Resources for Food Entrepreneurs

Specialty foods cheese producer with her cheese productsWelcome to our specialty foods website!

This website will be especially useful for food manufacturers wanting to produce a specialty food product. Specialty foods are defined by the Specialty Food Association as “food and beverages that exemplify quality and innovation, including artisanal, natural, and local products often made by small manufacturers, artisans, and entrepreneurs from the U.S. and abroad.”

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension offers specific resources to assist you in your process of starting a specialty foods business. People at the beginning stages will find our Recipe to Market fact sheet helpful; it covers the most commonly asked questions about starting a food business. If you prefer in-person workshops, we offer a Recipe to Market workshop series, typically twice a year in locations across Maine. Our Recipe to Market program has been well received nationally and was highlighted in a Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development newsletter article.

If you are interested in obtaining a food license in Maine, you will want to visit these state agencies websites:

We offer specialized testing services at UMaine if you are interested in selling canned, shelf-stable food products. We offer these testing services to food businesses in Maine as well as small businesses nationwide. The School of Food and Agriculture has a commercially licensed facility located on the UMaine (Orono) campus in Hitchner Hall if you are interested in renting our commercial kitchen to produce non-perishable food products.

Please feel free to contact Louis V. Bassano if there is a topic of interest pertaining to specialty foods that you do not see listed. Thank you for taking the time to visit our site and we wish you well on your food business endeavors.

Louis V. Bassano, Ph.D., Regional Small Business Educator & Extension Professor
Beth Calder, Ph.D., Extension Food Science Specialist & Associate Professor of Food Science
Jim McConnon, Ph.D., Extension Business & Economics Specialist and Professor of Economics


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apple producerSpecial thanks to Grace Yan Liu, Business Reference Librarian, Fogler Library, for her research support and assistance in the development of this website.

For additional business resources, visit UMaine Extension’s Small Business Library.

Information in this website is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned in this website. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

Links to other websites are provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any content on the linked sites.

© 2017