Managing a Start Up Food Business
We intend to use this space to document what went right, but also what went wrong. I am not an advocate of “fail faster” and make mistakes as part of our regular business We need to avoid mistakes. A young business can afford to make as many mistakes as it has available capital.
Four Seasons of a Business
Spring is finally here, it is time to put away the sweatshirts and fleece jackets. Spring is one of my most favorite seasons. Growing up in Ohio, and moving to Michigan after a job change, I have always lived in states where the seasons are very prevalent. With both a color change with the leaves of fall, and a physical change with leaves blowing off the trees, fall is an undeniable season. But so are winter, spring and summer. Your business has seasons as well, and you should take note of that. It isn’t until you have been through all four seasons with a business start-up that you really know what it is you want it to be, or what opportunities present themselves to you .
We are experiencing effects of the Four Seasons of a Business with our Street Eatzz Brand and really honing into what we want to be when we grow up. Until recently, we weren’t as clear about what we are. I have said from day one of our start up, we are Building a Brand, and we are Much More than a Hot Sauce Company.
Micro Co-Packers and Distributors
After talking with numerous Start Up Food Entrepreneur’s, coupled with our own experiences it is acutely evident that there must be a better way. After being approached by a handful of food business operators seeking advice and help with marketing and branding, a common thread in each of the conversations became apparent, they all use a co packer, and they were modestly satisfied at best. Many were seeking alternative kitchens, and were searching for a better solution
Most of the folks we have chatted with have made it into a handful of Retail Stores. The troubling thing is, many of these start-ups will run out of resources before ever reaching a sales volume large enough to transition from a Hobby to a Business.
Anyway you slice the pie, it is a long slow road. Businesses do not pop up overnight, and it takes time to properly nurture and grow your business. With our Boutique Apartment Brand, Urbane Apartments it took us several years to start to see distributions, however fast forward to today and it provides our family with a comfortable lifestyle, so there really is light at the end of the tunnel. The question to ponder is how long is that tunnel of time to move from Hobby to Business and Business to Smooth Operations. Increasing sales and adding new retail is only half the battle. Solving real business problems and creating systems and procedures is the other half, however until sales increase to a certain level, the future problems that will need to be solved haven’t yet occurred.
We have the capacity to Micro Co Pack in our commercial kitchen in Hamtramck where Chef Tom and Chef Al make our Street Eatzz Foodie Sauces and Marie’s Salsa and BBQ Sauce. We produce small batch runs of under (30) Cases, matching production to your cash flow and sales volume.
Co packing is only part of solving the budding Food Entrepreneurs pain point and problem. We are proposing a complete solution to help a new start up Food Entrepreneur Bridge the Gap between Start Up to transition from a Hobby to a Business. It makes no sense for us each to one off be calling on retail stores, producing product in one off production runs and an unorganized distribution matrix.
Bridge the Gap
Co-packing is the process whereby one company chooses to incorporate the services of a second company that is certified, insured and capable of manufacturing the first company’s products. A quality co-packer works with the client to re-create their product’s flavor, look and mouth-feel from its original inception, hit deadlines, etc. with one difference: Where a small startup company may produce cases of products, a co-packer is equipped to produce truckloads. Street Eatzz LLC is certified by the USDA to co-pack container foods and sauces.
Let Street Eatzz help you and your business Bridge the Gap!
ADVANTAGES OF USING A CO-PACKER. Simply stated, having a co-packer manufacture your products allows you to focus on other important aspects of your business: Marketing, promotion and distribution. It also helps you avoid expensive startup costs for a facility, including equipment, insurance, bulk materials, labor – not to mention the often complicated and expensive process of being certified by federal and state Departments of Agriculture (USDA).
BEFORE WE BEGIN. To help ensure you’re serious about your co-packing needs, we require a signed Confidentiality Agreement. We cannot begin a dialogue with our client’s until/unless these documents are filled out, signed & returned. These documents let us know that you are serious about beginning the process, and also protects you, your recipe AND us from any liability issues.
Step One: Confidentiality Agreement
Step Two: Start up fee per product
Step Three: Product revision requires –
Step Four: Lab testing (Nutritional Analysis, shelf life, etc.)
Step Five: Price quote available of cost per unit upon product approval.
Step Six: Terms and Conditions:
Step Seven: Product can be picked up or FOB Hamtramck, MI.
LABELS. We will NOT schedule a production without your labels in our possession. It is unlawful to release products from our facilities without labels, we will not configure our line or schedule a run without your labels on site – NO EXCEPTIONS.
APPROVAL. Contingent upon your signed approval of the final product and receipt of your printed labels, we schedule a production date for your first run. Unless otherwise agreed upon, you must also be prepared to take the product within two (2) days of the production run. This time frame is especially sensitive with perishable, refrigerated products.
PRODUCT PRICING. We provide a quote based on final approval of your product. As with most other industries, volume is also a factor; the more volume you produce, the more favorable your quote.
MINIMUM RUN. In order to schedule your run, we have to structure our production line to accommodate your brand. This means a minimum volume of products must be created; Street Eatzz will do small batch runs.