Starting a specialty food business requires a great deal of effort, dedication, and most importantly passion.
If you're interested in how to sell specialty foods, or selling specialty foods online, you can use this page as a guide for everything you'll need to know.
Want to learn more? You can check out our full guide on how to start a specialty food business ➜
|Min Startup Costs||Max Startup Costs|
|Office Space Expenses||$35||$3,250|
|Employee & Freelancer Expenses||$0||$5,500|
|Equipment & Supply Expenses||$525||$5,500|
|Business Formation Fees||$5,600||$20,400|
|Retail Business Expenses||$0||$16,150|
|Food Business Expenses||$2,125||$36,000|
|Advertising & Marketing Costs||$0||$2,950|
|Specialty Food Distribution||baldorfood.com||#134,332|
|Gourmet Food Store||gourmetfoodstore.com||#184,402|
|The Chefs' Warehouse||chefswarehouse.com||#254,384|
|Caviar from Marky's||markys.com||#273,572|
|Flexibility||You can put as much time into the business as you'd like. If you like the work and have some initial experience, you can start small and manage all aspects of the business on your own.|
|Ability to start your business from home||It's not necessary to have a physical storefront or office space to get your business started. You can do everything from the comfort of your own home, at least in the beginning!|
|Rewarding work||Starting a specialty food business can be really rewarding work. After all, you are solving an immediate issue for your customer and you're working on something you truly care about.|
|Scalable||With businesses and processes changing daily, there will always be demand for new features, products and services for your business. Additionally, there are several different business models and pricing tiers you can implement that will allow you to reach all types of customers.|
|Meaningful business connections||You never know who you will meet as a specialty food business. This could be the start of an incredible business opportunity!|
|High margins||The gross margins for your specialty food business are typically around 50%, which is considerably high and allows you to grow your business and manage costs easily.|
|Crowded Space||Competition is high when it comes to your specialty food business, so it's important that you spend a good amount of time analyzing the market and understanding where the demand lies.|
|Finding The Right Supplier||Most businesses in this space go the supplier/manufacturer route, which isn't a bad thing! However, finding the right supplier can take a lot of time, energy and trial/error. If done properly, this process can save you months (if not years) of time and energy. More on this below in the "finding a supplier" section.|
|Niche Market||A niche business is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it can be the key to your success. However, it can be more challenging and time consuming to find the perfect niche market and target audience.|
|Time commitment||With starting a specialty food business, all responsibilities and decisions are in your hands. Although this is not necessarily a negative thing, work life can take over at times. This can place a strain on friends and family and add to the pressure of launching a new business.|
|Strict regulations||With any specialty food business, there are strict rules and regulations as it relates to processing your product. You must follow these regulations specifically, or significant legal issues could occur.|
|Be prepared to get out of your comfort zone!||Although this is exciting for some entrepreneurs, it can be a big challenge for others! You may find yourself in uncomfortable social and business situations, jumping into tasks and responsibilities you aren't familiar with, and pushing yourself as far as you can go!|
You may find yourself in a spot where you're ready to hire a few (or many) salespeople to support the sales conversion process. Regardless if you have one or thirty salespeople, it's critical that you assign them specific roles and responsibilities to nurture the client and provide excellent support.
The most tried and true way to grow a specialty food business is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media.
Social media advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to specialty food business.
There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.