We can all cook, can’t we?
If this is something you enjoy doing, then why not turn it into a business?
How many times have you prepared a pretty birthday cake for a girl or a themed cake for a boy for a friend who didn’t have the time for such things? Aren’t they always better than a supermarket cake – and personalised as well!
How about making a nutritious meal from scratch, is this something that happens in your home most days? Why not cater for others who would also like to eat healthy food but are not at home long enough to be able to do such things?
Equipment and rules
It stands to reason that when working as a cook or caterer you need a kitchen with an oven freezer, fridge and storage space. In some cases, you might need a seperate kitchen, so you would need to check.
You also need to be able to work without family pets wandering through or children under your feet. Above all health, hygiene and safety rules have to be observed and is as important as making a profit. The Food Standard Agency website shows what you need to do to get started.
This site also shows how ingredients have to be recorded and storages temperatures monitored when using food for resale.
Apart from observing hygiene requirements, you would need insurance just in case there is a problem with the food you serve your guests. It also covers any staff that are hired. If you have a mortgage you will need to notify the provider that you work from home. It’s not usually a problem unless the whole house is used for business. This would also affect the council tax on your property and possibly the future sale of the home.
Selling your wares
If speciality cakes, pies, sweets and similar foodstuffs is your thing, then there are many market stalls and craft fairs that accept food suppliers. You would need to be able to bake in bulk and transport it safely to the site as well as stand and sell to customers, engaging with them and encouraging then to sample your wares and buy. If you have a leaflet or a business card, even a label on the food packaging it will guide buyers to your website encouraging future sales.
You may wish to specialise in local foods, perhaps there is a dish related to your location, a cake or some kind of confectionary. If this is the case speak to the tourist board and local tourist spots that can take your products and sell them for you on their premises.
Tea rooms and cafes would also be interested in well-cooked foods that can be delivered fresh each day. To be able to advertise that food prepared locally and made with local produce is a boon to business. Visit these businesses with your literature and a sample of the food you wish to sell. Do not turn up at the busiest time of the day but pick a time, perhaps late afternoon when they are starting to wind down. It may be that you have to leave samples to see if the customers are happy with your food, and more importantly it sells.
Outside catering is the name used when you cook in another person’s home or perhaps a larger venue. This could cover dinner parties, children’s birthday parties or even weddings. If you can cope with this hard work outside the home it is a very worthwhile business to run. Contact venues that are rented out for weddings, parties and corporate events and leave your card and details of your business.
Providing a service
Do your children have special diets, for example, due to lactose intolerance? Other families with the same problem would benefit from your expertise. Or how about commuters who don’t have time to cook fresh and wholesome food each night when they arrive home weary from their long day at work? You could supply meals that can be frozen and reheated, or perhaps even deliver them at a set time.
Cooking at home can be a time consuming job, very worthwhile but tiring. The support of the family would be very important if this project was to work for you. At the same time it is the chance to run a crafty little business from home.