Wednesday, May 17, 2006

[General] What are your culinary plans?


Hi ev'body!

I really do hope you all can help me out! I am writing a business plan for a new venture and am hoping to get some input from all of you...so here goes...

Have any of you ever thought about marketing your culinary creations? Whipping up an industrial sized batch of your mothers brownie recipe or bottling your top-secret hot sauce and getting it out to the public?

If so...what steps have you taken? What were the obstacles? And in the end, did it work? Did it not work?

Answers here would be great, but if you have a longer story, I would love to chat (email, whatever) further offline.

This will be a huge help to me, and in advance, thank you all SO MUCH for putting in your two cents.

This Post was written by Rachael from Fresh Approach Cooking


13 comments:

drbiggles said...

I've considered it. And along with probably most everyone here, been hounded by friends and family to do just that, or more.
I haven't pursued it because I felt it would take the fun out of it for me and I'm not much of a business minded person.
And that's where all my plans for success sit, on the counter. I've got other fish to fry, so to speak.

xo

Sam said...

Meathenge eats fish?

Meredith said...

I am slowly (v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y) building up my own catering business. So far, it's mostly just been friends and aquaintances but I really like it and I wish that it kept me busier.

drbiggles said...

Hey Sam,

Whull, it's deep fried!

pssst, I even eat vegetables when they deep fried.

Biggles

Anonymous said...

I've seen people try with varying degrees of success.
The difficulties often boiled down to they had the love of cooking, but not the love (or deep understanding) of business.
Too little shelf space with too many products competing (and not the right connections to make it happen)
Having a great product only gets you so far...

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of Kitchen Chicago? It is a shared space commerical kitchen that makes creating your food that much easier

Jennifer said...

I don't want to appear to be self promoting, but I'm working like heck to make a small food related business work as we speak. The upside? I have no intention to make money. It takes a lot of the pressure off and when bumps happen they are a lot easier to take.

Ken Sloan said...

Don't know anyone that's done it beyond farmer's markets... it seems like a very difficult venture to get into. What are you planning on marketing? :)

Rachael said...

Actually, Im not planning on marketing anything, what Im planning is a way to help other people get their products to market...thats why I wanted to know what people have done and what their hurdles have been...

David said...

The hardest thing, that some friends have told me, is getting your products into market. The big companies pay slotting fees and take over much of the shelf space, and it's hard to get the 'little guys' (or gals) in there.
I think with all the 'gourmet' food stores, it's possible, judging from sucess stories like June Taylor marmalades.
Another problem is packaging and production equipment. If you're a big corporation, you can get things like dough extruders but for small businesses, that machinery doesn't exist in suitable sizes. Rolling out 3000 cookies a day is a bitch on your wrists. So it's a fine line between staying very small and do-able, or getting bigger.

Amy Sherman said...

Actually MOVING product is even harder than getting it on the shelf. If you can't get people to buy enough of it, stores won't carry it for long. For small operators who don't have a sizeable promotion budget it's tough to get noticed to the point where people will buy your product, even if the retailer will give you a shot.

elle said...

I agree with Amy-it's not so hard getting in to the stores-it's hard to get it out if your marketing dollars are tight. Our company would have a hard time if we had to depend on retail-foodservice to resturants is so much better. I will say that it is very gratifying to see your product on the shelf...

Rachael said...

If you cant make the food in your home, where do you make it? And what about meeting health codes/buying permits is that a concern for anyone?

I guess my overall question is how does a culinary entrepreur with a limited budget get their product made.