Starting a food business is no different than starting any other small business. In order to start a food business in Connecticut, you will need to determine why you want to start a food business and whether you possess the necessary funding to start. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection regulates food licensing and registration for bakeries, non-alcoholic beverages/cider, wholesale and retail frozen desserts and food vending machines. According to the 2007 U.S. Census population estimates, Connecticut is the fourth most densely populated state. A food business can take advantage of this by offering quick delivery services and easy access to foot traffic. Licensing requirements in Connecticut vary based on the type of food establishment.
Determine the products and services you wish to offer to your Connecticut customers. Perform a market analysis and identify the most preferred products and services.
Write a business plan that will include your business overview, market research of the business climate in the food industry in Connecticut and details of your competitors. Include a marketing plan showing how you will advertise and promote business and attract customers; background information regarding you, your key employees and partners; pro forma financial statements; and contracts or legal documents, if any.
Obtain the necessary food licensing and registration based on your product from the Department of Consumer Protection of Connecticut state. Contact their Food and Standards Division by calling 860-713-6160.
Contact the Department of Public Health to obtain the food service license. The requirements vary from town to town and you should contact them before construction. Call the Food Protection Agency of the Connecticut Department of Public Health at 860-509-7297.
Pass all inspections by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as required by federal regulations.
Check out the regulations for the premises where you are planning to sell; the policies for labeling and packaging food grade containers and display of food; the regulations underlying the employment of cleaners, sanitizers and chemicals for microbial control, for example. These regulations can vary according to the city.
Hire employees and obtain the necessary insurance coverage.
Advertise your business by distributing fliers and business cards among friends or create your own website.
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