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Food forge – Hamilton

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

Do you have a food product that is ready to be developed and brought to market right now? Whether you are a restaurant owner, selling from a local farmer’s market, or a foodie making and baking from home – this 7-week bootcamp will get your favourite recipe retail ready!

join the spring cohort waitlist
Expert advice

Learn and hear from industry experts on how to scale, package, and market your food product.

1-on-1 Mentorship

Spend 30-minutes 1-on-1 with our expert trainer and receive specific advice on your unique food product.

Program Information:

Get your favourite recipe retail ready! Led by Business Coach, Professor, Six Figure Entrepreneur, and Top 20 Under 40, Nicole Haney.

In 4 short years, Nicole scaled a tiny farmer’s market bakery to a six-figure national energy bar business serving hundreds of retailers across Canada, including grocery store chains. Learn more about Nicole Haney.

Who is this program for?

  • Food or beverage product innovators
  • Restaurant owners wanting to turn recipes into consumer-packaged goods
  • Entrepreneurs who have a product already in small-scale distribution (i.e. selling in a farmer’s market) but want to scale up

Read the program FAQs here.

What You’ll Learn Each Week:

Week 1

Introduction to the food & beverage industry.

Delivery: Virtual, Nicole Haney.

Week 2

Packaging and labelling your food product.

Delivery: Virtual, Nicole Haney.

Week 3

How to make your food product more attractive to retailers.

Delivery: In-person, Nicole Haney.

Week 4

How to approach and secure retailers.

Delivery: Virtual, Nicole Haney.

Week 5

Supporting in-store sales and scaling your food business.

Delivery: Virtual, Nicole Haney.

Week 6

Sanitation and food safety regulations. Requirements for running a home-based food business.

Delivery: Virtual, Hamilton Public Health, Licensing Dept.

Week 7

In-person event with special guest speakers.

Delivery: In-person, special guest speakers


30-minute 1-on-1 with Nicole Haney at the end of the 7-week program.

Delivery: Virtual, Nicole Haney.

Applicant Requirements:

Applications for the Winter 2024 cohort are now CLOSED. Please stay tuned for information regarding the Spring cohort or join the waitlist above.

This program is designed to accommodate 20 food entrepreneurs only. Applications will be assessed based on the criteria outlined below.

Applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older and a resident of Hamilton
  • Have a food product that demonstrates growth potential, scalability, and market readiness

Selected applicants must:

  • Participate in a short virtual meet and greet session to introduce your product as part of the acceptance process

Applicant Requirements Cont.:

Accepted applicants must:

  • Commit to participate fully in the training sessions
  • Pay the program fee of $99 + HST before starting the first training session

Read the program FAQs here.

Special Guest Speakers: