chef preparing food in kitchen

Helping women turn food skills into businesses

The Centre for Women in Business is offering a Specialized Program in Cooking Entrepreneurship (SPICE) for under-represented Nova Scotian women* who are ready to run a fully compliant food business. SPICE will help participants build industry knowledge of Nova Scotia food safety standards, successfully incorporating them into their businesses.

This program will be limited to a 10 women per cohort. This complimentary program will include 8 weeks of active learning and ongoing support for up to a year, is being offered in hybrid format. In-person sessions will be held within HRM.

* While all women are welcome to apply, priority will be given to applications received from Black Nova Scotian Woman, Black Women of African Descent, Indigenous Women, and Immigrant Woman.

This program is for you if you are an:

  • Underrepresented woman with an idea about starting a food business in Nova Scotia
  • Underrepresented woman who has been selling food products without formal training or business plan
  • Underrepresented woman who does not have a formal business plan
  • Underrepresented woman interested in transitioning from a home kitchen to a licensed facility
  • Immigrant woman who is selling cultural food and are unaware of Nova Scotia’s provincial food regulations and procedures
  • Underrepresented woman operating in unlicensed facilities without proper food handling and/or training

Project Objectives:

By the end of the program participants will have the resources to:

  • Draft a business plan including market strategy, financial projections, and operational requirements
  • Identify resources and support organizations in the food and beverage industry
  • Experience a working commercial kitchen
  • Establish a registered and licensed food business
  • Develop a hiring plan
  • Explore additional product opportunities
  • Register their food business with Nova Scotia Joint Stock
  • Have access to food and safety resources & know how to contact their local food safety inspectors
  • Create a Food Safety Plan, know how to produce food in a food safe environment, and label food products according to the Nova Scotia Food and Agriculture standards
  • Be aware of “who to call” when they experience challenges in their food business
  • Avoid risk of penalization by understanding and following food safety regulations
  • Develop their products to be sold beyond a local farmers’ market and identify opportunities to grow and scale their food business to be sold through retailers if the desire

To ensure this program is as accessible as possible, successful applicants will be provided with support for: starting their business, registering their business, insurance, licenses, childcare, safety training, taxi fare, and commercial kitchen rental support.

Fall registration is coming soon.

Join the waitlist to be notified when applications open.

If you have further questions, contact Natalie Frederick-Wilson at