CLEVELAND, Ohio – May 27, 2021 – Central Kitchen was founded in 2013 as a non-profit food business incubator, offering a 4,300 sq ft shared-use commercial kitchen and an in-person training program. Today, Central Kitchen has grown to include a 137,000 sq ft for-profit food hub featuring custom food production spaces, grab-and-go food retail, offices, warehousing, shipping and co-packing. The staff also provides ancillary consulting services for food businesses in areas such as finances, marketing, operations, business and life planning, procurement, distribution, licensing and nutrition panels. Central Kitchen is, for all intents and purposes, a one-stop-shop for craft food entrepreneurs.
Central Kitchen has offered comprehensive in-person craft food business classes through the non-profit arm since its inception. When the pandemic hit last year, the team was forced to pivot and develop a virtual version of the course. Central Kitchen partnered with a Cleveland agency, Muse, to develop an online curriculum called the Craft Food Classroom. The course includes five modules consisting of videos and a workbook and covers a wide range of topics that provide students everything they need to launch a healthy and robust craft food business. Led by industry experts, the Craft Food Classroom provides the information, mentorship and resources to help food entrepreneurs across the country turn a food business idea into a reality.
Here’s a snapshot of what students can expect to learn: how to develop a life plan, labeling and nutrition panels, branding, financials, pricing and distribution. Thinkific, the online platform on which the course is hosted allows students to proceed through the curriculum at their own pace. Virtual office hours and an in-platform discussion board provide direct access to industry experts as well as peers. The course is affordably priced at $450 and scholarships are available for minority and women students through funding partnerships with PNC Bank and The George Gund Foundation.