Build the profitable food business of your dreams!

What is the Food Business Lab?

Food Business Lab is 7 week business planning program with ongoing support that will change the course of your food startup. You will work with experienced coaches and facilitators to launch or grow your food business over the course of the class.

Who is the Food Business Lab for?

The Food Business Lab is for early-phase food and beverage entrepreneurs. This is defined as a range of businesses from those that are at the idea phase and have not yet started selling to those selling up to $5,000 per month in product. Food businesses can include value-added farm products, restaurants, food trucks, packaged food and value-added producers, artisanal beverages (including wine beer, mead, soda, and spirits), baked goods, pet treats, and more.

What: Hands-on exercises, learning tools, dialogue, access to seasoned entrepreneurs, accountability for completing a business case document and business case presentation, and building a peer network.

Why: Business Lab™ provides proven, practical business tools and builds confidence — you are the future of our local economy — and increases your chances for success significantly. Use Business Lab™ to build the vehicle to carry your idea, product, and dreams forward.

When: Seven class sessions over a seven-week period. Three hours of meeting time per class.

Where: The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, Keene, NH

Benefits of the Program

Business Lab™ for business is a collaborative program. You will work with the instructor and other participants to discuss your business and dive deeply into the components of your business. The instructor’s role is to help facilitate the discussion and offer insight, where helpful.

We also invite a number of community-based entrepreneurs to share their expertise and experience with either starting a business or supporting growing businesses. Guest speakers include business founders, service providers, working professionals, and all-around wise sages.

Business Lab™ offers an ideal setting for discovery, hands-on application of practical business tools, and the ability to clearly communicate the value of your product or service, and the benefits your business offers.

Clarity – You will leave knowing the answers to these questions: 

  • Who is my target customer?
  • What value am I bringing to them?
  • Who are my critical partners in building this business? (hint: nobody builds a business in a vacuum)
  • What critical resources will I need?
  • How do I grow and scale my business?
  • How much cash do I really need to start and grow?
  • And more!


  • The network of fellow entrepreneurs will become your support system for years to come
  • You will have access to the network of business coaches at the Hannah Grimes Center

What previous participants are saying:

“Through Food Biz Lab, I came to a better understanding of “who my customer is,” for THIS STAGE of business – post pandemic.” -April Teixeira, Corny Bread Company

“The Food Biz Lab was instrumental in helping us get our business launched and feeling confident that we have a roadmap for success. There is no way we could have gotten things up and running as quickly as we did without the help from the Food Biz Lab and the Hannah Grimes coaches.” -Dan Field, Bending Branch Farm

Program Components

Class 1

Introduction to Business Lab™

  • Introductions
  • Class overview
  • Create mission, vision, and values
  • Understand the opportunity and or the problem your business addresses

 Class 2

The “Big Three”: From Idea to Reality

  • Resources and assets
  • Working on your business plan
  • Working on your presentation pitch
  • Diving into the essential elements of your business

Class 3


  • Business model and financial viability
  • Basic terms and definitions of financial terms
  • Financial statements, budget projections
  • Financing your business
  • Initial practice pitch

Class 4

Customer, Marketing, and Sales

  • Defining and understanding your customer
  • Define the market and business need
  • Create your value proposition
  • Developing your marketing and sales plan

Class 5

Milestones and Metrics

  • Project management techniques
  • SMART Goals
  • Milestones
  • Metrics to understand performance and health of the business

Class 6

Executive Summary of Your Business Plan

  • Full pitch practice
  • Learn from an experienced entrepreneur

 Class 7

The Pitch

  • Pitch your business to friends, family, and community members!
  • Debrief and assess your experience and all-important next steps

(Class topics subject to change as needed to maximize the impact of the Business Lab™ experience)

Is It Right for You?

You should apply if:

  • You are passionate about your business idea and are serious about making it successful
  • You want to learn in a collaborative environment to take your idea to the next level
  • You are motivated to take action and breakthrough obstacles to grow your business
  • You are ready and willing to challenge yourself and step outside your comfort zone
  • You work collaboratively and recognize the benefit of sharing both success and failure to achieve success

Schedule, Cost, Payment


The meetings for this program will take place at Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship. Business Lab™ meets on Thursdays for a three-hour energetic, hands-on work session. Full participation in all sessions is required!

Business Lab™ meets once a week for 7 weeks, on Thursdays from 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM on the following dates: 05/18, 05/25, 06/01, 06/08, 06/15, 06/22, **06/29 – this last class is the culminating Pitch Event held on Thursday Night from 5:00 PM- 8:00 PM

Spring 2023 Cohort Begins in May starting Thursday May 18th


The tuition for Business Lab! is $700.

We have scholarships available for qualifying applicants.

A non-refundable deposit ($100) is requested in advance of the class. The remaining cost of the class is due before the first day. Both may be paid online.

Application Process

  1. Complete a Food Business Lab™ application.
  2. Please complete our Intake Form.
  3. Submit your Application and Intake Form to us by the deadline (May 1st 2023)
  4. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be contacted before the start of the class to confirm program acceptance or schedule an additional interview, if necessary.

Reach out to Our Program Director, email to schedule a meeting or to ask any questions about the program!

This class will be co-taught by Jim Verzino, Hannah Grimes Coach and the owner of  Food Creators Financial

Jim is the founder and President of Food Creators Financial, LLC; a bookkeeping, accounting, and outsourced CFO firm for food businesses. Jim performs CFO services such as sales forecasting, business planning, cash flow management, fundraising, and pitch preparation for early and mid-stage food businesses. He also manages a staff of accountants and bookkeepers that are experts in the value-added food and restaurant businesses.


Watch June 2022 Pitch Event here
Food Biz Lab Pitch Event, June 2022