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Food Business 101

March 11 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Are you looking to start or grow your food business?

The Central VA SBDC and George Washington Carver Food Enterprise Center are offering this workshop for all food businesses to learn about developing your business. We’ll review how to create your business plan and then jump right into a few options that are available for your food business – such as mobile food businesses (e.g., food trucks, catering) and selling your product to stores, online, Amazon, etc. We’ll wrap up with an optional tour of the Carver kitchen.

Topics covered include:

  • Creating your business plan
  • Specific considerations for mobile food businesses (farmers markets, food trucks, caterers, etc)
  • How to launch and distribute consumer packaged goods (e.g., selling to stores, online, Amazon, Faire, etc.)



Tom Kelly
Tom is a versatile, collaborative and customer-focused business leader with twenty years of cross-functional experience in both corporate and small business environments. Throughout his career he has focused on ensuring that how is just as important as what gets delivered for any organization.
In 2012 Tom transitioned to product development where he spent the next six years leading teams to build and manage the bank’s digital products and experiences across all customer segments. As a newly certified Agile Product Owner he helped launch the first agile development practice for the organization. Between 2012 and 2018 Tom and his team launched numerous new products and services in market that vastly expanded the bank’s capabilities and significantly improved the customer experience.
Tom made a conscious decision to leave his corporate career in 2018 in order to launch his own small business. Eager to follow his passion for organic food and do something much more hands-on, he launched Rise Bakehouse, an organic sourdough bakery from his home in California. He quickly built a strong consumer and wholesale customer base and learned all the different aspects of small business ownership in addition to sourdough baking.
As the pandemic was gaining strength in 2019, Tom and his family made an adventurous move from California to the East Coast via a ten-month RV trip across the country. During their time on the road, he and his wife assumed the role of co-teacher to their two children while traveling 21,000 miles across 23 states, exploring 16 national and 14 state parks. They found their way to Charlottesville, VA and chose it as their new home.
Tom is now focused on managing his food business, Crustworthy, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hope Lawrence
Hope’s area of focus is food and beverage companies and other product-based businesses.
Hope is the founder of the Hudson Henry Baking Company, a granola business she started in 2012 and named after her two sons, Hudson and Henry. What began at the Charlottesville City Market grew to a coveted brand that is sold across the country. Her “Hudson Henry Granola” has won 6 sofi awards, which are like the Oscars of the packaged food industry, and was featured on The Today Show as one of Kathie Lee and Hoda’s favorite things.
In 2022, Hope sold the granola business and moved her family from Palmyra to Keswick in order to be closer to all things Charlottesville. She has been an instructor with CIC’s signature program, it’s 16-week Entrepreneur Workshop, for many years and has always loved to “talk shop” with entrepreneurs.
Hope received her undergraduate degree in Finance from James Madison University. Before “the granola years”, she was a Product Manager for Standard & Poor’s in NYC and Fitch Ratings in London. She formerly held the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation.
Hope’s hobbies include reading, traveling with her family, and playing video games with her teen sons (if you can’t beat them, join them). Her ideal day is hanging out with the boys, baking cookies, and reading a good book…ideally on a snowy day.

Early Bird registration $30 (available thru Feb 11)
Registration $60 (after Feb 11)


March 11
10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Categories:


Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (CVSBDC)
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Carver Center
9432 James Madison Highway
Rapidan, VA 22733 United States
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