artwork Starting up in Florida

I know everyone has heard this story as I have even read it before but here goes. So I have been making my own sauce for a couple years now at home. Friends and family say it is awesome and I should sell it. I already run my own business (albeit completely unrelated to the food industry) so I have a good understanding of startup costs, business plan, marketing ect. I have been giving out free bottles in return for feedback to several friends, family, business partners, acquaintances ect. for around a year now to try and work on some of my recipes to "fine tune" them so to speak.
 
My issues are lying in getting good, solid information of how I go about getting the proper permits/licensing in place in order to make and sell my sauce legally. I have contacted someone with FDACS to get some information and was pleasantly surprised with how quick I got responses and she helped me answer many of my questions on this "quest" I am on. One that I cannot seem to get a direct answer on is what, if any, licensing/certifications do I need aside from the wholesale food manufacturer permit in order to legally make and sell my sauce? I have a commercial kitchen I can use to make sauce and apply, a friend owns and operates a restaurant locally, I know I need to send my sauce, recipe and cooking process to a process authority. What is hanging me up is that there is some line items in the link to a legal document the FDACS contact sent me that talks about certain "safe handling" and acidified foods specifically. Is there some sort of course or education I need to have under my belt prior to being able to do this legally or are they simply referring to something as simple as the Safe Serve type of certification? 
 
With the kitchen on board, storage worked out, I believe I can go ahead and get my LLC open, apply for permit, work with a process authority on 2-3 of my recipes and start cooking in this commercial kitchen to finally sell my first bottle. Is this correct or am I missing some steps for it to be legal? I read somewhere on some forum (I've been through so many my brain hurts) that a canning license is needed? Is this true or maybe just true to some states? (I am aware of insurance, of which I will lock down before the first bottle is sold but FDACS did not say it was required)
 
Sorry for the long winded post and thanks to any advice that can be provided. Glad to have finally joined THP after reading many many forums to assist me with getting what bit of knowledge I have now.
 

The_NorthEast_ChileMan

Extreme Member
Bloto said:
I know everyone has heard this story as I have even read it before but here goes. So I have been making my own sauce for a couple years now at home. Friends and family say it is awesome and I should sell it. I already run my own business (albeit completely unrelated to the food industry) so I have a good understanding of startup costs, business plan, marketing ect. I have been giving out free bottles in return for feedback to several friends, family, business partners, acquaintances ect. for around a year now to try and work on some of my recipes to "fine tune" them so to speak.
 
My issues are lying in getting good, solid information of how I go about getting the proper permits/licensing in place in order to make and sell my sauce legally. I have contacted someone with FDACS to get some information and was pleasantly surprised with how quick I got responses and she helped me answer many of my questions on this "quest" I am on. One that I cannot seem to get a direct answer on is what, if any, licensing/certifications do I need aside from the wholesale food manufacturer permit in order to legally make and sell my sauce? I have a commercial kitchen I can use to make sauce and apply, a friend owns and operates a restaurant locally, I know I need to send my sauce, recipe and cooking process to a process authority. What is hanging me up is that there is some line items in the link to a legal document the FDACS contact sent me that talks about certain "safe handling" and acidified foods specifically. Is there some sort of course or education I need to have under my belt prior to being able to do this legally or are they simply referring to something as simple as the Safe Serve type of certification? 
 
With the kitchen on board, storage worked out, I believe I can go ahead and get my LLC open, apply for permit, work with a process authority on 2-3 of my recipes and start cooking in this commercial kitchen to finally sell my first bottle. Is this correct or am I missing some steps for it to be legal? I read somewhere on some forum (I've been through so many my brain hurts) that a canning license is needed? Is this true or maybe just true to some states? (I am aware of insurance, of which I will lock down before the first bottle is sold but FDACS did not say it was required)
 
Sorry for the long winded post and thanks to any advice that can be provided. Glad to have finally joined THP after reading many many forums to assist me with getting what bit of knowledge I have now.
 
Have you contacted Endorphin Farms, Inc. ? We are a fully licensed and insured hot sauce manufacturing facility. 
                                 St Augustine, FL 
                                 (904) 824-2006
 
No but I have come across the name/business during my online researching. Starting off I am wanting to do smaller batches and the minimum run of 1 kettle is abit much for what I'm doing to start out. I plan on making sauce myself in much smaller batches, like 200oz batches to start off and go up from there based on demand/sales. Eventually it would be nice to involve co-packing just not something I can do starting off.
 

The_NorthEast_ChileMan

Extreme Member
Bloto said:
No but I have come across the name/business during my online researching. Starting off I am wanting to do smaller batches and the minimum run of 1 kettle is abit much for what I'm doing to start out. I plan on making sauce myself in much smaller batches, like 200oz batches to start off and go up from there based on demand/sales. Eventually it would be nice to involve co-packing just not something I can do starting off.
 
 
Bloto said:
My issues are getting good, solid information of how I go about getting the proper permits/licensing in place in order to make and sell my sauce legally. I have contacted someone with FDACS to get some information and was pleasantly surprised with how quick I got responses and she helped me answer many of my questions on this "quest" I am on. One that I cannot seem to get a direct answer on is what, if any, licensing/certifications do I need aside from the wholesale food manufacturer permit in order to legally make and sell my sauce?
 

Sorry for the long winded post and thanks to any advice that can be provided.
I'm suggestiing you contact Adam & ask him those questions....
 
The_NorthEast_ChileMan said:
 
 

I'm suggestiing you contact Adam & ask him those questions....
 
I'm just now realizing that Adam is with and/or owns Endorphin Farms? These questions are something he'd be willing to assist with even though I am not currently looking at working with a co-packer?
 
Hey All.  New to the group but , I am in the same boat, so to speak. I am very familiar with the great reputation of Endorphin Farms.  I'd go with them in a minute, but I am still in the "micro phase" with my sauces, using 200 lbs or so of mash.  A kettle of 900 pounds minimum is something I cannot presently do.  I have been looking into "micro sauce" packers on the Net that do very small batches. any thoughts or suggestions?  I am in Florida and would prefer a Florida company.
 
Dave
 

SmokenFire

Staff Member
Moderator
Business Member
There are three process authorities in Florida you can contact for information about the acidified food you intend to manufacture.  Contact them, explain your desire to make your product and ask them what steps need to be taken to do so.
 
Once the process authority has signed off on your recipe and preparation methods you will then be able to officially produce your sauce in a licensed commercial kitchen.
 
With that hurdle cleared you will then need to register with your state (and perhaps local municipality) to acquire your licenses/permits to legally sell your sauce.  Side bonus of this is that you should then be able to purchase ingredients wholesale from local/national sellers which can cut ingredient cost dramatically.
 
With that hurdle cleared you then will need to obtain insurance, business cards/promotional materials, DIY farmer's market booth, can also think about getting a website built (roughly $2-5k depending on what you want), etc. 
 
Feel free to DM if you have any other questions.  I too followed this path not too long ago and am still working hot sauce as my side gig.  It's something I eventually hope to do for a living. 
 
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