Julie Waddell, food entrepreneur and founder of The Little Smoked Food Company, has set up The Little Food Academy, the UK’s first food and drink business academy.
Using online courses, The Little Food Academy advises start-up food and drink producers on how to successfully launch their products onto the market, taking them from the kitchen table to retail shelves.
It also helps those food and drink businesses with an established market presence to grow, through master classes with industry insiders – ranging from supermarket buyers to experts on logistics, distribution, packaging, branding and account management.
Waddell personally guides the businesses using practical training through online learning modules, master classes, food business growth retreats and one-to-one coaching. The courses on offer include the entry level Retail to Recipe and the next level Artisan Business to Retail Superstar, as well as a five-day Prove it, Rise it retreat and a one-year Retail Masters Group programme.
“As someone with previous experience launching a product developed in my home kitchen and breaking in to multiple retailers … I know just how difficult it can be,” explained Waddell. “Through the opening of The Little Food Academy I want to share my knowledge of the process and help cottage industries take the appropriate next steps to gain them retail success. I only wish three years ago when I launched The Little Smoked Food Company there was a service such as the Academy to offer me support, encouragement and insightful guidance.”