Introducing: School of Food Frederick

School of Food is coming back to Frederick for a second year of educational programming!

School of Food is not another cooking class. Rather, it's a year-long program that teaches its students the business side of working in the food & beverage industry.

This is School of Food's fifth year. They've held two programs in Baltimore, one in D.C., and the Frederick County Office of Economic Development brought them to Frederick last year and is now bringing them back for a second round of courses! With support from Downtown Frederick Partnership and the City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development, the School of Food Frederick is now recruiting its second graduating class for the 2021 school year.

Classes have a general outline, but will be tailored to suit the people who attend. So who makes a great student? Here are just a few ideas of who might be a good fit (this is not a comprehensive list!)...

  • People with experience in the industry who want to open / expand their own business
  • Food truck operator looking to expand into a brick & mortar location or increase their catering
  • Producer currently selling at a farmer's market but wanting to expand
  • Farmer looking to diversify their revenue streams by turning raw product (e.g. peppers) into a value-added product (e.g. salsa)
  • At-home baker / cook looking to get their product to market

School of Food Frederick is open to anyone, as long as they intend to open or grow their business within Frederick County. If you know of someone who may be interested in participating, please pass this email along to them!

Here's a look at the schedule. Students have the option to purchase a School of Food Passport, which allows them to attend all classes for $149 plus a graduation ceremony, or they can attend on a class-by-class basis for a $20 drop-in fee. All classes will be held virtually for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

  • February: Develop a Strong Business Foundation - your mission & core values
  • March: Target Your Audience through Branding & Visual Design - learn the core aspects of branding to help your business attract and retail customers
  • April: Food Safety for Production - Ins & Outs of Maryland Health Regulations
  • May: Learn Packaging and Label Legalities - what do you need to prepare for wholesale?
  • June: Build a Merchandising & Field Marketing Strategy - how do you increase sales at your wholesale accounts or direct-to-consumer?
  • July: Construct a Financial Model & Food Costing Plan
  • August: Accounting 101: Profit & Loss, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow Management
  • September: Crafting the Pitch - how to prepare a pitch for potential investors or a new buyer account
  • October: New Business Opportunities - panel discussion on sales channels (retail, wholesale, and e-commerce)
  • November: Passport Holders Graduation Event / Holiday Market (hoping by late 2021 we will be able to gather in-person!)


MORE INFO: / informational video linked here