I'm Craig from Ashland, Ky and I've recently started a hot sauce company with a few of my buddies called Redneck Hipster Hot Sauce!
I started out making sauce for fun and gifting it to family and friends. Everyone encouraged me to sell and I jumped into it headfirst at the beginning of this year! I have no clue what I'm doing so please take it easy on me. lol I'm a full time teacher with a passion for cooking! I'll try not to ramble too much, but I've never used a forum before so correct me if this isn't the place for all this info/questions.
In December 2016 and the first week of January 2017 we sold 200 bottles of our sauce locally. I found some rules for hobby sauces through Reddit and I'm pretty sure we followed them all. We cooked in a certified kitchen, we bottled everything at 200 degrees, and we only sold locally (no crossing state lines or selling online). We took that money and became an LLC. We have our business licenses, we opened a business bank account, and we got insurance. We're currently working on a website, professional (FDA approved) labels, and shipping options. We are on the verge of joining KY Proud and Appalachian Proud with our products because we try to use local ingredients in our sauces. Reddit and google brought me here any time I researched questions I had about expanding our business.
I think I'm supposed to put these somewhere else on this site, can someone more knowledgeable guide me?
1. Most of our sauces are peppers, salt, vinegar, and a few other fruits and veggies. We cook, puree, strain, cook again, and bottle immediately. I've read that this method will allow a sauce to keep for around 6 months. What kind of preservatives can I add to help our sauces keep longer and also not separate?
2. We have an artist working on our logo for our labels. I know we need a list of ingredients and nutritional info on the labels. What else does the FDA require? Where can I get these labels printed once they're made? We have 6 flavors of sauce and we're hoping to sell a dozen per month (each) or two dozen if we can get our sauce in local stores.
3. For those of you that have websites and sell your sauces online, what are your shipping methods? Where do you get your boxes? What do you pack the boxes with to protect the bottles?
Again, if this isn't the right place to post all this stuff please point me in the right direction. Thank you all for reading this much of my ramblings and an extra thank you to anyone willing to reply to me. lol
If you have any other advice, I'm all ears!