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From Start to Success: Must-Have Resources for Your Food Product Business

Have you ever wanted to launch your own food or beverage business but didn’t know how or where to start?

Searching for the right information to get started can sometimes be confusing, especially if you are new to the industry. Whether you’re looking for shared kitchen space, need to test your product shelf life, or need some help with labelling this post is jam-packed with all the resources you need to get going.

Quick Links:


A nutrition label generator that makes it easy to create FDA and CFIA-compliant labels from anywhere. Recipe costing and inventory to improve your business.

ReciPal’s recipe creation tutorial – Recipal YouTube Channel.

Create your Canadian Nutrition Facts Labels Online. Affordable and easy-to-use software. No delay, create your labels today.

Government of Canada (templates for Label designers: nutrition facts table and list of ingredients):
To help label designers and the food and packaging industry meet format specifications, we created the Compendium of Templates. The templates are the actual-size graphic illustrations for various Nutrition Facts table formats permitted by the Food and Drug Regulations

Allergens and Gluten Sources Labelling:
In Canada, common allergens and gluten sources must always be clearly declared on food labels when present as ingredients or components of ingredients. They will appear in the ingredient list or in a “Contains” statement located immediately after the ingredient list.

UPC Barcodes:

GS1 is the only official provider of GS1 GTINs and UPC barcodes globally. So, whether you’re selling in stores, online or both, the right place to turn for barcodes is GS1 Canada.

Watch to learn why GTINs are so important in the online shopping world – GS1 YouTube Channel.

Shared Commercial Kitchen Space:

Commissary Kitchen
467 King Street West, Hamilton, ON L8P 1B8

Kitchen Collective
811 King St. East, Hamilton, ON L8M 1B1

In Good Company Kitchen
775 Pacific Road, Oakville, ON L6L 6M4

Better Food Factory
723 Main Street E., Milton, ON L9T 3Z3

Our Kitchen Brantford
20 Roy Blvd Unit 34, Brantford, ON N3R 7K1

The Cozi Gluten-Free Culinary Hub
18 Secord Drive, Saint Catharines, ON L2N 1K8

Venturepark Labs Kitchen
76 Densley Avenue, Toronto, ON M6M 2R3

St Margaret New Toronto (SMNT) Community Kitchen
156 Sixth St, Toronto, ON M8V 3A5,

Le Dolci Culinary Studio
12 Sousa Mendes St., Toronto, ON M6P 3P2

Farmer’s Pantry
1345 Davenport Road, Toronto, ON M6H 2H5

100 Marmora St, Unit 200, Toronto, ON M9M 2X5

Food Research & Innovation Labs:

Conestoga Food Research and Innovation Lab:
As an applied food research lab, the Conestoga Food Research & Innovation Lab (CFRIL) meets the needs of industry through education, training, research, and technical expertise. Our advanced facilities are essential in providing solutions for small, medium, and large businesses in the food and culinary sector. Our focus is to work with partners to provide innovative solutions and support throughout the product development cycle, including formula development, shelf-life studies, packaging testing, and scale-up using our pilot plant equipment.

Niagara College Food & Beverage Innovation Centre:
The Food & Beverage Innovation Centre (FBIC, formerly known as the Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre) offers a full suite of services to support industry innovation and commercialization of new products and processes. From new recipe and concept development to shelf-life testing, prototyping, and small batch processing, the FBIC pairs industry partners with our highly qualified and experienced staff, faculty, recent graduates and students with the right expertise and equipment to meet their needs.

George Brown College Food Innovation & Research Studio:
The Food Innovation & Research Studio works with companies of all sizes to tackle food science challenges and get you ready for retail. FIRSt offers support in product development, optimization, shelf-life testing, nutritional analysis, consumer sensory feedback and much more from our lab at George Brown College in downtown Toronto. The team of food scientists, chefs, and industry professionals are ready to be your R&D experts.

Food and Innovation Research Studio (FIRSt) at George Brown College – George Brown YouTube Channel.

Fanshawe College Food & Beverage Innovation:
Our mission is to accelerate product development in the food and beverage sector by transforming ideas into market-ready innovations. We promote knowledge sharing and technology transfer through collaboration, creating an environment where industry leaders, researchers, and experts exchange insights and emerging technologies. Fanshawe actively builds a robust network within the food industry, fostering connections among manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and researchers to drive innovation and strengthen the sector. Join us to embark on a transformative journey in food innovation, where we accelerate development, facilitate collaboration and create a vibrant landscape of culinary excellence.

Fanshawe College Food Packaging Innovation:
Fanshawe offers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the agri-food sector access to advanced packaging solutions, prioritizing safety, sustainability, and efficiency. This initiative seamlessly aligns with our ongoing agri-food research efforts at Fanshawe. It serves as an integral part of our research-driven approach, where we are committed to delivering innovative packaging solutions that not only ensure the quality and security of products but also reduce environmental impact and enhance operational effectiveness for companies.

Food Safety:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency:
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is dedicated to safeguarding food, animals, and plants, which enhances the health and well-being of Canada’s people, environment, and economy.

How food testing helps keep you safe – Canadian Food Inspection Agency YouTube Channel.

Food Guides:

Other Resources:

Thinking of starting a restaurant in Hamilton?

Visit the Opening a Restaurant in Hamilton how-to guide presented by the Hamilton Business Centre, and the Hamilton Economic Development Division. This guide is intended to give you an overview of the 4 steps required to open a restaurant in Hamilton, important departments to connect with, contact details, costs and timelines, and additional resources.

Need a bit more help?

Book a complimentary 1-1 consultation with one of our business development officers today and get the answers and advice you need.