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Old 08-06-2007, 08:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
THGL's Avatar
Location: Louisville, KY
How to sell prepared food commercially

Does anyone know the process (if there is one) on selling prepared food commercially? To be exact, I make a mean key lime pie and someone mentioned I should try to sell them to local restaurants for starters.

What would I need to do legally to make this happen? Do I need labels printed with food ingredients/UPC codes/etc., what about contracts with the restaurants?

I found out there's certification for restaurants called ServSafe. Is this something I should do (would it help for the marketing)?

I basically know NOTHING about this.

"The truth is merely an excuse for lack of imagination." - Garak
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
shakran's Avatar
most states require food made for commercial sale to be made in a commercial-certified kitchen. This is very expensive
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
Location: Chicago's western burbs
actually, its not that expensive if you can get around it - for example,
certain kitchens only use their kitchens at certain times of day ie: school cafeterias, bakeries, restaurants that only serve lunch and dinner... renting "time and X amount of space" from them for X days a week for X hours for X amount of money" is sometimes feasible, depending on who you know.
They would already be commercially certified.

You could also find another individual or individuals in the area that are looking to do the same thing and get together to split the costs of renting and keeping up a commercial kitchen.

Another possibility is to make the rounds of the restaurants you would like to sell, talking to the owners and staff about the possibility of carrying your wares, (bring samples of course), making sure they know you are looking to establish interest in the product to gauge a potential market base in the area before going into business there, then go on to find a production company or bakery in the area that can make and package and sometimes even deliver, and maybe even include your product in their sales to their pre-established client base, using your recipe and logo/packaging design etc.

getting serve save certs for yourself once you have an established location for production is a very good idea, definitely look into it, and having a barcode/upc code is usually only necessary if you want to mass produce and sell to say... grocery stores or a chain restaurant that might also wish to resell your pies whole to their patrons as well as sell them by the slice. The content list is a must - your clients will need to be able to confirm or deny that there is or is not X item in that product (think egg allergies etc) as well as caloric intake information if you can get it (im sure i can find the appropriate information for you on this if you wanted to do it) and serving/portion recommendation - this especially so that you can rationalize an appropriate price per unit cost and sell point.

aaaaaaaaah business... the possibilities are endless....

feel free to PM me if you need clarification or would like some help.

Last edited by Midnight; 08-28-2007 at 08:54 AM..
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commercially, food, prepared, sell

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