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Specialty Foods

Have a unique recipe? Make a name for yourself with your specialty food.

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Business At A Glance

Specialty Foods

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

When people go grocery shopping, they want not just a can of soup butsomething special. In an age when very few have the time to stay homeand bake cookies, put up preserves or pickles, or spend hours over thatsimmering pot of soup or spaghetti sauce, most of us scan thesupermarket shelves for take-home goodness.

So if you’re renowned amongfamily and friends for your famous chili or killer brownies orchampagne jelly, then the specialty foods business might be your pieceof pie. Specialty foods can range from salad dressing to chocolatesauce to fragrant breads. If you can make it, you can sell it–providedyou know how. The specialty foods business is more about marketing thancooking, getting your product on the shelves and then off again intocustomers’ shopping carts. The advantages to this business are thatit’s creative and challenging, and if you believe in your product, itcan be extremely rewarding. Besides the ability to whip up a meansoufflé or sorbet, you’ll need a working knowledge of safefood-handling practices, health regulations and product liability laws.A flair for food packaging is also a must–nobody’s going to buy yourdelightful danishes if they look dumpy.

The Market

Your customers can be specialty markets like gourmet grocers, health-and natural-foods shops (if your product fits this description),department stores, restaurants, coffee bars and gift shops.

You canalso sell at flea markets, arts and crafts festivals, farmers’ marketsand through mail order. Because the competition for supermarket shelfspace is fierce and because you’ll be expected to pay a ‘slotting’ feeof as much as $25,000 to get your wares on the shelves, you’ll want tosave marketing to major chains for the future when you know yourproduct’s a success and you can afford the fee. The best way to startis by letting your customers sample your wares. Take your products toshopkeepers and let them savor the taste. Then ask if you cantest-market a few jars or packages on their shelves. Offer to helppromote your product yourself. In-store demos are terrific ways to dothis.

Customers sample your goodies and talk to you, which gives them asense of connection–sort of like tasting from grandma’s spoon.
Onceyou’ve landed a selection of retail accounts, you can attract fooddistributors, who will take your wares to the national and eveninternational level. You’ll find these people–as well as salesrepresentatives to sell your products to other venues–through industryassociations and at trade shows. If you choose the mail order route,you’ll direct-mail a brochure or catalog to lists of people who buyfoods by mail. You’ll also want to develop your own mailing list byhaving everyone who purchases your products at flea markets, festivalsor other events sign a guest book with address lines. Another option isto place small magazine ads so customers can order products by mail.

Needed Equipment

In most states it’s illegal to manufacture food products in your ownkitchen, but you can rent a commercial facility or have your own cozycorner converted to a Health Department-approved site. Your best bet,however, is not to do the cooking yourself but to find a co-packer,someone who’ll have your raw ingredients and all the packing materialsalready on-site and who will follow your recipe, leaving you free forthose all-important marketing tasks.

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Food

Hot Dog Cart Business Opportunity

Selling this concession food could be one juicy business.

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Business At A Glance

  • Business: Hot Dog Cart
  • Start-up Costs: R2 000 – R10 000
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time
  • Online Operation? No

Business Overview

The biggest challenge to overcome in terms of starting a hot dog vending business is to secure a vendor’s permit in your local community. However, even if you can’t get one, you can still operate a hot dog cart on privately-owned property and cater to functions such as flea markets, auctions, sporting events and fairs.

This is a terrific business to operate on a full- or part-time basis. Secure a good location or local events to cater to. Read more on Why the V&A Food Market is a Great Place to do Business.

Currently, new hot dog vending carts are retailing in the range of R4 000 to R8 000 each, depending on the features. However, as a method to reduce start-up costs, consider purchasing a secondhand hot dog cart – they’re typically half the cost of a new one.

Vending cart business equipment

  • Business: Vending Carts South Africa
  • Head office: 13 Beatrice Str, Stanger, 4450, South Africa
  • Visit: www.vendingcarts.co.za
  • Call: 083 228 2332

Download: Food Preparation Sample Business Plan

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Food

Grocery Delivery Service Business Opportunity

Busy people across the country will appreciate not having to go to the store for their groceries.

Entrepreneur

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grocery-delivery-service

grocery-delivery-service-in-south-africa

Business At A Glance

  • Business: Grocery Delivery Service
  • Start-up Costs: Minimum
  • Home Based: Can be operated from home.
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

You have a few options available in terms of starting a grocery delivery service. The first is to simply contract with local grocery stores to deliver customer orders for a fee. The grocery store would bill the customer, market the service and manage the deliveries.

You simply deliver the groceries. The second and more lucrative option is to establish a buying account with a grocery wholesaler and resell groceries to your customers at a profit.

Related: UberEATS Is Coming To South Africa

This method means you’ll have to create a catalog of the grocery items you stock as well as market the service. However, once again the potential to generate more profit is greatly increased.

Grocery delivery services are often very profitable business ventures, as the convenience of home delivery makes getting customers very easy.

Good examples

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Food

Online Grocery Store

Take the hassle out of grocery shopping by setting up a convenient online store.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Online Grocery Store

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Here’s a high-tech option for starting agrocery delivery service. Develop a website that features grocery itemsfor sale. To start, offer only the most popular grocery items, likemilk and bread, and as the business expands, so can your product line.Contract the delivery aspect of the service to people in your localcommunity seeking to earn a part-time income. The operating format forthe site would be very basic and easy to establish. Customers wouldsimply log on to the site, select the items they wish to purchase,enter payment and shipping information and wait for their groceries.Once established, this type of venture could be franchised and operatedin every community and city across North America.

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