Janna Paterno lives in Charleston, WV and used to sell custom decorated cookies with her cottage food business, Sweet Janna Lea.
She shut down her business in 2021 after only running it for two years.
It’s no secret that most new businesses in any realm struggle to get off the ground. Usually cottage food entrepreneurs have challenges finding customers, or they produce a product that doesn’t meet the needs of their target market.
But it’s the exact opposite with Janna. She always had more customers than she could handle, and that’s because her cookies are literally some of the best you will ever see.
A lot of new entrepreneurs believe that if they have a great product, then they’ll have a successful business. But of course, there’s a lot more to it than that!
There are a lot of lessons in this episode. You’ll learn why a cottage food business wasn’t the right fit for Janna, the importance of finding balance in your business, and what someone should know when trying to make and sell custom decorated cookies.
This is Part 2 of Sari Kimbell’s interview. If you have heard Part 1 yet, you can listen to it here.
Sari is extremely passionate about helping food entrepreneurs become more successful. After all, that’s her job!
Sari lives in Fort Collins, CO and owns a consulting firm called Food Business Success. She also owns the Fort Collins Winter Farmers Market.
Sari’s credentials are immense! Before starting her consulting business in 2016, Sari worked for Whole Foods as both a Marketing Director and a Local Vendor Success Manager. She’s also managed a shared commercial kitchen, created a wholesale program for an organic farm, helped launch a restaurant, and managed a farmers market.
And now, as part of her Food Business Success coaching program, she runs a successful YouTube channel, podcast, and Facebook group.
Given her background, it comes as no surprise that she has a ton of amazing advice to share in this two-part episode!
In this episode, Sari drop TONS of great advice about growing a food business, including pricing, choosing products, branding, selling wholesale, scaling up, find a commissary kitchen, setting goals, and much more!
Jill’s cottage food business journey is nothing short of remarkable!
Jill Baethge lives in Plano, TX and sells unique chocolate piñata cakes with her cottage food business, Kaboom Chocolaka.
Ever since starting it in 2018, her business has exploded, and she has now created an entire product line for Michaels stores across the nation!
Yes, you read that right. Now anyone can buy her molds from the store and make her chocolate piñatas themselves!
Jill’s success is what so many entrepreneurs dream of. In fact, she can hardly believe it herself. “I just feel like I’m still dreaming,” says Jill.
How did she go from small cottage food business to nationally-recognized brand in just a few short years? That’s what you’ll learn in this two-part interview.
If you haven’t heard it yet, go back to the last episode (Part 1), where Jill shares how she built her chocolate piñata business from the ground up, including the many challenges along the way.
In this episode (Part 2), Jill shares how she created a product line of chocolate piñata molds for Michaels stores across the nation.
In most states, you can only sell certain types of homemade food. Most cottage food laws only allow nonperishable food items, but some states allow almost all types of food, while other states are very restrictive. Learn about what types of homemade food products you can sell under your cottage food law.
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Let’s say you’re thinking of selling your homemade goodies at a local market this summer. How will you set the price?
One mistake startups often make is offering customers too many choices. Initially this may seem backwards and unintuitive… wouldn’t you sell more if you had more to offer customers? Not necessarily.
It’s that time of year again: cottage food laws being introduced, home bakers starting CFOs, and some entrepreneurs launching their cottage food marketplaces. As I’ve written before, Forrager was initially intended to be a cottage food marketplace, but now we have abandoned that idea. However, on the face of it, the idea seems to be… [read more]
I’m a dreamer. I can see my fudge business taking off… I can see it on store shelves, I can see huge batches being made, and I can see that I often get a little ahead of myself! With a new year comes renewed energy for our homemade food businesses. Maybe you’re looking forward to… [read more]
Do you have what it takes to be a CFO, a cottage food operator? More than an idea, recipe or home kitchen filled with appliances, becoming a small food business owner will require a level of knowledge, skill and talent, each addressed below.