Eats

Are you interested in the food industry? Want to start a food truck, use a commercial kitchen, or open up a restaurant? SBDC’s EATS program can take you closer to that goal! The program, which is offered at no cost to you, starts you off with developing your concept for the business all the way through establishing it.

What Is EATS?

EATS is a food incubator program that promotes entrepreneurship in the food industry through education and training. This foodpreneur targeted program provides business development support from industry experts that use their professional experience to help startup and early-stage food entrepreneurs bring their products into the marketplace. EATS has several programs under its umbrella, including Cocineros and Cottage Food Operation, that help various types of foodpreneurs start their business. Learn more about each below!

Join the waitlist for the next EATS program.

SBDC EATS Presents "Cocineros"

The EATS program acts as a food incubator in where it cultivates the growth of entrepreneurship in the food industry via training and education across Orange County and the Inland Empire. The program provides support in business development as well as a team of specialists to aid entrepreneurs in launching their products in the marketplace. EATS’ central areas of focus that successfully foster clients into business operations include: workshops and seminars, business and technical assistance, access to a kitchen or food processing space, and access to the community food industry cluster. With this crash course, we will help you in developing your business idea to starting up your business in the food industry. EATS is a 4 class program and ends with a Graduation Fiesta Sale where you will be able to sell your products.

Offered in partnership between the 4th Street Market, the City of Santa Ana, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the OCIE SBDC Network.

Cottage Food Operation (CFO)

Are you interested in starting your own Cottage Food Operation (CFO) and unsure of where to begin? As part of the SBDC Eats program, we present the CFO Startup Series, where participants will gain the information and skills needed to start their own food business in just six weeks! You will also get a chance to schedule a virtual 1-on-1 consultation with our Food/Restaurant consultant to discuss information tailored to your own business.

Cottage Food Operation Video Series

Why Participate In EATS?

IT’S FOOD INDUSTRY FOCUSED

Unlike other startup educational programs, EATS is focused solely on the food-related businesses

LEARN FROM REAL EXPERTS WITH REAL EXPERIENCE

All EATS program instructors have years of real world experience working in and operating successful food businesses

KNOW YOUR COSTS UPFRONT – THE ART OF FINANCIAL FORECASTING

EATS will help you make a business plan that you can use to determine your monthly operating expenses before you open

BUILD BETTER TIMELINES TO HELP MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS

You’ll get a clear timeline of how long each phase of opening your business will actually take

AVOID PERMIT ISSUES BEFORE THEY’RE AN ISSUE

EATS can help your city inspectors before you file for permits so you can correct any problems beforehand

SUPPORT FROM SOUP TO NUTS

EATS will give you support from the planning stages through the actual opening and ribbon-cutting of your food business

Program Main Courses

Class 1

Cottage food, commercial kitchen, food truck, brick and mortar, what is the right choice for me?

Class 2

Building and planning for your business

Class 3

Creating, costing, and pricing your products

Class 4

Sourcing and selling your products

Graduation Fiesta Sale

Subscribe to the EATS Newsletter

Sign up below to get the latest information and find out when the next EATS program will be happening.

Upcoming Programs

SBDC Eats

  • Date: Fridays, May 13 – June 17 from 9 AM to 12 PM
  • Location: 201 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
  • Registration Deadline: May 11

CFO and MHKO Startup Series

  • Date: Thursdays, May 5 – June 9 from 10 AM to 12 PM
  • Location: Online
  • Registration Deadline: May 5 at 8 AM

Ways We Can Help

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More Programs

Our suite of programs are designed to guide businesses in the early stages to receive the information, resources, and assistance necessary to enter their given market in just a few weeks.

Coworkers discussing business ideas.

Services

At OCIE SBDC Network, our team of qualified consultants provide high-quality expertise to help your business succeed in both the short-term and long-term. We are a well-known provider of small business consulting, education, and resources.

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Resources

Find the tools you need to get your business up and running, with government resources, guides, templates, and more.

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