PORTLAND, Ore. - The Food Innovation Center is offering an in-depth education series to help entrepreneurs start and run successful food businesses.

"The series expands our original half-day workshop to a comprehensive series that will provide detailed information and hands-on training to help those who are new to the food industry seriously evaluate their own food business opportunity," said Aaron Johnson, an Oregon State University food marketing specialist at the Food Innovation Center.

The education series, "Creating a Food Entrepreneur (CAFÉ)," begins on Saturday, Jan. 21, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Food Innovation Center in Portland. This first course will be an introduction to the food industry, similar to the center's original workshop, "Northwest Food Business 101."

"In the second course, 'Creating a Food Business,' we will help participants explore marketing, research the business potential and determine the viability of their ideas before investing limited resources," Johnson explained. The course will also explore the world of food production and the regulatory process. The course is comprised of six sessions, one every other week. They start on Saturday, Feb. 4, and run from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

The fee for the introductory first course is $75; the second six-session course is $950. All classes in the second course will be held Saturday afternoons from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Food Innovation Center, 1207 NW Naito Parkway in Portland.

To register online for the series, visit http://oregonstate.edu/fic/nwfb or call the center at 503-872-6680. Space is limited. Online registration is preferred and has already begun.

The Food Innovation Center is a collaborative effort between OSU's Agricultural Experiment Station and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

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Aaron Johnson, 503-872-6674