CRAFT is now providing exciting new services for small to mid-sized food businesses and professionals through the Food Innovation Lab!

Through the utilization of the Food Innovation Lab, CRAFT is dedicated to helping local farmers, food businesses, and entrepreneurs with recipe testing and product development, in order to create market-ready products for today's consumers.

Inquire today for more information about services and applicable fees. All fees are assessed on a sliding-scale basis.

 

A roadmap for your business is essential and creating a comprehensive business or marketing plan is the best way to ensure your long-term success. CRAFT can help you prepare a plan perfect to organize your operations, promote your products, attract investors, or land the funding necessary to achieve your dream.

You’ve created an incredible product, now how do you sell it? A Go-to-market strategy is essential to launch and sell your product successfully. Don’t let your product sit on the shelves, let CRAFT devise a comprehensive Go-to-market strategy to make your product a success.

Western Pennsylvania has an incredible bounty of ingredients that can elevate your products while reducing your shipping costs and lifting up other local business owners. Leverage our connections and networks to find the best that this area has to offer.

A well-developed product is a well-researched product. Before you step into the kitchen, a lot of work has to be done to ensure a product’s longevity. Let CRAFT help you with planning and research so your development phase can be a success.

Ensuring that your product is ideal in the eye of the consumer is an essential component of product development. Determine how customers feel about your products in a non-biased way that can help you determine flavor combinations, price point, projected consumer demand, and more.

Despite not being required for many small food producers, ingredient labels help consumers better understand your product and are necessary to sell in large retail outlets. Let CRAFT assist you in properly labeling your product so it’s ready for the masses.

If you’re working with potentially hazardous foods such as meat, canned foods, or on-farm products, you’ll need to develop a HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control points) plan to ensure the proper handling of your wares. Allow our seasoned staff to analyze your operation and craft a plan that ensures the safety of your staff and your customers.

In most cases, a Food Safety Manager Certificate is required for at least one person on your team. ServSafe is the most comprehensive and well respected of these programs. CRAFT provides quarterly ServSafe training and certification at the Eden Hall Campus in Gibsonia. Training consists of pre-class reading, in-class instruction, and a post-class exam.

Looking to increase your knowledge or earn continuing education credits? The Food and Agriculture Innovation Lab offers online classes in a variety of topics that will help you learn about food regulations, business topics, and more.

 

Have a great idea but aren't sure if it's ready to be implemented? Want to accomplish certain goals, but not sure if the end result is profitable? A Feasibility Study is the best way to find out. A Feasibility Study assesses the practicality of a proposed plan and determines the financial viability of a project. Make a Feasibility Study one of the first steps you take to determine if your project idea is viable and profitable for the long term.

When working on a large community project, Asset Mapping is one of the necessary first tasks. Asset Mapping is the process of determining stakeholder participation and available resources in your community. Why reinvent the wheel when you already have incredible assets at your fingertips? Save valuable time and resources with this important task.

 

MORE ABOUT THE LAB

 

The Food Innovation Lab, made possible by generous funding from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, provides assistance for small to mid-sized food entrepreneurs to help them increase capacity, produce meaningful products, and thrive in the regional food economy.

Through hands-on training, workshops, and product and business development services covering the components of agricultural and value-added food production, CRAFT’s Food Innovation Lab expects to train the next generation of food entrepreneurs and workers in a new food system.

The Food Innovation Lab is ideal for many different types of entrepreneurs and food business professionals including:

  • Early-stage business owners who need specialized help with business plan generation, market research or other business startup services.

  • Entrepreneurs that need assistance in developing their product or service before entering a business incubator or commercial kitchen space.

  • Existing food businesses that are ready to take the products to the next level with focus groups, local ingredient procurement assistance or an innovative go to market strategy.

  • Chefs, managers, and other foodservice professionals looking for ServSafe certifications, workshops, and continuing education credits to stay at the top of their game.  

 

MAKER IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM

The Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation at Chatham University is now accepting applications for a new Maker in Residence program at Chatham’s Eden Hall campus in Gibsonia, PA.

The Maker in Residence will work primarily out of the Food Innovation Lab within Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus and will share expertise in many topics, including but not limited to: product development, food preservation, curriculum development, fermentation, recipe development, branding, agricultural practices, culinary production, and baking. This residency program allows culinary and agriculture professionals to use their unique skills to explore and innovate, while also sharing knowledge and expertise with Chatham University students and the greater community.

We are accepting applications from early-stage, mid-stage, and advanced-stage professionals of all kinds. Download the application, and reach out to us at craft@chatham.edu with any questions!

 

COMING SOON!

Spring of 2019

The Eden Hall Bread Oven will be constructed and ready for use! Once constructed, the oven will act as a gathering space for Chatham University students and staff, community members, and entrepreneurs. The oven will be utilized for research, product development, business development, education, and to celebrate the heritage and future of our region’s resilient grain system. The oven is being built by apprentices and masons from the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh.

Summer of 2019

The Western Pennsylvania Baker’s Network, CRAFT will provide various grain mills for personal and commercial use, a wood-fired bread oven to assist both hobby and professional bakers in the creation of locally sourced and milled baked goods.

Fall of 2019

Our 1,856 square-foot commercial kitchen renovation will be completed in the fall of 2019 allowing us ample space for demonstrations, workshops, and additional services including product development and product testing, recipe development, menu development, and additional educational workshops and trainings.