So, you’ve lost your job as a high-flying financier; nothing beats retreating to the womb of the home for licking sore wounds: the kitchen. You remember your childhood, and Grandma’s delicious cookies. The possibility slowly emerges to reproduce these for sale to food shops and cafes. The idea of a life working with real products instead of intangible packages of future expectations becomes increasingly attractive. After the rigours and stress of financial dealing, this should be a doddle. The recipe is perfected, and your friends thinks they are fanatastic. A life of soothing cooking smells awaits.
The principles are the same as you’re used to: you have to find your market. The best and cheapest place to start is one of the many outdoor weekend markets in London. You might also need to develop a small range, as one product will look too lonely on a trestle table. There is no better way at finding out if your products are any good. You can get direct feedback from the customers, and…. see if they come back the following week!
Have a look at www.cocoandme.com, a great blog by a stallholder in Broadway Market. It will give you a flavour. And get down there to look at the competition. It is not the easiest way to make money, but the plus points are: people in the good food retailing industry are lovely, and it’s a great feeling when customers return for more of the same. The wonderful Popina started this way nine years ago, and now also sells in delis and food halls.
Doing the rounds of the shops and cafes is an option too. Kates Cakes which started 20 years ago as cottage industry, before being sold in Pret a Manger. The rest is history, and it is now a large limited company.
So, it’s hard work. But those who are persistent and have a passion for their products do succeed, and it’s probably more fun than banking: there is a huge thrill in people handing over money for your creations. Just invest in a big puffa jacket for chilly market days.