Skip to main content

Book Review: Homemade For Sale

John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist know the difference between Corporate America and a homemade business. Although they started their careers in marketing, today, they run an eco-farm in rural Wisconsin, where you can buy a jar of their Pucker Ups dill pickles. But local food isn’t just a hobby for these two: now it’s a way of life. They used to live from 9 to 5, but now they’ve decided that there is a better way, and they want to share that way with you!

A year ago, John called me to ask if they could use Forrager’s map in their upcoming book, Homemade for Sale. I was glad to hear about a book dedicated to the cottage food industry, but honestly, I wasn’t expecting too much. Little did I know that this couple has been publishing books for almost 20 years! Imagine my surprise when the first version came through my inbox — I was immediately impressed.

There are other excellent books about starting a small food business, but Homemade for Sale is unique in that it is tailor-made for someone who wants to start from home. Every page comes from the perspective of a cottage food operation, and it is well-written, inspiring, and very comprehensive.

I really like the balance of facts, advice, and real life stories in this book, but what I most like is the focus on marketing, which stems from John and Lisa’s former business experience. From my perspective, marketing is the missing ingredient for many CFOs. When I first thought about starting my own chocolate chip cookie business, I thought the first step was to perfect my recipe, right? Wrong.

Homemade for Sale covers a lot of ground, but it does a good job of staying focused on important questions as it guides you through the process of creating a successful business. It is uplifting, but also realistic. It is not merely written for your enjoyment — it is an action book. When you read it, you’ll want to apply the concepts to your business idea in real time. I fully believe that following the advice in this book will help you avoid many of the pitfalls that plague some CFOs.

If you are a first-time entrepreneur looking to start or grow a cottage food business, I think you should buy the book. Also, John and Lisa have offered to post some guest blogs on Forrager with excerpts from Homemade for Sale, so keep an eye out for those in the coming weeks.

Clearly, John and Lisa have invested a ton of time into this book, and yet, they understand that this is still a micro industry and that they probably won’t make much money from it. However, money wasn’t the primary motivation for writing their book; instead, they want to share their passion and hopefully change people’s lives in the process. That being said, I personally hope this book is lucrative for them — I think they have done an exceptional job, and they deserve it.

 Buy Homemade For Sale with our 10% discount

Comments

Greetings Forrager Staff & Authors of their Book: Homemade For Sale!
I am in a job that I need to leave and being an Entrepreneur & Chef, I just found out that Illinois now allows Cottage operation from one’s home ~ so I am very excited to begin realizing my dream.
With this wonderful book, I know it will be like a map for me to avoid pitfalls and just have their company in print to help along the way!

Thank you for this wonderful review and Thank you for taking the time to write such an Inspiring and helpful
book for someone like myself!

Always maintain a joyful mind – – -Pema Chodrin

Emily & Jess

    Thanks for the kind words! I do just want to throw out a word of caution for Illinois, in case you’re concerned about being legal. I believe there are only a couple counties in Illinois that allow sales of homemade food outside of farmers markets, so you might want to check on that.

or comment as a guest
* required (your email will not be displayed on the site)
Allowed tags