Testimonials

Since the National Food Entrepreneur Program began in 1989 many entrepreneurs have utilized the program to realize their dream of starting a food business. Below are just a few testimonials from some of those entrepreneurs.

When I first started working on my labor of love, it was suggested to me to look into the National Food Entrepreneur Program at the University of Nebraska Food Processing Center. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and going through the program opened my eyes to all that was required. I’ve learned so much since then. I have Pancrepes (a cross between pancakes and crepes) in retail and food service and look forward to watching it grow. I’m able to always call the center and ask questions and I thank them for their continued support.
Bob Haney
Pancrepes
Omaha, NE

Every year I saw a posting for the upcoming Recipe to Reality seminar. When my window of opportunity opened I took the one day seminar and knew right then and there that the Food Processing Center was very knowledgeable and would be an incredible guide for me in my quest to bring my salsa to market. It is such a tried and true program, and it helped me every step of the way to do things thoroughly, correctly, and safely. The program kept me on the right road and I'm so grateful that it also helped me to avoid costly mistakes. At completion of the program I was able to order my first production and began selling my salsa the day after I took delivery! I cannot imagine starting a small business without the encouragement and expertise that is provided through this amazing program.
Cindi Weiss
Punkindoodle Foods
Lincoln, NE

As a professional with absolutely no commercial frozen custard experience, perhaps the greatest value the "Recipe To Reality" seminar gave me was a grounding in the world of food production and a sense that I may not be completely nuts and could actually be successful.  The staff at UNL has been extremely helpful in providing resources and referrals for everything from nutrition analysis vendors to potential co-packers for my custard and some of its ingredients.  The staff is very supportive and have saved me many hours in bringing David's Famous Gourmet Frozen Custard to the market.
David Gott
David's Famous Gourmet Frozen Custard
Tipton Iowa

The Food Processing Center is the best program any entrepreneur could ever hope for! The knowledge and support from these folks is amazing, and comforting. They're like family, always there to answer questions and give you guidance when you feel like you can't go on. Step by step they walked me through every detail possible to get where I'm at now. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't have my salsa in the stores, and I'd still be daydreaming about "what if". This has left me with an overwhelming good feeling knowing they helped get me here. And we've only just begun. I strongly recommend this program to anyone wanting to share their product with the world! I've already been told that "If You Dare Salsa" is becoming a household name. Thank You FPC!"
Deb Beck
If You Dare Foods
Lincoln, Nebraska

Starting a small business can be a very daunting process. The National Food Entrepreneur Program assisted me through all the necessary steps and helped me achieve my dream of starting a small food company.
Norberto Gerardo
N & T Gerardo Foods
Lincoln, Nebraska

For FairHarvest, The Food Processing Center was an instrument in starting up our business because it gave us direction and allowed us to be realistic about timelines and financing. We were able to avoid making mistakes because we came into this industry without expertise, but found helpful advice from the FPC. The FPC kept us committed and on track in going forward!
Eva Cruz
Fair Harvest Foods
Charlotte, North Carolina

When we decided to market our products, we were looking for someone that could help us understand the many aspects of taking our recipes from our kitchen to a professionally produced product and how an entrepreneur can get started in this business. The Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program provided us with excellent insight into what it takes to get started, as well as offered the many resources, all in one place, to turn our plan into a real business.
Beth Schlitt
Secret Sauces LLC
Geneva, Illinois

The Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program helped us sort out the multitude of U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations we had to deal with, especially in regard to our labeling. We also gained some great ideas for promoting and marketing our products. The program was a great help in building our confidence so we could actually succeed in our new venture.
Ken Thiltges
Bluff Valley Farm
Rulo, Nebraska


As a restaurant owner, we faced many difficulties opening our establishment. We made many mistakes simply because we were on our own. I am so glad we went through the program at UNL when we decided to bottle our barbecue sauce, because there is always someone to turn to who can point you in the right direction. Starting a new business is overwhelming and their assistance helps take much of the stress out of it and lets you enjoy what you are doing.
Cindy Monson
Monson Family Foods
Nebraska City, Nebraska


As we went through the entrepreneur seminar and program and finished, we realized how much detailed information from the Food Processing Center staff had helped us. The Food Entrepreneur Program was a concise overview of all aspects of getting our new product out of the idea mode and into the reality of a store product. Working with the staff expertise, as we continually fine-tune different aspects of our products and begin the process of new product introduction, has been a tremendous benefit to our company. We are fortunate to have this program available in Nebraska.
James Gustafson
PurJava
Lincoln, Nebraska

The Food Entrepreneur Assistance program was a valuable resource for me as I started my business. Experts were always available to answer questions and provide information on food manufacturing and current laws that regulate the food industry. The program was very helpful.
Zaundra Wimberley
Little Lamb Baby Foods Inc.
Detroit, Michigan

Building a successful business around a product developed at home is a classic American dream and the UNL entrepreneur program makes that dream possible for people like my wife and me. A tremendous amount of work went into this venture but surely we can't imagine getting this far without the help and knowledge gained from participating in the program at UNL. The program has had a tremendous influence on our business and continues to do so.
Ray Salinas
Lonesome Bull Inc.
Elkhorn, Nebraska

We found the program to be very beneficial in starting our business. We were able to follow an outline and accomplish tasks in the order of importance and not miss anything. We had many questions along the way which Jill was able to answer for us. The end product of a marketing plan and even examples of letters to be sent out, was very useful. She was very patient and provided expertise guidance along the way.
Deb Evenson
Dakota Family Mills
Wahpeton. North Dakota

Launching a new line of processed foods can be an exciting and overwhelming endeavor as a budding entrepreneur with a few recipes and a lot of enthusiasm. After attending From Recipe to Reality, we were able to see the whole picture of where we were and where we wanted to be with our products. They took our hand and led us through the maze of regulations and requirements and out the other side with a product that we are proud to show to prospective buyers. We would highly recommend the UNL Entrepreneur Assistance Program to anyone with a desire to see their dream become a reality.
Mike & Renee Holen
Holen One
Loomis, Nebraska

This program gave me the necessary information needed to decide for myself whether to pursue my own food product line. If you decide to follow through the UNL Food Processing Center is always helpful at any stage in the process. The staff is always available for questions and their professional opinions. I would have probably never developed a product without them.
Chris Harrifeld
Kiehl & Stroh
Hastings, Nebraska

Services provided by the Food Processing Center greatly helped us achieve our goal of starting a food manufacturing business. They provided invaluable consultation and resources throughout every step of business development.
Sonia Kistner
Kernal Krazy Popcorn
Tecumseh, Nebraska

The food-handling and food industry education the Food Processing Center offers through its Recipe to Reality and Product to Profit courses is priceless. It was a crash-course in entering the world of professional food production and helped the cheesemakers at Farmstead First become more savvy business owners.
Krista Dittman
Farmstead First
Raymond, NE

The biggest benefit by far of using the UNL program was that they helped you prepare for the unexpected. Be it Recipe Development, Label Design, Insurance, Product Pricing and Placement in stores, and all of the other things involved in getting a food product from the Blackboard to a Store Shelf. But the thing that impressed me most about the UNL program was that if we had a question or problem that the answer could be found by a phone call to Jill Gifford. And now after 12 years since taking the program I know that if any problem arises i can still call Jill and she will gladly try to answer my question. So in are opinion there is no better benefit if you are thinking about getting into the food production business that to take this program because the assistance goes on forever.
Jim Stoll
Oriental Secrets
Lincoln, Nebraska

Trying to bring a home recipe to market is like being thrown to the lions, unless of course you have the good fortune to work with the University of Nebraska Food Processing Center in their Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program. We would still be floundering, not knowing what step to take next, what comes first, the chicken or the egg? The Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program took us from the starting line to the finish line in a logical and well planned manner and with outstanding results. We could not have done it without them.
Tim O'Dell
President
Chili Dawg's Foods of Fire
Blair, Nebraska

The University of Nebraska Food Processing Center has been instrumental in supporting me as I worked through bringing Burnham Foods Beer Cheese to market. They provided feedback and guided me every step of the way. When I began meeting with manufacturers, distributors and customers, I was prepared.
Tina Burnham
Burnham Foods
Lee's Summit, Missouri

The program is essential for anyone starting a business. It helps you avoid the blind pitfalls that are so detrimental to keeping a business going. These pitfalls are what cause most businesses to fail.
Denny Hogeland
KDK Meats
Bridgeport, Nebraska

On our own, the decisions we needed to make in starting our own business were overwhelming. The program guided us from the very beginning, clearly giving us the options we needed, and made what could have been a daunting process into something very attainable. We had access to the assistance we needed every step of the way, and we are thrilled with the results.
Becki Zanardi
Moody Girl
Columbus, Nebraska