Understanding Manufacturing Equipment

Building A Cottage Food Brand—How To Reach The Masses

by Tomothy Perez

Many home cooks going into business for themselves initially have no idea what type of equipment they'll need to manufacture their food products. While it is possible to sell fresh cooked foods to locals, preserving your signature dishes is a necessity if you want to expand your custom base. Here are several ways that members of the cottage food industry can create a wide variety of foods in their homes that will appeal an array of palettes.

Manufacturing Baked Goods

Homemade breads, cookies, cakes, and pies are good choices for those looking to capture customers, both near and far. Although baked goods have a limited shelf life, they can be shipped internationally as long as they are packaged the right way to keep them fresh. There are many different types of baked goods that you can make as a cottage food business owner that can help you to stand out as an individual brand. The type of packaging you go with depends on the type of baked goods you are trying to sell.

Canning And Jarring Cottage Foods

Whether you want to jar or can fresh vegetables picked from your yard or preserve home cooked meals, you're going to need a few key pieces of equipment. Jarred foods can be produced with an ample supply of jars and a double boiler, but canned foods are a little different.

In addition to buying cans and lids, you will need to properly label your cans with nutritional information. Can seamers are necessary for manufacturing canned goods, which have a very long shelf life. If you choose to go in this direction with your cottage food business, you will easily be able to expand into neighboring territories.

Dried Homemade Foods

Certain foods can taste just as scrumptious dried as they do fresh. From custom blended trail mixes to jerky and dried fruits, you can create some amazing food products outside of commercial kitchens. One of the biggest advantages of making dried cottage foods is that you don't need a lot of equipment, but note that the drying process does take time. A food dehydrator can help, but it still takes time.

Cottage food business owners are easily able to sell their creations as far as their vehicles will take them, but appealing to consumers further away will require you to consider how best to preserve your products. Canning affords business owners the ability to preserve and deliver their products without fear of contamination, while jarring offers customers a visually appealing option. Baked goods generally stay good for several days to several weeks, and dried foods make excellent choices for consumers on the go.