Farewell for Food Enterprise Workshop

September 9, 2013

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 a 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 2012, to give workshop participants a chat about starting up in the food business.

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“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 five-year business plan,” said Adam.

The workshop certainly satisfied its 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 three former participants trading and this number increased subsequently for the next two festivals to four and then eight.

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

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“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.

Shaun Miles, Head of Markets added: “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.