I Want to Create a Business Like Little Debbie.

United States
October 22, 2007 8:26pm CST
i love baking, and i'm really good with business. i've had "candy houses" and this is something i want to get into. what would i need? i know i'd need money, but i'm clueless as to what supplies and how much of something i'd need.
2 responses
• United States
30 Oct 07
Keep in mind that you'll have to check health regulations in your state. This was being discussed in one of the direct sale Yahoo groups I'm in (I sell for a gourmet mixes company), and the regulations vary from state to state. For example, I live in Illinois, and to produce foodstuffs for sale, from what I understand, you need a separate kitchen and apparently CANNOT under any circumstances do this from your home. I don't know where you're from, so I can't say as to the regulations in your state. You'll also need to pay for permits, etc. As far as supplies, you may want to start small. First, decide what you'd like to sell and develop your recipes. You'll have to make sure you have the equipment to make the goods. As far as specifics, that depends on what you're making, of course. You'll need packaging supplies. Perhaps a vacuum sealer? Or some cello wraps? And I unfortunately have no idea what you'd need if you wanted to package the products like the snack cakes at the gas station! Again, it would depend partly on what you're selling and partly on what the food safety regulations in your state call for. You may want to try joining a free or low-cost gourmet mix direct sales biz or offer to hold a tasting party for a consultant near you. As a hostess you'll get to help make the goods and serve them, as well as earning free or discount products for yourself (a good way to see what other companies are making and maybe some help on your own recipes). As a consultant, you can mix up the goods yourself and hand them out as little samples, which may generate sales. This would give you some selling experience and let you know what to expect. If that sort of thing interests you, feel free to PM me and I'll send you the link to my site for the company I rep for and a couple others I know of that are free or low-cost to join. Mine is free until the 31st; after that, it's $10, which includes a rep kit with 3 mixes. Most of them sell other meal mixes in addition to the baking mixes, though. But if you want to give it a shot, it may give you some experience.
• United States
23 Oct 07
The best thing I can recommend to you is that you start small at home. If you have an oven, and basically what you need to bake anything, you're set. Now as far as the business end goes, start small. Every town has small family restaurants and things like that. Go to the restaurant and talk to them about your product, and ask if they would like to work with you on them selling your product in their store. Congratulations, now you're a supplier and distributor. Make sure you charge enough to cover everything you need, plus profit, and enough to re-invest in expansion, and you can slowly build a hobby in to a full time career.