Food Business Road Map

Here’s your kickstarter for starting a food business! This is intended to be a resource-dense, high-level view of your path. All orange words are linked to more information. If a link is “not found,” use the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to see the website’s history.

Originally created by Taylor E. Hayes, 2017 NC Growing Together Local Food Supply Chain Apprentice with Eric Hallman and Sue Ellsworth. Thanks to everyone whose feedback made this road map possible!

Sales Channels

Consider how you’ll reach your target market. Think subscriptions, gift baskets, vending, retail, or internet sales.


The Financial and Business Resources for Food Entrepreneurs and Farms in North Carolina Guide was designed for producers, food businesses, and small business assistance providers. It provides an overview of financial assistance, technical assistance, and business planning resources available in North Carolina from state, federal and local agencies and non-profits.

How are you selling your product?

Packaged product


E.g. catering companies, food trucks. Food service is regulated by the Health Department.

Meeting with Inspector, PFAP Director

  • Menu review
  • Risk category

  • PFAP Use Plan

  • PFAP Orientation

Continue on to Risk Management

Packaged Product

Regulated by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) and the U.S. FDA (for interstate sellers. See exemptions)

Packaged Product Food Processing Regulations and Factsheets