Cooking is one of many ways to turn your talents into a profitable side job. For those who are especially talented in the craft, it even can evolve into a full-time business. Selling jams, jellies, and preserves is one way for hobbyists and entrepreneurs to break into the food industry. There’s more to it than deciding between this flavor or that, however. Like any business, there are quite a few considerations before starting a preserves business.
Sort Through the Paperwork
The first thing to know is that anything food-related comes with some expectations that other businesses don’t. Certain foods are covered by the Cottage Food laws. In other words, to produce a few different types of consumable goods, it’s not necessary to obtain a license or to have your kitchen meet the same standards that restaurants do.
The reason for this is that certain foods have ingredients that ward off bacteria naturally or that neutralize the bacteria through their specific method of baking. Preserves, jams, and jellies are high in acid, and the preservation method used for each of these items also helps keep the goods clean and safe. However, if you plan on having a bigger menu, it’s well worth looking into the local ordinances surrounding different food items.
Master the Techniques
To ensure your preserves are free of illness-causing microorganisms, it’s essential to follow all procedures. Luckily, it isn’t too hard, as the tools and techniques of canning haven’t changed much over the years. Even the tools of the trade are the same, and it’s all very low-tech and manageable. Besides understanding how to properly use special ingredients like pectin, acid, and pickling spices, you’ll also want to understand how to sanitize jars in which you will store your products.
Figure Out Recipes Beforehand
In retail, a lot of paperwork happens long before inventory is ordered. Stocking a store is the last step in the journey. The food industry is often reversed in that it’s vital to have a menu with complete recipes well underway before a business is even feasible. Since it’s a product your business will craft itself time and again, consistency and quality are key.
Take the time to practice creating preserves and find the best possible flavors. Understanding what causes people to choose the competition’s flavors and options is one of the most serious considerations before starting a preserves business. Explore different flavor combinations and make sure you’re making your jams according to other people’s tastes.