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Extension offers free workshop

The University of Missouri Extension is offering a free workshop, “Evaluate Your Business Idea.”  There will be two offerings, one geared specifically towards food-based businesses, and the other will be for all business ideas.

The first workshop will be 6-8:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department, 115 Basler Drive in Ste. Genevieve.  This is a different date and location than was previously publicized because that session was canceled due to inclement weather. 

This class will be of interest to anyone interested in starting or expanding a business that involves any sort of food products, including making baked goods, operating a catering service, direct marketing produce or meats, or selling at farmers markets. 

The workshop will include a panel of environmental health specialists – food inspectors – from local county health departments, who will answer questions about what you can and can’t do in a home kitchen, food safety, the Missouri Food Code, and local regulations. Questions for the panel may be submitted in advance, and may be anonymous.

 The other offering of the workshop will be 6-8:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Cape Girardeau County Extension office (upper meeting room), 684 West Jackson Trail in Jackson. This session is open to all business ideas. 

 During the workshops, participants will work with Extension business development specialist Richard Proffer on exercises to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their business idea, which will help determine the viability of the potential business.  Existing businesses are welcome to participate.

 The workshops are free but pre-registration is required by calling either the Ste. Genevieve County Extension office, 573-883-3548; or the Cape Girardeau County Extension office, 573-243-3581.

 University of Missouri Extension programs are open to all.

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