Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

But is the Market Saturated? FAQ

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Selling at a farmers' market.

My previous post featured an article Going pro? What you should know about starting a home-based food business. This brings up a current FAQ: with so many people starting businesses, is the market saturated?

In the US more than half our states have cottage food laws so the bar for legal entry into this business is very low. Many more folks simply start baking and selling without any regard for regulations.

So is the market saturated? For cakes and cupcakes, yes, this market is totally saturated. There are thousands of Facebook pages, websites, and ads on craigslist. People are advertising wedding cakes, birthday cakes, special occasion cakes, and the one-of-a-kind sculpted cakes (made popular by TV shows such as Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss). Everyday there are more people who decide that since they have a kitchen and can whip out a cake mix, then they can sell their cakes and cupcakes. Unfortunately, many have no experience, little talent, and no idea what they are doing. Eventually, they go out of business. But more cake businesses open to take up the slack.

In other  categories, however, there will always be a market for a wide range of  food products. Whether it’s selling

pies

cookies

breads (photo courtesy of blue ribbon hearth)

or a variety of decadent sweets.

These are locally produced home made products, the kinds that fall under the cottage food laws. This is the most feasible category. Becoming a home-based food processor is not for people who want to get rich with little work. But it is for anyone who enjoys working with food and can learn how to run a business.

Food is a consumable. There’s a steady market for products. With the current trends for local and seasonal, customers are there – but you have to work at being a business.

Home-Based Baking at its Best! If you’re interested in becoming a home-based food processor, do your market research and write a detailed business plan.

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Going Pro?

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

What you should know about starting a home-based food business Story today in The Poughkeepsie Journal

Start & Run a Home-Based Food Business

Home Baking for Profit

The Faux Pastry Chef: How I Found My Baking Fix

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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CakeFu and a Recipe

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

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CakeFu is dedicated to teaching people the fine art of decorating. As part of their Masters Series, the lovely Amelia Carbine usually presents master cake decorators. For yesterday’s event she interviewed me to highlight the business side of cake decorating: starting and running a profitable food business.

The presentation included my Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Torte, a recipe from The (Faux) Pastry Chef: How I Found My Baking Fix.

This versatile Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Torte, decorated above with a simple border and small shortbread cookies.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Torte
Yield: 9-inch two layer cake

Cake
2 large eggs
½ cup oil
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup water, coffee, or milk

Ganache
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate bits

Buttercream
½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup shortening
4 cups (approx 1 pound) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk, or more
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup raspberry jam, or more

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease (2) 9-inch pans or line with parchment.
2. In large bowl, beat eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla.
3. In separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in remaining liquid.
4. Pour into pans and bake for 30-40 minutes, until done. Cake is ready when it pulls away from the sides of the pan and top feels firm when gently pressed. Cool at least 15 minutes before removing from pan. Chill cakes for several hours.
5. Prepare ganache: heat cream and pour over chocolate. Let sit for several minutes and stir until smooth. Chill until thick but not set.
6. Prepare buttercream: on low speed, beat together softened butter and shortening (or use all butter). Beat in sugar, milk, and extract until thoroughly combined. Beat on high for several minutes. Stir in jam.
7. Assemble cake: use some or all of ganache between cake layers, then ice with raspberry buttercream. (Decorate with fresh raspberries, if in season.)

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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