LSU AgCenter Food Incubator to renovate, expand

In just about a year, the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator, which specializes in the development of local, emerging food ventures, has outgrown its space at Clyde Ingram Hall.

“We’re booked everyday,” incubator director Gaye Sandoz says. “The response has been enormous, not only from those who want to start their own business, but the general public. It’s been incredible.”

For years, Sandoz had been waiting for Baton Rouge to pick up this type of program. Now, the incubator is in the process of expanding and doing renovations to its current LSU location. Another off-campus space is also in the works, she says.

So far, the food incubator’s clients have seen overwhelming success. Among some of the products to come out of the program are Ruth’s Recipes, Hanley Foods, Elkarita and many more.

With the help of food scientist Dr. Luis Espinoza, the tenants are learning how to formulate their products. Also through the program, the up-and-coming local food creators are learning how to get their product to the community.

“We teach them how to market and how to calculate price points,” Sandoz says. “We have the resources at LSU to help them expand their business very quickly.” —Matthew Sigur