With January here, it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions and about what you want to achieve in the coming year, or even in the coming decade! Whether you have big ambitions to launch your own independent business this year, or you have more modest aspirations to simply sell your surplus makes to earn a little extra cash, it pays to spend time thinking things through and putting together a plan.
If your personal plan involves exploring the potential of makers’ markets and artisan fairs, read on. In today’s blog post, we take a look at what you need to know and how to get started selling your own homemade produce. So, if you’re keen to set out a stall with glass jars filled with your own jams, jellies, pickles and preserves, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s involved.
Decide What You Will Sell
The first thing you’ll need to decide on is what exactly you will sell. Will your product range be focused on jams and marmalades, or will you include chutneys, relishes, sauces and dips? Are you planning to offer infused oils or vinegars in stylish glass bottles, or might you consider pickled onions or eggs, or even preserved fruits?
It might be tempting to simply draw up a list of your favourite items or to concentrate on things that your family and friends always comment favourably on but in reality, you’ll need to do a little more research if you want to be successful. Go along to a few farmers’ markets or food shows to see what other sellers are offering and think about how your offering could stand out from the crowd.
Check the prices that other artisan producers are charging too and be sure that you can come in at a similar price whilst still turning a healthy profit. Don’t be tempted to undercut all the other sellers, just to get those crucial first sales as this will eventually prove to be a false economy. Any early customers that you won over because of your amazingly low prices will soon be lost when you are forced to put those prices up in order to survive!
With some solid research and plenty of kitchen practice trialling recipes to get the perfect blend of flavour and price point, you’ll soon be in a position to put together a product range.
Check Out The Legislation
If you plan to sell your homemade produce at fairs and markets, you’ll need to check with your local authority to find out what rules and regulations you need to comply with. You will personally need to hold a food hygiene certificate if you are serving and handling food, but these are fairly simple to obtain and don’t cost a fortune.
Many local authorities can put you in touch with organisations that offer subsidised training and certification courses. The premises where you will produce your range will also need to be inspected and to hold a food hygiene certificate. This can be your home kitchen and doesn’t need to be a commercial kitchen. Having said that, check what’s around, as you may be able to find a commercial kitchen space for hire, which would save the hassle of having your own kitchen inspected and certified.
Book Well In Advance
As you get your range together and start getting ready, don’t leave the booking of fairs and markets to the last minute, as you might get a surprise! Many farmers’ markets have waiting lists for stallholders and many fairs are booked up months in advance. It’s no good filling those glass bottles and jars with incredible homemade goodies if you don’t have anywhere to sell them!
Put together a realistic list of fairs and events that you’d like to participate in and start contacting the organisers as soon as possible. And if any particular event organiser appears to have endless table space available, even at the last minute, ask yourself why - perhaps the event is poorly organised or unlikely to attract the footfall you’ll need to make a good profit.
Buy In Bulk
If you plan to make a success of your artisan selling, it pays to get a grip on your costs from the outset and one way to do just that is to buy your raw materials, both ingredients and glass jars and bottles, in bulk. That’s where we come in; we have years of experience supplying producers of all sizes with great quality glass jars, bottles and presentation materials, all at exceptional prices.
We’re geared up for pallet deliveries too, so there’s no need to worry about things getting broken during delivery. Why not check out our range of glass bottles, glass jars, labels and preserving equipment, to put together your first bulk order. As well as standard volume discounts, we also offer wholesale terms for customers that meet some basic order requirements, so do check out those details on our website too!
Will 2020 be the year that you become an artisan producer?