I recently subscribed to Tasting Table, an e-mail newsletter type thing about food and the food industry. Yesterday, the e-mail was about the Next Big Small Brand contest. Basically, small food producers compete to win support to help them become larger brands. After working with Whisked! all these months, my brain is afloat with my own side business making and selling food products--jams, biscotti, and my specialty scones and granola. I'm not at the "make your brand bigger" stage yet, however--I don't even have a brand yet!
But, I plan on having a spot at the DC Grey Market, a market where unlicensed food producers can sell their delicious products. I'm going to test the market at the end of this month and see whether what I prepare is desired by the customer and worth my time preparing. I have a number I'd like to see (in terms of profits). These markets don't happen all that frequently (I think this is only the fourth in the past year?), so it wouldn't be near a full-time gig, but if it works out well enough, it will encourage me to continue looking into becoming legit so I could do farmers' markets or sell online.
I'm still in the business development stage: where will I go for supplies (Restaurant Depot nearby in Maryland), who will I order packaging materials from, what licensed kitchen will I rent space from, how will I transport everything, what the heck will be my food company's name? There are a lot of questions at the moment, and I hope to hammer a lot of them out in the next two or so months.