Dustin Rhodes wrote:Look into cottage industry laws in your area; some localities will not let unpasteurized food be sold to the public.
Also make a list of all the people and places you would potentially be able to sell your product on a weekly, monthly basis.
T Simpson wrote:A container return system may keep the cost of containers down if you are selling in jars or glass.
Ellendra Nauriel wrote:I recommend having a few alternative sources of containers to sell things in. I have a friend whose business faltered when canning jars and lids became scarce. She sells jams and sauces in jars. She's just started to get enough supplies to start selling again.
Nancy Reading wrote:Although it's something I did once and never looked at again, try and create a five year business plan. What's your trial process to prove the ideas viable? How much will you need to make and sell to break even? How will you scale it up? What will be a measure of success? What are your start up costs and how will you fund it? Remember to give yourself enough margin to employ yourself. How will you reach your customers? Maybe do a SWOT (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats) analysis. You may find your local council have business support officers that can give advice, maybe even funding if you fit their criteria?
I'm not into fermented foods myself, although I would like to try it. My one attempt at saurkraut was .... not good. For me to buy something like this I would be keen to try it first. Can you give samples at a farmers market for example? Or have assorted trial packs and menu suggestions.
Other ideas, how about reusing jars? That could be a way of locking in customers to your product, if they got a reasonable discount for returning your jars. Then you could afford really premium jars, for a premium product price.
Running your own business isn't for everyone, there are far more annoying paper hurdles to jump, and noone else to delegate to. It sounds like this is something that you have some passion for so give it a go. If you can prove there is a local demand, and build on it whilst keeping your existing job, it seems like a win to me.
jordan barton wrote:
I do believe this is something which would be good to try. I suggest;
-I suggest sticking to 2 or so items and nailing them really well
-Still making all the other ferments for your own use.
-consider teaching workshops
-sales avenues which do not require inspection
Our farmers market allows items which are made by local people. This includes beer, herbal elixars, meads, kombucha, sauerkraut, herbal salves, wine, fruits. Just about anything, all without inspection.
What type of scale are you looking to do? 4-6 hours a week might only get you so far. Most of my attention to these items is in little stints.
How will you market the product?
Will it all need to be inspected?
Would teaching workshops help folks eat more of these items?
Making home scale produce, is usually more money than what can be had at the store. Will you be charging a good amount for the items? Is there a culture of people buying food from small producers? People here will reguarly buy organic sourdough for 7.50$ here. It is made by a local baker. My mom thinks 7.50 is crazy.
Is there a way to make a sort of weekly/bi monthly delivery of fermented foods to people? Subscription style?
so much to say really. I have some other things to do today.
Look forward to your reply brody!
Kenneth Elwell wrote:My partner is now a member of a "shared commercial kitchen", after her having two prior kitchens (one solo, one shared with one other business). It might be something to look into, since the costs of "ownership" of your own commercial kitchen are high (setup, equipment, inspections, licenses, maintenance, supplies, rent, utilities). Sometimes churches have certified kitchens that they rent out, or in the shared kitchen model, there's a dozen or so fledgling food businesses, sharing the space at different times/days, for a reasonable fee.
Packaging, yes, same experience here. Supply chain breakdown...sellouts, shortages, and delays. Maybe there's jars, but no lids... maybe there's a hundred in stock! hooray! or maybe the inventory is off... punt and get a different jar? hope our labels fit?! Hopefully this gets back to normal before the fall.
Sampling, rules are usually set by local boards of health, and can be permissive or restrictive, there's not much getting around it though, you comply and serve, or don't serve. If they inspect on-site, they can shut you down if you fail.
Some places allow you to dispense your samples at an event, others they must be pre-portioned and sealed beforehand in a licensed kitchen.