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Despite the fact that my division has had a record-breaking year under my leadership (as it has all seven years I've been here) and seems to be recession-proof, the rest of the company hasn't fared as well and today we got a notice that we were taking a company-wide 10% paycut and being put on furlough on alternating Fridays.

That leaves me with some free time and the need to fill some gaps in my bank account.

I was thinking I could set up like an Amazon.com store or something and make Dan Cole's World Famous Maple Bacon, Dan Cole's World Famous Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies, Dan Cole's World Famous err... Powdered Baking Mixes.

Does anyone have any experience selling foodstuffs out of their home like this?

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Despite the fact that my division has had a record-breaking year under my leadership (as it has all seven years I've been here) despite the economy, the rest of the company hasn't fared as well and today we got a notice that we were taking a company-wide 10% paycut and being put on furlough on alternating Fridays.

That leaves me with some free time and the need to fill some gaps in my bank account.

I was thinking I could set up like an Amazon.com store or something and make Dan Cole's World Famous Maple Bacon, Dan Cole's World Famous Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies, Dan Cole's World Famous err... Powdered Baking Mixes.

Does anyone have any experience selling foodstuffs out of their home like this?

Dan,

First...sorry for your challenges with income. Ugh....no raises....paying more for health insurance...the disposable income quotient is dropping. I'd suggest visiting your local farmers markets, and asking how they are negatiating their way. To wit: Red Apron, Stachowski's venture, The Copper Pot...

Best!

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Despite the fact that my division has had a record-breaking year under my leadership (as it has all seven years I've been here) and seems to be recession-proof, the rest of the company hasn't fared as well and today we got a notice that we were taking a company-wide 10% paycut and being put on furlough on alternating Fridays.

That leaves me with some free time and the need to fill some gaps in my bank account.

I was thinking I could set up like an Amazon.com store or something and make Dan Cole's World Famous Maple Bacon, Dan Cole's World Famous Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies, Dan Cole's World Famous err... Powdered Baking Mixes.

Does anyone have any experience selling foodstuffs out of their home like this?

Here is a list to get you started:

  1. get licensed as a certified food handler
  2. set up an LLC
  3. open bank accounts
  4. get business insurance
  5. locate an inspected professional kitchen

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Starting from first principles, here's the top of the regulatory heap for foodstuffs:

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/foodbiz.html

And here's the info on filing (or not filing) for a small business nutrition label exemption:

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/sbnle.html

I'd start with checking out the applicable laws in the jurisdiction where you plan to produce your product.

You might need to change your cavalier attitude about food poisoning. :D

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Dan, this may not be as fancy as you're thinking, but the site Etsy.com (website where folks who make homemade goods can sell them) has a food section. I order baked goods and candy from here pretty frequently for gifts, but they have other types of food too. It isn't a dedicated foodie site, but it may be a cheap alternative to starting your own website, etc.

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Dan, this may not be as fancy as you're thinking, but the site Etsy.com (website where folks who make homemade goods can sell them) has a food section. I order baked goods and candy from here pretty frequently for gifts, but they have other types of food too. It isn't a dedicated foodie site, but it may be a cheap alternative to starting your own website, etc.

If you go with Etsy, and you don't follow the steps that mdt outlines first, you are ASKING for a lawsuit.

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It would be WAY cheaper to get a part time job. People have no idea how complicated this is. Best would be to get a food cert and work in a food place so you can learn.
Unfortunately the Mrs. and I have only one car... and she still has to get to work! So my Fridays will be spent at home... :D

Thanks to everyone for the tips!

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Unfortunately the Mrs. and I have only one car... and she still has to get to work! So my Fridays will be spent at home... :D

Thanks to everyone for the tips!

A South American friend of mine was trying to talk me into starting a "dinner club"--which she said is very popular among people of means in Argentina and Chile. Someone who is a very good cook plans a meal for eight or ten people, who call and make reservations, come to the cook's house, eat and pay for the meal. They find out about it via word of mouth. There is a minimal fee, like a dollar to "join the club" and then they pay for the meal. She thought that for something similar to the four course meals that I often served when she came to my house for dinner, that I could charge $100 a person. The fee is ultimately determined by the cost of ingredients and the wine, and the amount of labor, obviously. If I had a somewhat larger house, I might have done it. But with the crazy, creative stuff you do in the kitchen, I'll bet you could get a few people to come to your dinner club once a month, and build a regular clientele.

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A South American friend of mine was trying to talk me into starting a "dinner club"--which she said is very popular among people of means in Argentina and Chile. Someone who is a very good cook plans a meal for eight or ten people, who call and make reservations, come to the cook's house, eat and pay for the meal. They find out about it via word of mouth. There is a minimal fee, like a dollar to "join the club" and then they pay for the meal. She thought that for something similar to the four course meals that I often served when she came to my house for dinner, that I could charge $100 a person. The fee is ultimately determined by the cost of ingredients and the wine, and the amount of labor, obviously. If I had a somewhat larger house, I might have done it. But with the crazy, creative stuff you do in the kitchen, I'll bet you could get a few people to come to your dinner club once a month, and build a regular clientele.
I've heard about underground "dinner clubs" in New York. Is that legal?
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I've heard about underground "dinner clubs" in New York. Is that legal?

They're in DC as well. I knew about one (now defunct) through word of mouth, but I could have sworn I read an article online about these in DC sometime back, within the last year or two.

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They're in DC as well. I knew about one (now defunct) through word of mouth, but I could have sworn I read an article online about these in DC sometime back, within the last year or two.

There was an article on the Post.

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