Did you know you can also sell baked goods on Etsy? To be clear – not those commercial ones, but home-baked goods.
However, just like any other niche, you have to research and plan. Here are some tips you can consider before starting that food business you have been thinking about.
Be Aware of the Law
It may look easy to start selling your scrumptious baked goodies around town, but in many cities and countries, there are rules that oversee who can make and sell food. It’s crucial to check first local and national laws regarding your business.
If you’re based in the US, you can learn about the rules in running a baked goods business with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
For the state level, check the cottage food law whether you are allowed to make certain food types from your home to sell at certain venue types.
It can be overwhelming and intimidating sitting through all this information, but this will help your business be successful in the long run,
Acquire Permits and Licenses
You will need to get your permits and licenses in order next. You will most likely need a business license, food handler’s license for every person making and packaging the food. Your state’s Health Department may do a home or commercial kitchen inspection as well. To be sure, you can check state and local regulations for the specifics.
The Right Workspace
If you’re planning to set up your workspace at home, you must first research your area’s zoning laws to see if you’re allowed to do so. While not every state in the US needs you to have your workspace inspected, it’s still a good idea to do so, just to be sure. You should consider how you will store each ingredient and your finished products as well.
If you’re planning to use a commercial space as your workstation, research the requirements related to operating your food business in a commercial kitchen, including insurance and facility permits. During off-hours, some schools, churches, and restaurants allow the use of their commercial kitchens as well, so be sure to check that out too.
Remember, not all customers are the same. Some may not really care about what ingredients go into their favorite cookie, but others are meticulous when it comes to that.
According to the Fair Packaging and Labelling Act, “all food products should be labeled with disclosure of ingredients, quantity, and weight of ingredients and labeled with the name and place of the person or business who makes and packages these goods.”
You can also include the ingredients in your Etsy listing descriptions. Also include in your label if your product contains dairy, nuts, or other common allergens.
It is crucial that you are aware of what certain shipping carriers allow, as well as the restrictions for certain items. You can check out USPS, UPS, FedEx, and the FDA. They have excellent resources so you can have an informed decision on where you should ship.
Being transparent reassures your customers that the food they are purchasing from you is high-quality, safe, and expertly made. You can include photos of your kitchen where you create your baked goods or even the process of how you make them. They are simple but will make a great impact.
Learn about food photography as well, so your product images look deliciously appealing to everyone who sees them.
Tell Them What Makes Your Products Special
You can share the story behind your business. Sometimes, it’s what gets customers to try your products. You can share details of where your recipes come from. Tell your story on the About page of your Etsy shop. This is where your customers will get to know you and your business more.