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Small Business Centres
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Liz L.
Regional Director
Watertown Oswego SBDC, SUNY Jefferson

The program staff are professional, caring and forward-thinking, and created strong, positive relationships with our center and clients from the rural and urban areas of

New York State. FVP resonated with a variety of projects ranging from food trucks to food manufacturing and everywhere in between!


Danielle P.
Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Navigator
Southwest Indiana SBDC Network

I really enjoyed the content [of the Food Service Startup Program] and I was highly engaged! The depth of information was delivered well. I will definitely be able to offer more support and feedback to the Food Businesses in my network!


Jacqueline R.
Business Advisor

Southwest Indiana SBDC Network

I thought this was a great presentation!

Speaking from my own experience, restaurateurs have a passion for food and service. This program is a great example of all the structure that needs to be put in place for a food business. If you can get in with this type of knowledge when you start your business, it’s going to save you so many headaches as you continue to grow.

Everything you explained during this session took us years to perfect. It was very insightful and very educational for our clients who are in this initial concept phase of their business.

I appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge and resources.


Hannah C.
North Metro Co SBDC

This first session was super fun and engaging! We are all looking forward to the rest of the content throughout the course and appreciate the high level of quality you provide through the course.


Karen P.
Financial Consultant

North Metro Co SBDC

What a wonderful session! I was extremely impressed with the caliber of information from Andreas. For the first class, the overview of the history and programming was crucial and detailed. He did a great job!


Dr. Michael M.
Executive Director

Food & Beverage Manitoba

The team at [Food Venture Program] are an absolute pleasure to work with. Not only are the instructors knowledgeable about the sector, they are able to present the material in a way that is accessible to even those just starting out on their food business journey. The customization of the program and thoughtful approach to the curriculum design has allowed us to offer this for three years in a row, and each year seems to get better.

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Laura Lukasik

Manager, Tourism & Special Events

It was an absolute pleasure to work with Sima and Kiran on a program designed for foodpreneurs wanting to take their products to market.


These amazing women brought relevant content to the program along with their own expertise and ensured the syllabus was organized and flowed smoothly.


Sima and Kiran kept us, as staff, up-to-date with the progress of the program and shared session notes and participant feedback. I am happy to recommend Sima and Kiran from the Food Venture Program if you are looking for intelligent and well organized food experts to deliver programming.

City of Brampton


Donna Heslin

Manager Entrepreneurship & Innovation

City of Mississauga

The Food Venture team produced a quality program for our clients at the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre.  During a difficult time for our restaurants they worked with us to provide a tailored solution for these business owners to think outside the box.  The workshops were well received by the community and we were thrilled with the quick turnaround. The feedback from our clients was incredibly positive and we appreciated the regular updates from Sima, ensuring we were in-line on every step.


City of Mississauga


Jennifer V. Manager, Entrepreneurial Services Planning

After the success of the 2020 program, we are thrilled to be able to offer the Food Venture Program again in 2021. We received an OVERWHELMING response to applications for the FVP program, and we are glad to have access to a program that is so relevant to our community.

We expect this bootcamp to provide entrepreneurs with the food industry specific knowledge they need to take their business further, create employment opportunities, and participate in economic growth and prosperity for the region.

Brampton Entrepreneur Centre


Norman Musengimana

Kingston Economic Development Centre

The Kingston Economic Development Corporation has worked with the Food Venture Program (FVP) to Deliver three workshops simultaneously. We run the 5-Session Restaurant Recovery: Pivot to CPG program, the 12-Weeks Food Venture Program, and the 5-Session Tourism Recovery for Food Businesses.

The Kingston’s Integrated Economic Development Strategy has a specific focus on the creation of a conducive business environment for both new and existing food and beverage businesses. This program aligns well with the Kingston’s strategic priorities to support entrepreneurs in the food and beverage sector and rural economy.


These programs were engaging, blending both theory and expert guided advice from the FVP team as well the successful entrepreneurs and experts brought to share, guide and lead sessions under these programs.

We are looking forward to hosting more sessions to continue to support our food and beverage entrepreneurs.

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Cindy James, Manager

Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls, Lanark County, Northern Leeds Grenville, Ontario)

The Food Venture Program gave our culinary entrepreneurs a path to fast-forward their food business ideas, and successfully launch into retail.  With the development of our local food businesses, we expect employment growth and an extended sales reach for local business.  The program was thorough, professional and well paced.  We look forward to working with Food Venture Program again.


Gail P, 12-Week Bootcamp Participant
Laurier's Women Entrepreneurship Centre

The FVP is the most comprehensive, thorough, full-spectrum course imaginable for those desiring to start a food business in Southern Ontario.


I do have an accounting degree and I can honestly say that the wisdom/advice I've received from your program far surpasses any business course I took.


Natalie W. Business Resource Clerk

Excellent education content; I think they covered everything the participants need[ed] to know about bringing a food product to market.

I enjoyed the guest speakers throughout the program; I found them very knowledgeable and it was nice to learn from individuals with hands on experience.  You could tell they were experts in their field.

I liked that the students were able to practice their “pitch” many times and I feel they received valuable, useful feedback.

City of Brantford


Chris F. Kitchener Regional Office Manager

Sima came highly recommended to us by Dana McCauley, who was the former Executive Director for the Toronto Food Starter Incubator and now works for the University of Guelph.

The [FVP] program introduced food processors to the requirements and skills needed to run a successful food processing business. The topics include everything from feasibility, customer discovery, sales to the many regulatory issues including packaging, labeling, sanitation, recipe development.

We have had 100% participation from the participants for every session, even through this COVID crisis when we had to transition from classroom sessions to online video conferencing/webinars. If you are considering having [FVP] delivery this program in your community I highly recommend them.

Waterloo Region Small Business Center


Jennifer V. Manager, Entrepreneurial Services Planning

After the success of the 2020 program, we are thrilled to be able to offer the Food Venture Program again in 2021. We received an OVERWHELMING response to applications for the FVP program, and we are glad to have access to a program that is so relevant to our community.

We expect this bootcamp to provide entrepreneurs with the food industry specific knowledge they need to take their business further, create employment opportunities, and participate in economic growth and prosperity for the region.

Brampton Entrepreneur Centre

Entrepreneur Testimonials

Lashando W.
The Tipsy Granny

The Sales and Distribution workshop was very informative - a lot of information that I needed thank you Ms Nicole easy to understand you explained everything layman's term which made it an excellent presentation!

Lori S.
Culinary School Graduate

This class is worth taking. It has helped me think more in depth than I was. I absolutely loved learning from Chef Adam and the others involved. I will be sharing it with my school for sure.

Zuleyka P.

"Tome muchas notas... valiosa informacion!"

Andrea R.
Teas and Toasts

The FVP cohort experience provided my tea business lots to sip-on. I appreciated the high-level presentations and conversations for future consideration in adding more food products to Teas and Toasts offerings.

Alayne B.
Rosy's Kitchen

Taking the FVP helped me jump start into food business with knowledgeable instructors and a network to gain information from.

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Beckie P.
Beck's Broth

[Food Venture Program has helped us:] increase in sales, [learn] what we needed to in order to become retail ready!


Shemeka D
Co Owner
Green Geek Juice Co.

The Food Venture Program was incredible from the very beginning to the very end. The information was jam packed with value and eye opening. Even after being in business for over 5 years I thoroughly looked forward to what the next day had to offer and walked away with practical notes every single session. When providing key points, the speakers were sure to dig deeper and back up their statements with really life stats! The topics are engaging and relatable no matter where you are in your entrepreneurship journey. I highly encourage this program be taken. 

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Melanie F
Dezines Creative Thinking

Thank you again for EVERYTHING that you did. I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed and valued this [Farm to Retail] program. It has inspired me to take this further than what I ever imagined!


Candice A

 FVP 12 week program offered great insight into the food business, the content, and speakers were exceptional. From ideation to distribution of your product. The program is like no other out there.


Katie C
Owner of Monarch Tea

I've been absolutely LOVING the class. I am blown away by the level of insight, guidance and knowledge offered in the course. I was telling my husband the other day how this program has truly been more insightful and helpful than when I was in college! Thank you and your team so, so much for putting together this wonderful resource. I truly find I look forward to every Tuesday!

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Jennifer B.
Owner of this Mama's Kitchen

I am so grateful that the Food Venture Program exists.  As a new food entrepreneur I am looking for educational experiences that will help me build a solid foundation as I start my business. FVP has given me tools, knowledge, guidance and connections in this industry I might not have had if not for my participation in this program. For example, I audio recorded each session on my phone so I can play it back like a podcast whenever I have time to soak in more of this educational opportunity. Finally, I submitted my pitch in the pitch competition for our cohort and won the Innovation Award funded by Georgian College's Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre!  Thank you so much to both organizations for this opportunity.  It will not be lost on me!


Elissa N
Quality Assurance Manager
Northern Goose

I'm on session 4 of the 10-week Farm to Retail program, and I'm on fire with ideas on how to differentiate and market

my product.  It's been an opportunity to be flooded with ideas that can't happen when I'm busy with the day to day.  Can't wait for next weeks' session!

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Perri R. Owner of Dairy Belles

The  Food Venture Program really helped me establish a clear direction for launching my food business.  I had talked to many different professionals trying to obtain information on where to start, and no one really knew details about a food business specifically. 


Sima and Kiran introduce many contacts and industry experts who help streamline the overall process of how and where to start when launching a food business. 


I had spent a significant investment of my savings trying to launch my business venture, and if I had taken this course earlier I'm positive it would have saved me time, money, and the stress of not knowing!  I advise anyone who is interested in starting up a food business to take this course first because by the end you will be ready to pitch your food product to potential buyers with confidence.​

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Anita G. Owner of Anita's Ohm Cooking

The Food Venture Program helped me go from friends and family sales to commercial production. I was able to find sustainable packaging, something I had never considered prior to the program

One of the unexpected highlights was meeting other "dreamers" working on their own ideas.

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Andrew F. Owner of Cutie Pies

After working on Cutie Pies for 8 years as a side gig, the 12-Week FVP Bootcamp gave me the confidence to focus on it full time

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Cutie Pies are savory small bite-sized baked pies that pair perfectly with tea/coffee! A great alternative to cake and coffee for those who prefer savory treats over sweet!

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Jeff Salem, Owner of Salem's Lott Hot Sauces

Sima and her team at Food Venture Program offered an amazing presentation for entrepreneurs looking at getting their start in the food industry or even if you are established you will gain great new information, insights, guidance, tips and mentoring.

 I thoroughly enjoyed each week with a new guest speaker and the diverse coverage of many important topics related to the food industry. 

I took home useful information each week that will continue to help assist me in growing my business further. Thank you once again for offering a well organize course.



Featured on Dragon's Den!

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Jeff D. Owner of Island Son Canada

Kiran and Sima combined to knock this program out of the park! I learned a lot in a very short amount of time and made some great connections too!"


Jeff's hot sauce is uniquely made with turmeric and Scotch bonnets. It is also low in sodium!

Available on Amazon and over 20 stores in Ontario

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M. Ransom, Owner of Latinito Empanadas

The Food Venture Program has provided lots of very useful information for anyone looking to become a food entrepreneur, and is also designed to help established businesses on certain aspects that they could improve to reach a higher number of customers.


Many topics were covered by a variety of speakers with different expertise within the food industry, including marketing, packaging, and branding. Many useful tools were also provided such as production cost templates, important contact information, and branding consultations. It was a pleasure to be involved in the program, and I would greatly recommend it to anyone interesting in learning about how to grow their food business.


Wawa Style Group Inc

For so long I’ve been navigating looking for information to better my food business and then it happened. An opportunity so great, a dream situation that any entrepreneur would clear their schedule for. I knew the minute that food venture program was introduced to me that I had to be part of it. Just imagine week after week having different professionals from different sectors of the food business answering your questions  and guiding your next steps towards success.

Knowledge, experience, accountability, services, connections all under one roof.


Looking back on those 12 weeks I’ve made the best decision to join this family. I am so grateful to Karla Briones from Invest Ottawa, Sima Gandhi and the whole food venture program. I am now confident I can take my Wawastyle business and products to the next level, thank you.

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Adhavan T.
Owner, Thiru's Gourmet

A huge thank you to you, and the team for putting together this fantastic BootCamp! I thoroughly enjoyed it!


I found it valuable as it allows our family business to have a more knowledgeable discussion in transitioning our current business model - sincerely appreciate it.

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Tracy Keller, Owner
Eganville's Finest Old Fashioned Ice Cream

I want to start by thanking you for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful program.


In these past weeks, I was able to connect with fellow business owners and producers. During these COVID times, the usual network channels have been lost to us. For that, I thank you.


Also, during these times, it is easy to allow the doubts to creep in because it has been challenging to be in food with the ever changing rules and regulations around staffing and service. FVP gave us an outlet to understand that we are not alone and that it is a fluid situation that will settle.


I have been in the food business for over 25 years and have owned my ice cream company for 11 years. Began food service and catering in 2018 and started my take out in 2020. Because of this course, I have gained enough confidence in my education, management skills and leadership that I will be expanding my business to a second location in the next town. 


I have had conversations with my entrepreneurial friends and have given them the information for our local Enterprise Renfrew County. Our local ERC office is a lifeline and such a precious resource for those of us doing business in a rural setting. I spoke with Kim earlier in the year and she pointed me in the right direction to participate in the FVP. Since participating in the FVP, I have recommended it to anyone that I speak to in terms of business development.


I am so grateful to have participated in this course. I have learned so much and it gave me enough tools to take a good look at my operations and identify weaknesses and strengths. I have made the necessary changes to keep my business viable and competitive. My next steps will be recipe development for a Low Carb Ice Cream and distribution.


Gilles T. Tchappi, Owner,
Talti's Foods Inc

I would like to thank you for this amazing program and for your constant support.

You really help me to understand how to effectively formulate  my business value proposition.

I am looking to stay in touch and share with you our success.


Taltis Food Inc.

Afro Foods Importer and Manufacturer

Toronto, On, Canada

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George S. - Alumni of Halton Restaurant Recovery Program 2021
Owner of ef zeen

“The workshop was an excellent introduction into the field of food industry. It covered important guidelines and information to help everyone gain new knowledge and develop their business plan. I appreciated mentorship and the advisory support on what it needs to take into consideration in the early stages of starting a food business. Myself had a gap in knowledge in the initial processes and requirements of food packaging, including the marketing, legal and financial requirements, and an understanding of how to plan a food packaging business”

Fresh Food


Interested in running a program? We'd love to hear from you!

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