How does Michigan State University’s Product Center help new food businesses?

Find out more about customized business counseling and specialized services.

Since 2003, Michigan State University’s Product Center has been working with entrepreneurs across the state on their food, agriculture and natural resource-based businesses. From business planning to market analysis and research, MSU Product Center staff are based on campus and in Extension offices throughout the state to work one-on-one with business owners. Some of the common issues we help entrepreneurs address are: finding a commercial kitchen, pricing for profit, food safety and licensing regulations, labeling and nutrition facts, packaging, marketing and connections to buyers and retailers.

To request confidential, one-on-one counseling, entrepreneurs are asked to complete an online application form so the Product Center can match businesses with the counselor best suited for their needs. Business counseling services also require a one-time $50 application fee for unlimited hours of counseling. In addition, some of the specialized services (Process Authority Review, Nutrition Facts, in-depth feasibility studies and others) are fee-based.

Kent/MSU Extension recently secured grant funding from the Wege Foundation to cover the $50 application fee for minority business owners from the Grand Rapids region for the next three years. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Kendra Wills at (616) 608-7424 or

In addition to counseling, the Product Center also offers several online and in-person workshops to assist business owners. The following is a list of some upcoming events in the West Michigan region:

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