The participants of the ArtHouse Gary Culinary Business Incubator (CBI) program have now attended two workshops and are well on their way to becoming Northwest Indiana’s newest business owners.
The second workshop was held at ArtHouse on Saturday, February 11 and focused on business models, growth and pitching. The event was again hosted by FoodHe.ro, a Chicago-based organization that assists culinary start-ups in the areas of restaurant management, food safety, customer services, entrepreneurship, accounting and more.
After a discussion of areas in which to grow a business, FoodHe.ro representatives Javier Haro and Juan Saldana showed a portion of an episode of the television show Restaurant Startup, where aspiring restauranteurs must pitch their business proposals to investors for a shot at earning their investment.
“When we got a chance to watch the video and see some actual entrepreneurs tell the stories of their businesses, I think the audience really connected,” said Javier.
After a debriefing session, the CBI participants were split into groups and asked to create a concept for a company and an audience, develop a unique and innovative elevator pitch and deliver it in front of the group.
“I learned quite a bit in the exercise on honing in on the pitch,” said Sibyl Peeples of Hammond.
Sibyl owns a business called Sibylicious Cupcakes that she currently runs out of her home. She began her business making gluten free, all natural cupcakes in 2012.
“I came to ArtHouse because I have a unique dessert that I would like to take to market,” said Sibyl.
The skills and knowledge garnered from the CBI workshops will help all attendees to get their food-based businesses off the ground, which will not only benefit the business owners, but will bring more culinary variety to the city of Gary and the greater Northwest Indiana area.
“I hope that they have fire in their bellies,” said Javier of the CBI participants. “That they want to start some aspect of their business. I think the idea of talking about it and writing it on paper is good, now how do I implement it?”