I would like to to sell my homemade salsa and my homemade pastry sauce, but don't know where to start or where to go.
By Yanni from Morton Grove, IL
I suggest fleamarkets. Put ad in news paper. You may call your health department to get more info, good luck.
Start with your health department. Also, our state university has a program that provides food science training (see link below). I believe some people have an established manufacturer make the product according to one's recipes.
Well if it was me the first thing I would try is a little Ma/Pa shop grocery or gas station.
Then I would try a Mexican restaurant for the salsa, see if they would buy it off you for their customers and offer jars at the check out for people to purchase. Is that other a pastry sauce or PASTA sauce?
Start with your local county health department. Must require you have a certified kitchen and they do regular inspections. In some states, if you are caught selling it without the proper permits and inspections, it can mean fines and or jail time.
After you find you are legal, see if there are any local farmers markets coming up. Their space booths are reasonable, and you can go from there.
If you have any craft shops that allow you to rent a space, foods are generally allowed in as cooking is a craft.
If you want to stay smaller to see what the reception is, sell through websites. I googled "selling food online" and got this...I hope it helps.
You might also check into the possibility on etsy.com I saw all sorts of foodstuffs before Christmas there.
You will probably have to rent time in a commercial kitchen approved by the local board of health.
You can usually get away with selling candy or homemade jams and jellies or even some bakery products like cupcakes or mufins if you are selling for a non profit such as a charity but they will probably stop you if you are out to make a profit. Better to know up front that getting started will cost you money. However, you can make a lot of pasta sauce in one night if they will rent you thier kitchen when they are not using it. Look for a small establishment who could use the money.
I sell at a local farmer's market but I sometimes doubt that the work involved is worth it. We hold our market's once a week and it is also outside. That means if it rains, we might be stuck with a bunch of baked goods. Also, even it we don't sell everything on any given day, we are stuck with it. If I knew I could sell everything, than I could make a better profit. However, I do enjoy doing it and people have started coming to me for their breads, especially. It is hard to break down what your profit is because I buy things at different prices, etc.
You can sell your home baked goods, canned jellies or hand lotions on Ebay or a farmers market, with out any special kitchens or get the Gov involved,
as long as you are selling directly to the consumer.
I always start by pulling back the lens...and asking the question, "What do you really want to do with your food business?" Sounds obvious I know, but as you move along and discover all the steps involved, the competition (salsa and pasta sauce are fierce), how you're going to market it (email, phone, relationships) ,and where you'd like to sell (small shops, larger retail, just to a core group of restaurants)...you might get a clearer picture of whether or not this is something you'd like to take on.
I see people sometimes take off with a great product only to find that they're "sampling and selling at every farmers market in the area" all week long. Sometimes that's a direct conflict with what you want for your life balance, etc.
It's just good to start off thinking through the end game if you can. Thanks.
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