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    9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 18, 2009 6:50 PM by bojaynes

    I want to start my Specialty Food company

    bojaynes Newbie
      Hello everyone. My name is Tanya I am new to the online community. Here is my story and I pray that you all will help me with some great insight. Originally my vision was to open a Deli/Gourmet market. My market would have alot of my homemade products like veggies, dips, salsas, spices etc and some products that are not ours. But since the restaurant business is so bad where I am located I figured I would start off with my vegetable line and work my way up to get my market and then add on the Deli cafe. I do some catering on the side to try to keep my name and dream alive but that is not making as much money as I want it too. So I am trying to figure out the best way to go ahead and start with my vegetable line and make it as successful as possible where I can continue to add on products in the future and finally open up my dream Deli/GourmetMarket. Please help me with any ideas or info to help me piece my business together.
        • Re: I want to start my Specialty Food company
          jhtrain Newbie
          Not sure your veggies will sale on their own: maybe you can add a healthy desert as a reward. Aside from that, you could try to persuade on the grounds that veggies can be an essential way to balancing weight flux and can be done tastefully!
          • Re: I want to start my Specialty Food company
            LUCKIEST Guide
            I want to start my Specialty Food company

            Tanya, Go to Members page and share some info.

            If I was planning to open a Deli, I would develop a business plan and contact SCORE. SCORE is FREE
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            • Re: I want to start my Specialty Food company



              Can you please clarify what exactly do you mean by "veggies"? Are you looking to provide a line of organic veggies that you've grown? Do you have veggies that are unique to your area? What will you offer that can't be found in local stores? What is the population size and demographics in your area?


              Are there any farmer's markets in your area where you can set up a stand on a Saturday, sell your veggies and begin interacting with local consumers and build brand awareness?


              Please help me understand what is unique about your veggies so I can provide better help.


              I recently sold a fine dining restaurant that I owned and operated for a number of years, so I am familiar with the industry.


              If you need some guidance on developing a business plan, check out the Planning page on my site. Here's the link:




              I look forward to hearing back from you so I can provide appropriate ideas.


              All the Best,


              Doug Dolan


              The Solopreneur's Guide


                • Re: I want to start my Specialty Food company
                  bojaynes Newbie
                  I have a line of spices that I am about to promote and I sell locally to friends and family. Which are natural spices, culinary spices and creative blends and the vegetable line consists of natural and organic vegetables like collards, green beans turnips etc cleaned, cut and sold with their own seasoning packet.
                  Once again I really want to open a Deli/Gourmet market but I am starting on this end of the business since it is really hard right now to open up a restaurant. And these are come of the products I would like to have in my small gourmet market. I figured that if I can get my name out there I wo'nt be just another restaurant/market opening. That's another reason why I cater, to get my name out to the public.
                  • Re: I want to start my Specialty Food company
                    bojaynes Newbie
                    Also I didn't mention that these vegetables will be frozen. So they I guess they may be fine to ship. So I wonder if I should go ahead and invest into my labels and so forth and start out in some food shows or should I just try to sell locally and online or wait until I get my own market up and running.
                  • Re: I want to start my Specialty Food company
                    SmBizCPA Newbie
                    Some things to think about:

                    (1) Do you want to have a "wholesale" company, where you make the products and then sell them through other "retail" companies (stores who sell directly to customers)? If so, your job would be to find stores that will sell your products for you. You make less money "per item," but you could possibly sell more quantity of products and you also "save" money by not having to pay rent and utilities (heating, lighting...) on a store of your own. For specialty products, you probably want to go to specialty grocery/food stores. Check this out on Wikipedia: This is a good way to start your business.

                    (2) Alternately, you could sell directly to end user customers (people who eat your food products). You could start out with a "low overhead" option, such as setting up a "street stand" or "cart" (think about a kid's lemonade stand or a hot dog cart). Since I'm assuming you're older than 14, you'll need to check with the city government in your city to see if stands/carts are allowed and about getting a business license. City business license departments can be very helpful. http://You might consider selling online. But, since your products will have to be kept fresh, shipping products might not work out. Retail takes a lot of your time to sell directly to customers. But, if you like working with people, it's a good option.

                    Regardless if you operate as a retail or a wholesale business, since you are dealing with food products, you need to check with the city, county, state, and federal agencies about health codes. (Sorry, that's not my area of expertise.) Your products must be kept clean/healthy, hot/cold (as appropriate), etc.

                    Other considerations: The Four Ps of Product Marketing (per Wikipedia):
                    which are Product, Pricing, Place, and Promotion.

                    (1) Product - define/describe your products, name them, figure out how they are different from other products in the marketplace (organic or not; healthy, calorie content, mix of ingredients, etc.) Why would someone want to buy your products instead of existing products?

                    (2) Pricing - See how the price of your wholesale products compare to similar wholesale products of other wholesale companies. See how the price of your retail products compare to similar retail products. Go out to stores, research online, etc. Do you have high-priced, fancy specialty products or specialty products that are as good as but less expensive than the competition? Have price lists (wholesale and retail). Think about offering volume discounts for stores/companies/people who buy a lot from you. Wikipedia has a good list of questions.

                    (3) Place - On this Wikipedia page, there's a discussion of "distribution channels." This is similar to the "wholesale" and "retail" items discussed above, but with a lot more detail. You can have more than one way ("channel") to distribute (i.e. sell) your product. Product "placement" can also refer to how you differentiate your product, such as a "specialty" product instead of an "ordinary" product. Your "place of business," if you have a retail store, should be designed/decorated to fit the "specialness" of your products and the customers who will shop there.

                    (4) Promotion - Depending on your distribution channels, you will decide how to promote (i.e. tell people about) your company and your products. (You could also promote yourself--like Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, Chef Ramsey, and Emril Lagasse.) Examples: If you set up a cart, get phone numbers of customers and send them a Twitter message when your cart is set up in their area. If you sell through distributors, go to a wholesale food show and make contacts. Have flyers printed about your company to distribute.

                    Good luck!
                    • Re: I want to start my Specialty Food company
                      Nancy08 Wayfarer
                      There is a lot of information out there and I don't know what state you live in but visit*. The website owner is a wealth of information and if she is not online (access chat from the homepage) email her and she will direct you. Great information on the site and in the blog about small food processing businesses. I am sure you will find this resource worth your while.