Fairs, Festivals, and Expos are a significant contributor to the hospitality and tourism industry. According to the International Association of Fairs and Expositions, “…over 3,200 fairs are held in North America each year. They provide industrial exhibits, demonstrations and competition aimed at the advancement of livestock, horticulture and agriculture with special emphasis placed on educational activities such as 4-H, FFA and similar youth development programs. While enjoying these high-minded pursuits, fair visitors are also able to see, hear, touch, smell and taste the richness and variety of what the world has to offer.”
For many small business owners in the Southern Sector, this can be a great opportunity to generate revenue. The Food Cohort program is a dynamic education series for entrepreneurs by the State Fair of Texas, the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC), the RedBird Entrepreneur Center, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce and the City of Dallas/Office of Economic Development. The goal is to take existing businesses to prepare their products for inclusion into festivals and fairs in the region. The five month cohort comprised of 7-10 businesses will have both classroom, mentoring, and hands-on opportunities for growth and exposure to the industry.
Interested applicants must complete an application, apply for the taste test of their product to be sold during the fair, and commit to attend sessions and mentoring.