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Homemade for Sale (PDF)
How to Set Up and Market a Food Business from Your Home Kitchen
From farm-to-fork and "Buy Local", to slow food and hand-made artisan breads, more people than ever are demanding real food made with real ingredients by real people. Widely known as "cottage food legislation", over 42 states and many Canadian provinces have enacted recent legislation or formulated guidelines that encourages home cooks to create and sell a variety of "non-hazardous" food items, often defined as those that are high-acid, like pickles, or low moisture, like breads or cookies. Finally, "homemade" and "fresh from the oven" on the package can mean exactly what it says.
Homemade for Sale is the first authoritative guide to conceiving and launching your own home-based food start-up. Packed with profiles of successful cottage food entrepreneurs, this comprehensive and accessible resource covers everything you need to get cooking for your customers, creating items that by their very nature are specialized and unique. Topics covered include:
- Product development and testing
- Marketing and developing your niche
- Structuring your business and planning for the future
- Managing liability, risk, and government regulations.
You can join a growing movement of entrepreneurs starting small food businesses from their home. No capital needed, just good recipes, enthusiasm and commitment, plus enough know-how to turn fresh ingredients into sought-after treats for your local community. Everything required is probably already in your home kitchen. Best of all, you can start tomorrow!
Lisa Kivirist is a Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and a national advocate for women in sustainable agriculture. She founded and directs the Rural Women's Project of the Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service, an award-winning initiative championing female farmers and food-based entrepreneurs.
Together with her husband, John Ivanko, Lisa is co-author of Homemade for Sale, Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance. Lisa and her family run Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast, completely powered by the wind and sun in the rolling green hills of southern Wisconsin.
John D. Ivanko is a national speaker, writer, photographer, and ecopreneur, and innkeeper of Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast. Together with his wife, Lisa, John is co-author of the award-winning ECOpreneuring, as well as Farmstead Chef and Rural Renaissance. He is also the co-author and photographer for six award-winning multicultural children's books including To Be a Kid and Be My Neighbor.
"Revive local economies and create jobs. Add value instead of selling commodities. Rebuild regional food systems. Diversify production on the landscape. Capitalize the infrastructure for a sane and healthy diet. And yet, there is no switch to flip: we have to start-small, learn the lessons, and grow this sector ourselves. Homemade for Sale is the perfect start. The many thousands of food entrepreneurs today making magic in their home kitchens and brushing elbows with farmers in packing sheds, are tomorrow's locally owned processing companies, making tomato sauce for school lunch, and jelly for the local deli's sandwiches. Like seedlings and piglets, big things start small, from the ground up, and that means you and me, and the kitchen sink. Yes, we can."
Severine vT Fleming, director, Greenhorns; and co-founder, Farm Hack and National Young Farmers Coalition
"The ECOpreneuring team has done it again! Over the years, they've given us several indispensable authoritative guidebooks, but make note, their how-to writing style is uniquely playful and inviting. Lisa and John don't just invite you into their world, they suck you in. By the time you finish reading Homemade for Sale, you'll be wearing your farmers-market-John/jam-n-jelly-Jane hat in total confidence."
MaryJane Butters, author, Milk Cow Kitchen, MaryJanesFarm.org
"Imagine for a minute what an extra $5,000 or $10,000 or more a year would mean to you and your family. If you could earn that money doing something you already love, right from your own kitchen, how would that change your life? This isn't some late night infomercial - this is micro-entrepreneurship made possible by recent Cottage Food legislation. Lisa and John's latest book, Homemade for Sale, is a practical, tactical guide to help you turn your beloved hobby into a profitable, small-scale business. This step can feel like an intimidating leap, but Homemade for Sale is like the experienced friend that takes you in hand and shows you the path from here to there. If you have a passion for creating and sharing, you can have a business. Lisa and John show you how, with direct, expert advice on Cottage Food regulation, the day-to-day realities of business cash-flow management, marketing, branding, packaging and more. Homemade for Sale is an indispensable guide to joining the Cottage Food industry, avoiding common pitfalls and building a thriving business from your own home. Profiles of successful micro-entrepreneurs show the many ways people are successfully creating their own cottage businesses, and if you ever outgrow the "cottage", Homemade for Sale covers how to scale up and join the world of commercial food production. Cottage Food legislation is the promise that almost anyone can become a businessperson and grow their own diverse income stream with almost no start-up cost or risk. Homemade for Sale shows you how to turn that promise into a successful, satisfying reality."
Erica Strauss, Northwest Edible Life, (www.nwedible.com)
"Homemade for Sale is an inspiring guide for anyone interested in starting a home-based food business. Lisa and John have been through the fire themselves and scoured the cottage food industry to find the best resources to help you get off the ground and succeed. From understanding your state's laws to incorporating your business to choosing the right products customers to market to, they take you step by step through everything you should be doing and thinking about. Their profiles on other cottage food entrepreneurs bring everything a little closer to home and may be just the motivation we all need to take part in the movement ourselves."
Lev Berlin, Founder ReciPal
"Having answered thousands of cottage food-related questions, I can confirm that this book fills a void that the internet does not. I've seen many cottage food operations making tasty products with bland profits, and Homemade for Sale correctly focuses on the missing ingredient - marketing. It will give your new business an edge in a crowded marketplace. Well-researched, loaded with examples, and perfectly tailored to the home cook, this book will point you in the right direction. For any first-time food entrepreneur, Homemade for Sale isn't recommended reading... it's required."
David Crabill, co-founder, Forrager Inc.
"We are in a golden age for local, artisanal culinary products. But the food industry can be particularly challenging for startup businesses. Homemade for Sale is a valuable resource to help culinary entrepreneurs understand what lies ahead so they can more easily navigate their journey of turning their passion into a livelihood."
Gregory Heller, author, U.S. Kitchen Incubators: An Industry Snapshot
"Many of my readers and students ask me for advice on starting a cottage food business. I'm thrilled to recommend Homemade for Sale as it is a comprehensive volume full of helpful legal knowledge to practical business and marketing advice. This is an essential for anyone ready to make the leap to launch their food business."
Kate Payne, author, The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking and The Hip Girl's Guide to the Kitchen
"Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko answer all the questions that you need to know about starting your own food business! This book is an amazing compilation of the current food laws and trends and will give any person interested in pursuing a career in food the upper hand. The research is strong and the writing witty with a perfect combination to make Homemade for Sale a must for any foodie, homesteader or dreamer. I wish this book came out 12 years ago when I was starting my own business as it would have given me a great upper edge."
Jordan Champagne, co-founder and co-owner, Happy Girl Kitchen Co.
"What an insightful look at the cottage food industry. Food entrepreneurs receive useful direction - taking them from their idea's inception to finished product in this first authoritative guide of it's kind. Thank you for promoting Good Food with Homemade for Sale."
Jim Slama, President, FamilyFarmed