Kingston, Frontenac food producers invited to ‘scale up,’ learn from industry partners

Food processing in rented commercial space can offer entrepreneurs and culinary creators an advantage in starting and growing their businesses. Photos (clockwise from top left): Peach and rosemary jam ready for sale, photo by CA Creative; pasta making, photo by Dogu Tuncer; jarring orange preserves, photo by Roman Odintsov, and; finishing touches placed on cake, photo by Gustavo Fring.

Next month, the City of Kingston is holding an event designed to “empower food processors and entrepreneurs looking to grow their business.”

Scaling Up: Getting Your Food Products to Market is a full-day session hosted by the City of Kingston and the Township of South Frontenac. According to a release from the City, this event builds on an earlier event, The A to Z of Getting Your Food Products to Market, which was held in February 2023, and took participants through every step, from renting and using a commercial kitchen, to understanding regulations and food safety requirements, to getting products on the shelves.  

The City said that event participants will gain essential knowledge and practical skills, including how to sell their products to larger retailers, funding and grant opportunities, and social media and marketing insights and advice. They will also learn how to rent and use a commercial kitchen, information on food regulations and safety requirements, plus how to sell and market their products.

Kingston has three commercial kitchens available for rent, the City stated, with another one located in South Frontenac. According to the release, these state-of-the-art facilities are accessible to anyone looking to produce and sell food products. In response to Kingstonist inquiries, the City of Kingston shared that the three commercial kitchen spaces within the City are located at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, Kingston East Community Centre, and Rideau Heights Community Centre. The commercial kitchen space available in South Frontenac Township is located within Bedford/Glendower Hall.

“Our introductory food production event earlier this year was very well received, and we’re looking forward to building off that momentum and connecting people with the resources they need to grow their business,” said Tracey Snow, Manager of Rural Economic & Community Development. 

“We often get requests from entrepreneurs who aren’t sure where to start nor what supports are available to them, and so we’re excited to bring our community and industry partners together to help participants navigate the journey of expanding their food businesses successfully.”

According to the release, presenters at the event include the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), KFL&A Public Health, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in addition to local businesses, who will be on hand to share their expertise around food production.

The event will take place at Kingston East Community Centre from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. Tickets are $20 per person and lunch will be provided (including vegetarian options). There is free parking on site.

The City said that registration is open to all current or prospective food producers, farmers, artisans, cooks, entrepreneurs, and anyone else interested in the food industry. Space is limited, so early registration is recommended. To reserve your spot and learn more about the event, please visit the Scaling Up event page here.

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