Specialty Food Association to Launch New Maker Prep Course at 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show

NEW YORK — The Specialty Food Association is excited to announce its new Maker Prep Course, a collaborative in-person and online program that will provide foundational knowledge and guidance to up-and-coming specialty food manufacturers in set groups (“Classes”), limited to 100 participants each.

With the first Class session kicking off at the 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show and culminating in a Class graduation at the 2025 Winter Fancy Food Show, Maker Prep Course offers six months of comprehensive learning about running a specialty food business. Each Class participant will, by graduation, have a thorough understanding of how to launch, market, and distribute their products.

“Early-stage makers are the beating heart of the specialty food industry, and one of SFA’s core responsibilities is to support these exciting and innovative entrepreneurs,” said Phil Robinson, SVP of Member Development at SFA. “We are thrilled to unveil this new offering designed specifically to help the next generation of standout specialty food brands and leaders take their businesses to the next level.”

Enrollment in Maker Prep Course includes: 

  • One-year Tier 1 membership for non-SFA members
  • Badges for the 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show and 2025 Winter Fancy Food Show 
  • Dedicated educational sessions, tours, and other programs at the 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show
  • Online course programming from July 2024 to January 2025, including  knowledge building through digital educational materials, class discussions in a dedicated group chat platform, personal exploration prompts to apply concepts to participants’ businesses, and live coaching sessions with industry experts once per month

SFA will gather the Class of Winter 2025 in person at the 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show for a kickoff meet and greet event, immersive workshops, tours of Show Floor hotspots, and other hands-on exercises.

Throughout the Course, participants will have unlimited access to educational materials and can work at their own pace, connecting and collaborating with one another through a dedicated group chat channel. SFA will provide class discussion and personal exploration prompts, and facilitate monthly live coaching sessions led by industry experts.

Upon completion of the program, qualifying graduates will be celebrated in a ceremony at the 2025 Winter Fancy Food Show, along with a special display opportunity for their products.

The 2025 Winter Fancy Food Show will also see the kick-off of the next Maker Prep Course group: the Class of Summer 2025.

For information or to register for the new SFA Maker Prep Course, click here.

About the Specialty Food Association

The Specialty Food Association (SFA) was founded in 1952 and is the not-for-profit trade association of the $207-billion specialty food industry. Representing more than 3,800 businesses worldwide, SFA champions industry participation and success for a diverse community of makers, buyers, importers, distributors, and service providers by developing resources, information, education, and events that celebrate innovation and inclusivity. SFA owns and operates the Fancy Food Shows as well as the sofi Awards, which have honored excellence in specialty food and beverage annually since 1972. The SFA also produces the e-newsletter SFA News Daily, the Trendspotter Panel annual predictions and Fancy Food Show reports, the State of the Specialty Food Industry Report, Today’s Specialty Food Consumer research, and the Spill & Dish podcast. Find out more online and connect with SFA on Facebook, XInstagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.


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