Who doesn’t like to eat? If you enjoy cooking and other aspects of food, then starting a home-based food-related business might be for you. To sell edibles, there might a few extra hoops you need to jump through in starting your business. Most states have regulations around the food industry that involve keeping your personal cooking tools and ingredients separate from your business ones, and the possibility of a visit from the health department. Your state’s health department or occupational regulations website should have information on what’s involved in creating a selling food.
These 7 ideas involve cooking or sharing your love of food and making a living from it. So grab a cup of coffee and a muffin (or another treat to eat), and check out these foodie business ideas.
People love baked items. They have muffins, bread or donuts for breakfast, bread with lunch, a bread or biscuit with dinner, and cookies or cakes for dessert. You can profit from the love of baked goods by baking them and selling them yourself. You can specialize in a specific baked item, such as starting a cookie business, or you can bake a wide range of treats such as cakes, muffins, breads, and more. You can further niche by baking gluten-free or other diet-specialty treats (i.e. sugar-free).
You can consign your baked goods and sell them through a local cafe or shop, or you can sell them direct to consumers through an online bake shop or farmers market.
Do you have a special item you make that others love? Maybe you make jams or preserves? Do you roast your own coffee beans? Can you make chocolate and other confections? If you have an edible item you make that others enjoy, turn it into income. Similar to baked goods, specialty items are in demand. They make great gifts or treats that can be sold through consignment, online, at fairs and farmers markets, and more.
Do you enjoy cooking a variety of foods for events? Although catering can be a big task, many caterers got their start working on weekends catering for smaller events. In fact, you might consider specializing in a niche, such as a type of event or specific foods. Odds are you’ll need a few extra helping hands on the day of the event to ensure all items are prepared and ready to be served at the allotted time.
Maybe you enjoy cooking, but don’t want to take on the large task of serving a group through catering. Another option is to be a personal chef. Busy families often don’t have the time or desire to cook and hire others to create well-balanced, healthy meals for them. Many personal chefs cook in bulk, leaving a week’s worth of food with their clients. Some cook at the client’s home, while others deliver. You can consider specializing, as well. For example, you can cook for families with special needs, such as allergy-restricted diets.
Many people wish they had skills in the kitchen and are willing to pay to learn. Like other culinary jobs, a cooking instructor can focus on a specific area, such as baking or grilling, or be a generalist. You can lead cooking instruction in your home, or have someone videotape you and you can sell the videos as part of a home-learning course. Another option is to create your own cooking show posted on YouTube, which can pay you advertising income.
People are becoming more and more concerned about their health and the role food plays in feeling good. A nutrition coach helps others design and follow an eating plan that helps them meet their health goals. Some clients may have specific issues to contend with such as diabetes or food allergies. Other may want to follow a specific type of diet, such as vegan or gluten-free. Although you don’t need to be a registered dietitian or nutritionist, it can add to your credibility and allow to charge more. Or you can consider getting certified as a nutrition coach by one of the many nutrition coaching companies.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to get started making money from the love of food is through a food blog. You can share your recipes through text or video, and post them on your blog, share them on Pinterest and more. Unlike other food businesses that are under special regulation, a food blog doesn’t have special food rules because you’re not selling the food items. Instead, you can earn income through a variety of other options such as affiliate marketing, advertising, or creating your own products such as a cookbook.
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BACKGROUND: The Chef Alliance is a membership organisation for Personal Chefs, Private Chefs, Chefs and Caterers, Artisan and Cottage Industry food producers and bakers, Home Cooks, Culinary Instructors, Food Stylists, Chef Instructors and other foodservice professionals across Canada. We support our members in growing strong, successful businesses, through mentorship, peer support, marketing, business savings and liability insurance. We have member Chefs in Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Burlington, Montreal, Quebec City, Vaughan, Markham, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, Richmond, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Halifax... and many other towns and cities in Canada.
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