Jump to content

  •  

Photo
- - - - -

Resources For Starting Your Food Business


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 The Hot Pepper

The Hot Pepper

    On Fire!

  • Administrators
  • 19,777 posts
  • aka:Pookie
  • Location:NYC
  • (x2)

Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:48 AM

Resources you will need when taking your homemade sauces to the next level.


Getting Started

FDA - Starting a Food Business

FDA - Small Business Guide

Overall Info

Canadian Small-Scale Food Processing


Manufacturing

Cooperatives and Kitchens by State

Northeast Co-packers

FDA - Acified and Low-Acid Canned Foods

Good Manufacturing Practice


Safety

General Food Safety

Basic Food Safety - Microbiology

What Is pH?

FDA - pH Control

Approximate pH of Foods

pH Chart

Choosing pH Meter

CDC - Botulism

Listeria

Cleaning/Sanitizing


Labeling

FDA - Labeling Guide


Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets


Insurance

Your food business will need food liability insurance, in the form of a $1 million or $2 million policy, in order to be carried in most stores. The firms listed below can be contacted by any local or private insurance agency to discuss the writing of a food product liability policy. However, they will require several specific pieces of information concerning the product and the business (annual sales, annual payroll, etc.) in order to provide a premium quote and they may require that the request be made by an insurance agency rather than the business owner.
Insurance Placement Center
1-800-532-1002
Sedgewick & James
(423) 584-9101
Southern Insurance
Manager
(615) 356-2900

#2 chuk hell

chuk hell

    Smokin' Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,664 posts
  • Location:TEXAS

Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:25 PM

Wow! Just what I needed all in one place....thanks for posting those!

#3 marcosauces

marcosauces

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 984 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 27 September 2006 - 08:54 PM

Chuck,
we'll see you in 3 months..!!! :lol:

www.marcosauces.com
Sauce it up....!!


#4 DevilDuck

DevilDuck

    Smokin' Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,074 posts
  • Location:Albuquerque, NM

Posted 28 September 2006 - 05:35 PM

Thatr's really cool!! [sarcasm]...and after I looked all of it up on my own.[/sarcasm]

#5 DevilDuck

DevilDuck

    Smokin' Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,074 posts
  • Location:Albuquerque, NM

Posted 14 November 2007 - 02:19 PM

Ugh...this research is killing me!

I'm getting way too many requests to do this out of my kitchen anymore!
Devil Duck Sauces....Not for your fair feathered friends.

I think I've killed my o-ring.

...you can't ride Rainbowberry.


#6 bentalphanerd

bentalphanerd

    Smokin' Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4,495 posts
  • aka:hey you
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia

Posted 14 November 2007 - 09:11 PM

how much do you make in a single batch DD?
Grow list......http://youtu.be/mIJqcdzxlqo

#7 texas blues

texas blues

    On Fire!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,331 posts
  • aka:TB, The TB, Taco Beans
  • Location:Republic of Texas
  • (x4)

Posted 14 November 2007 - 11:28 PM

I imagine I would have to do all that for my smoked salmon as well. What a nightmare! I just started making my own hot sauce. But like the salmon thang', it too is a hit at work and people want to pay $$ for it. Now I see all the apparatchik bs for FDA, also linked to NSA...no such agency..oh the pain! Do you love me? Kill me! Please!
Cheers, TB.

#8 bentalphanerd

bentalphanerd

    Smokin' Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4,495 posts
  • aka:hey you
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia

Posted 15 November 2007 - 02:56 AM

What about a card with all the info attached to the neck of a sauce bottle - i've seen a few like that & didn't see it mentioned in the links?
Grow list......http://youtu.be/mIJqcdzxlqo

#9 DevilDuck

DevilDuck

    Smokin' Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,074 posts
  • Location:Albuquerque, NM

Posted 15 November 2007 - 09:49 AM

how much do you make in a single batch DD?


My current batches are tiny (5 bottles). But that's mostly because of my kitchen tool limitations. Also, anything more than that, and I'll have to reheat the sauce due to cool down when bottling.
Devil Duck Sauces....Not for your fair feathered friends.

I think I've killed my o-ring.

...you can't ride Rainbowberry.


#10 huvason

huvason

    Heating Up

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 469 posts
  • Location:LI,NY

Posted 15 November 2007 - 05:09 PM

My current batches are tiny (5 bottles). But that's mostly because of my kitchen tool limitations. Also, anything more than that, and I'll have to reheat the sauce due to cool down when bottling.


When I was making it at homeexperimenting with new batches, I cook it in a LARGE pot, and then use a 6oz ladle into the bottles. That way it is always heating on the stove, and you are filling HOT. The 6oz ladle is a good size as you will actaully fill about 5.5oz ino the bottle (2/3 up the neck I do, it will settle as it cools).
-=Huvason=-
Fat Kid Sauces
2007 First Place Scovie Award Winner, 2008 Fiery Foods Challenge Winner,2008 Hot Pepper Awards Winner

#11 DevilDuck

DevilDuck

    Smokin' Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,074 posts
  • Location:Albuquerque, NM

Posted 15 November 2007 - 07:40 PM

I cook in a large pot as well, but my blender is kinda small. I've done a double batch before, but that's a pain because even duplicating the recipe EXACTLY, the flavors get off a bit and you have to adjust on the fly.

Oh...and my ladle must be 3oz. I need to scoop twice to fill a (hot) bottle.

The other problem I have here at home is that my stovetop is on a small island with little or no workspace. So I grab a bottle, make a 180* turn and fill it, cap and invert...x5.

So...I either need to find a commercial kitchen (my old contact quit the biz) or a co-packer.

Oh but wait...there's more!

Federal and State tax ID
Business registration (Local, State, Fed)
Registering business structure (Inc., LLC, etc...)
FDA regulations and guidelines
Locating produce and spice suppliers
Finding bottles under $16/case (is this the going rate?)
Perfecting graphics for labels
Getting said labels approved by FDA
Sending samples to NMSU for nutrition information ($100 per recipe? What's up with that?)
Registering web domain / set up website
Set up PayPal (easy, but it's a step)
Set up Business bank account (Same as above)
Buy Accounting software (QuickBooks, etc...)
Buy Business and Product Liability Insurance (minimum of $3 million ?!?!?)

I'm sure I missed a few, that was off the top of my head. The most frustrating part is how damn difficult and expensive it is to start a hot sauce business. I'm getting to the point of saying F#$% it, but... it's my current "clients" that keep spreading word of mouth...literally... to their friends. I'm suddenly getting e-mails from people I don't know wanting to buy my sauces, and I can't sell it to them! I can send "free samples", but that gets expensive and I'm not seeing anything other than one more satisfied customer.

I wouldn't think about starting a business because of the hoops I need to jump through, but I think I have a viable product in this industry. I'm not planning on getting rich...that's a fluke in this line of work. I just enjoy making a quality sauce that I can share with everyone, and possibly pocket a few bucks for my efforts.


....oh and to have a booth across from DEFCON at FFS '10. Cold beer anyone?
Devil Duck Sauces....Not for your fair feathered friends.

I think I've killed my o-ring.

...you can't ride Rainbowberry.


#12 cyotefishing

cyotefishing

    Mild

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 88 posts
  • Location:Eastland, Texas

Posted 13 January 2008 - 02:13 PM

I hear ya. The locals love my hot pepper sauce. I have 4 different heat levels, kinda hot, sorta hot, really hot and awfully hot. I've been told the labal is pretty cool too. But to go thru all the red tape and expense of going commercial boggles the mind. I will continue this summer and fall making it. Call me law breaker.

#13 Tigahb8

Tigahb8

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 879 posts
  • Location:Mississippi/ Louisiana

Posted 26 December 2008 - 09:14 PM

DD $16 a case? How many in a case?? I generally buy mine from
Freund Container http://www.freundcon...jb35cCFRlRagodk
the 5oz woozies are $5.40 a case of 12, or $4.44 a case if you
order 10 cases or more.

ButchT

#14 Gatorbait

Gatorbait

    Mild

  • New Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Location:Mobile, AL

Posted 30 August 2009 - 04:24 PM

I've done a lot of research into starting a business but Wow!!!!!! This had all the info in one spot.
It's definitely frustrating. I make hot sauces and mustards. Friends I've given samples to are spreading the word also. I've now got two small businesses who have contacted me about distributing a few cases of each recipe. I have 6 original hot sauce recipes and 6 original mustard recipes. As I explained to them I'm looking into forming a business I can't legally sell or distribute at this time. Just give out samples when I come up with an original recipe.
Alabama allows home based food processing if you don't use the kitchen for family meals. Since I live in an apartment, I'd have to rent an additional place just for the business. Co-packers are asking a lot of money for 100 gallons minimum. Plus, I'd rather keep my batches small to maintain the original taste and pH quality. Five bottles per batch. Nothing to get rich over.
NMSU? Label approval by the FDA?
It's a hobby that I'd like to turn into a business. Start small and build it.
The cost of starting a small business is no longer small.

#15 Biscombe

Biscombe

    Heating Up

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 337 posts
  • Location:Spain

Posted 30 August 2009 - 04:29 PM

Great post, thanks, I'm 50% legal with my range of sauces, It's quite a headache getting everything in place especially with a full time job too.

#16 DEFCON Creator

DEFCON Creator

    On Fire!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,688 posts
  • Location:Deep under a superfund site in NJ

Posted 31 August 2009 - 07:11 AM

It's quite a headache getting everything in place especially with a full time job too.


You'll find that many manufacturers have full time jobs, in addition to the sauce business, myself included. Persistence will pay off, but don't look to make a million $'s overnight.

64 International Awards since 2006 for best Wing Sauces and Horseradish products! Arm yourself with DEFCON, and blow your guests away! www.DEFCONsauces.com. Future Rulers of Earth


#17 Talljess

Talljess

    Heating Up

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 130 posts
  • Location:Ft Hood Texas

Posted 31 August 2009 - 04:00 PM

You'll find that many manufacturers have full time jobs, in addition to the sauce business, myself included. Persistence will pay off, but don't look to make a million $'s overnight.


Roger that Def. My schedule is packed between being a full time soldier and production. It is hard getting off the ground and you gotta be expecting to spend some loot in order to make it happen

#18 DEFCON Creator

DEFCON Creator

    On Fire!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,688 posts
  • Location:Deep under a superfund site in NJ

Posted 31 August 2009 - 06:43 PM

Roger that Def. My schedule is packed between being a full time soldier and production. It is hard getting off the ground and you gotta be expecting to spend some loot in order to make it happen


Yup, the initial startup is rough, between capital expenses, legal junk (insurance, trademarking, etc.), and the implementation of a well thought-out business plan. However, you, being the owner, can take whatever direction you choose. You can try to explode onto the market, and blow your wad on a bunch of high-priced advertising, only to find that advertising looks great, but if you don't have some semblance of a customer base before you take the leap of faith, you'll soon realize that you just pounded in your first couple of coffin nails and have nothing to really show for it except a very light wallet.

We did kind of the opposite, and took more of the slow and steady approach, allowing our products to speak for themselves and expand within the market via viral marketing (word of mouth). This way, it's not as time consuming initially, which is a Godsend. The slow approach also allows you to avoid the infamous 'growing pains'. Growing pains are stuff like running out of specific products too fast, not shipping promptly due to inventory problems, etc. Yeah, it's great to sell out, but when it happens on a regular basis, your customers (especially wholesale customers) will quickly tire of the non-continuous supply of products. It takes time to figure out which products sell quicker than others, size of containers (some sizes for retail, some for wholesale and restaurants), etc. I still find myself running low on certain items from time to time. It's kind of the Murphy's Law of hot sauce, if something doesn't sell well for a while, and you let the inventory level run very low, it will quickly, alomost overnight, spike in sales, and you'll have to take backorders which can take time to fill (if you have a co-packer) if you don't have a batch run date set up.

After a while, you'll get a pretty good feeling about what products sell well at certain times of the year, and will be able to come up with a pretty good trend analysis to be proactive when that time of year comes around, and you have a little extra inventory on hand.

That being said, it still sucks every now and then, trying to juggle a regular 9-5 job AND do the hot sauce thing full time. Many late nights have been had trying to catch up, after a ball-busting week of regular work has exhausted you. However, always remember, THIS is something you can call your own, and even though it may truly suck from time to time in regards to time management, stay the course, as the personal gratification always outways the frustrations. This may not be evident immediately, but it will.

64 International Awards since 2006 for best Wing Sauces and Horseradish products! Arm yourself with DEFCON, and blow your guests away! www.DEFCONsauces.com. Future Rulers of Earth


#19 The Hot Pepper

The Hot Pepper

    On Fire!

  • Administrators
  • 19,777 posts
  • aka:Pookie
  • Location:NYC
  • (x2)

Posted 01 September 2009 - 01:18 AM

If you can't afford food liability insurance right away, at least make sure you are incorporated or an LLC so your assets are separate. This way if you get sued, you may lose the sauce biz, but you won't lose your house! Of course, insurance is the way to go to pay those lawsuits.

OHH YEAHHH!


#20 jolokia_jas

jolokia_jas

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 656 posts
  • Location:Townsville, Nth QLD, Au.

Posted 30 April 2010 - 06:49 PM

Holey S@#$!! That is a lot of red tape, I'd like to know if any of you Oz Moderators (or anyone for that matter) have any info on the red tape for here in Oz?? I'm not looking to be a HUGE company or anything but would cetainly like to dabble a bit, even if it is just at the sundy markets or friends and family...




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users