Thinking of Starting a Food Business? Read This First

CHOW

If you like to cook, there often comes a moment when you start to daydream about turning your favorite hobby into a career. Could your famous apple butter take the world by storm? How many artisanal popsicles would you have to sell to pay the bills? Not so fast, says CHOW. This might not be a good time to start your own food business.They are actually a little more blunt about it, giving three reasons not to start a food business. For one thing, the market is too crowded at the moment. An assistant grocery buyer at San Francisco's Bi-Rite Market points out:
"The bar is so much higher than it was a few years ago because there are so many producers out there," she says. "Just being small isn't enough. It has to be delicious, and it has to be different, but not so different that it won't appeal to a mass audience. It has to be sustainable, it has to have a great back story, and great packaging, and so on."

Secondly, breaking into big grocery chains is extremely difficult. Very few work directly with small food producers, preferring to put in large-volume orders with big companies.

But that doesn't mean your dream isn't worth pursuing, as long as you go in knowing reason number three: your current job is easier. Starting your own food business entails long hours, work-filled weekends and very little rest. And much of the work — like packaging, publicity, insurance and health codes — doesn't involve cooking. Kind of makes you want to bring your apple butter to a local food swap instead.

Read the article: 3 Reasons Not to Start a Food Biz at CHOW

Have you ever thought about starting your own food business?

Related: Professional Kitchen Tour: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

(Image: Flickr member ministryofstories licensed under Creative Commons; jams from Hoxton Street Monster Supplies)

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