You’ve done it. You’ve spent the last few months mastering old family recipes, dusted off your baking pans and are ready to start your own home food business. But where do you start?
With any new business, there are multiple details to consider, but with a home food business, the complications can be overwhelming. Here we break down what you need from inventory to delivery to get your home food business off the ground.
If you have a passion for baking, cooking, or a specialty product that you are ready to share with the world the first thing you need to do is find out if people will buy it. This is called market research and can be something as small as asking your friends and neighbours to try your food and give feedback, or you can hire consultants to help test out your products.
You need to know if you can sell your food, where you can sell it, and who wants to buy it? You also need to know who your competition is and figure out how to set yourself apart. All this will help you put together a solid business plan, which will help you make sure your business is on track.
Source Your Ingredients
If you are only making small batches of food, you can probably find your ingredients at the grocery store, but as you make more it can get very expensive. For restaurants that offer private catering in Toronto, ensure to find wholesalers that will sell your products in large quantities at a reduced price, or if you deal with fresh ingredients it is helpful to get to know some local farmers who can supply you at a discount.
Find A Space
If your business is based in your home, make sure you have space to accommodate what you need and space to grow as your business expands. Consider consulting with a contractor that specializes in restaurant construction in Toronto. Some food items are legally required to be made in a commercial kitchen, so make sure you understand the bylaws in your province.
If you need a commercial kitchen and don’t have the means to build your own, find a space you can share. Many co-op kitchens have space you can rent by the day or by the hour, depending on your needs and are fully licensed.
Once you have your product sorted out, you need an attractive logo and packaging that will entice customers to buy your food. A well-designed logo, packaging and website all work together to tell the story of your company.
Make sure you have a website that is easy to use, attractive and helps customers buy your product. If you sell online, make it easy to purchase products. If your webpage provides information make sure the most important info is the first thing visitors see. And of course, make sure there are gorgeous pictures of your food.
Shipping and Delivery
Have a plan for how you will get your food to your customers. If you are personally delivering, make sure your methods get food safely and efficiently to your customers. If your product needs refrigeration you need to have a plan for this. If you are mailing products, what is the most cost-effective way to ship? Also, be sure to take into account expiry dates and inventory.