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specific type of business

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I know i just posted about the bakery business..but after carefull consideration based on a poor economy , i wont be able to get a loan to obatin a storefront to bake my goods, being a rented kitchen wont work for what i wanted to do.

I had another thought while cooking at work.

There are certain things I thought i'd like to try and make in bulk and sell to either distrubitors or straight to restaurants:

Salsa's, dressings, rubs, etc.

nothing that requires acutal cooking in kitchens.

Is something like this possible?
post #2 of 9
You'll want to check with your local health authorities, but my bet is that you WILL need to do it in a licensed kitchen space. That's definitely the case here in NYC.

And unless everything will be delivered fresh, there are many concerns about safety of processed foods.

Google NASFT (National Assn of Specialty Food something?) and have a look at their training materials.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 9
I'm not sure about Cali, but they tend to be more strict than NC and SC, where I've worked.

Health departments here have written regulations in a way that almost requires that you have a separate kitchen or industrial food prep location.

One way to go would be to perfect your recipes and contract a cannery to produce and package for you. This should also help to keep overhead down on production, as you will only be sharing labor and equipment costs with other brands, essentially.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #4 of 9
but my bet is that you WILL need to do it in a licensed kitchen space. That's definitely the case here in NYC.

And just about anywhere else I've heard of.

Initially, see if you can't do a deal with a church to use their kitchen. Or look into contract canners.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yes, here in Cali, you must use a commercial kitchen for any type of prep/cooking done for sale.

I have kitchens available here in my city.

Suzzane: Yes all my items would be delivered fresh, no perservatives. Almost like a made to order item.

Chef Ray: Thanks, I'll look into the canners. HOws that work? I give them a recipe and they make it for me and can it under my business name or ???
post #6 of 9
They provide raw ingredients, labor, canning equipment, and warehousing(if you need it) and you provide a recipe(register a copyright of intellectual property to CYA), money, and customers.

They produce it with your label and product/brand name. People around here do it all the time with barbecue sauce. Some local cooks even have their sauce in major grocery stores, but most either sell directly to restaurants, through the usual supply chain with trucks and such, or to end consumers, through farmer's market booths.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #7 of 9
Here are some questions for you to consider:
  • What research have you done on potential demand? Do you know that there's a market for what you want to produce? You can't just assume that if you make it, someone will want to buy it.
  • Have you checked out your competition: what they produce and how, where they get their inputs, what they charge, etc.?
  • Marketing/promotion: how will you get the word out about your product(s)? What advertising, what publicity (preferably good, not that your product hurt someone)?
  • Distribution: Have you lined up outlets who will sell your product? What arrangements have you made with them for unsold goods or returns? Or if you will deal with consumers directly, how? where?
  • Payment terms for customers/distributors?
  • Even if you use a contract canner, do you know exactly how your product will be produced?
  • Are you getting the necessary insurance coverage?
  • Do you know that your recipe will work when you (or someone else) makes it in the size batch you'll need? Remember that spices do not work the same when increases in straight proportion.
  • Is your financing in place? If not, are you looking?

Again, get in touch with NASFT (National Association of Specialty Food Trade)
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #8 of 9
One of the really big questions, that hasn't really been addressed too much here is how inexpensively can you produce it? Will you be producing enough that you can purchase large quanities of ingredients to get really good wholesale discounts, if you are producing it yourself? I have been approached on numerous occasions by local enterpenuers wanting to sell me their BBQ sauce, wing sauce, dressings, etc. In most cases the items were very good products but would have cost me 2-5 times the amount it would cost me to either make it myself or purchase it from a large manufacturer. Sure I would love to help the little, local business person, but I have a business to run also and I have to watch my costs.

Good example of this was a guy in the area who owned a wing joint. People love his wings so he thought he should bottle and sell his sauce to restaurants. Well, to make a good profit on it he wanted/needed to sell that sauce at $60 a gallon (that seems outrageous until you start looking at the retail price of better hot sauces that sell for $5-$8 a bottle, but I can't buy at retail or my food costs would be super high). He was buying all his ingredients from Sysco, basically at the same price I could purchase them for, then he had his overhead (the manufacturing and bottling equipment), labor, and packaging. To use that stuff would cost me about $1.40 for 3 ounces of sauce. Add in the cost of wings and would have to be charging well over $10 for a 10 piece wing order-no one is going to pay that in my area. He can, and does, sell his sauce retail, but he has failed to get any restaurants on board because we don't and can't be paying retail prices for our ingredients.
post #9 of 9
I agree with suzanne. About those possible question and suggestion. Your post are very informative. Try to ask your local authorities in order to seek advice.
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