepreneurship Center at WCC, and SPARK East Incubator.

October 2018 Workshops 

Going Cottage to Commercial
Thursday, October 18, 2018
6:30-8:30 pm
Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace, 16 S. Washington St., Ypsilanti
Free! Please Register HERE

Thinking of starting a cottage food business or scaling up that business? This workshop will answer many of your questions. What does the Cottage Food Law allow you to produce and sell to consumers? What items can you sell at farmers markets and other venues?  Learn what you have to do to expand beyond the cottage law into commercial food production. Get details on what is required for commercial kitchen space. Find out what is required to sell to large or small grocery companies, restaurants and schools. Speakers: Heather Duncan, Food Inspector, Michigan Department of Agricultural & Rural Development; Jae Gerhart Washtenaw County Local Foods Coordinator, Michigan State Extension.

From Start to Selling 101
Thursday, October 25, 2018
6:30-8:30 pm at the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace,
16 S. Washington St., Ypsilanti
Free! Please Register HERE

A very popular “getting started” class, we are bringing you a second session after a high demand for our August class. In this training, you’ll hear from Gretchen Kopmanis who started the Czechbox Bakery in 2012 and now sells at the Ypsilanti Farmers Markets. Based on lessons she’s learned, she’ll guide you through the planning stages for starting a successful business. Topics include product development, establishing your brand, pricing strategies, record keeping, marketing, packaging, taxes, and setting up as a Farmers Market vendor.

Growing Hope partnered with 7 Cylinders Studio to produce a short film about our Buildings Blocks programs and the Ypsilanti Farmers Markets. The film features Alex Ball, farmer of Old City Acres who shared his experience in this short video. Check it out!


April 13, 2019
  • Ypsi Food Awards
    April 13, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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