Toronto's New Food Business Incubator



    A Recipe for Success

    TORONTO, Nov. 15 /CNW/ - Entrepreneurs who dream of starting their own
food processing businesses are one step closer to making their dreams a
reality thanks to a new Toronto Food Business Incubator (TFBI) launched today.
The facility will help to establish new food companies to stimulate job
creation and help commercialize innovative new food products in Toronto.
    Toronto is one of North America's largest food processing manufacturing
centres and provides employment for over 50,000 people in the food sector. The
TFBI will enable entrepreneurs to start their own food processing businesses
and take advantage of new trends by creating food products that are locally
developed and processed. The facility, which is open to qualified individuals
in Ontario will also help bridge the gap between the rural farming community
and the urban centre as well as serving the growing appetite of Toronto's
increasingly multicultural and diverse population.
    "Toronto's cultural mosaic enlivens all facets of city life," said
Councillor Kyle Rae, Chair of the City's Economic Development Committee. "The
introduction of a Toronto Food Business Incubator will provide entrepreneurs
and newcomers with an opportunity to develop and commercialize their food
concepts into successful businesses."
    The TFBI's new 2,000 sq ft. facility provides a range of commercial food
processing and packaging equipment. TFBI Members are instructed on food
safety, equipment, business skills training and mentorship. The TFBI concept,
which is Stage One of a larger food processing commercialization centre, has
been in development for several years. The TFBI is a non-profit organization
with a volunteer board of directors comprised of experienced food industry
executives.
    "Our Board is very excited to launch the TFBI," said Barbara Shopland,
TFBI Chair. "The TFBI will act as a catalyst to help satisfy the burgeoning
demand for new food products and tastes. We're delighted with the support
we've received to date and we're approaching others who want to become
involved. Everyone is working hard to see this project come to fruition
because the benefits will be long-term."
    Entrepreneurs interested in starting food businesses become TFBI Members
following the completion of a rigorous application process and review. Members
are charged a one-time membership and hourly rental fees to help offset the
TFBI's operational costs. The TFBI facility can accommodate up to nine members
at any one time. Members are able to participate in the program for up to a
maximum of three years.
    "The goal of the TFBI is to help establish new food businesses in
Toronto," said Heather MacDonald, TFBI General Manager. "We're here to ensure
serious entrepreneurs are given the right opportunity and the right
ingredients to develop successful businesses. Everyone is different, with
unique needs, product ideas and concepts. The key is to provide them with
sound business advice and the equipment to commercialize their home-made
recipes for the Toronto marketplace and beyond."

    The TFBI is supported in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through
the Agricultural Adaptation Council's CanAdvance Program and the Toronto
Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) and the City of Toronto's Economic
Development Sectors Investment Program (EDSIP).





For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Rob Berry, (416) 392-3387,
rberry@toronto.ca; TFBI contact: Heather MacDonald, (416) 401-8888,
tfbi@bellnet.ca, Toronto Food Business Incubator (TFBI), 133 Rivalda Rd., Unit
No. 1, Toronto, ON, M9M 2M6

Organization Profile

TORONTO FOOD BUSINESS INCUBATOR (TFBI)

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