Turning a personal talent for making pasta into a home-based business can yield profits if it is done properly. This needs to be done with the correct licensing, marketing and food permits. Targeting the proper venues, such as grocery stores and food markets, will help in your endeavors to sell homemade pasta.
Contact your state health department for permit and licensing requirements. These documents need to be current in order to prove that the pasta you are producing is prepared in a licensed facility. Without this proof, you will not be able to sell your product. Also, inquire about packaging for the pasta. You want to make sure that you are properly packaging and storing the pasta to meet health department guidelines.
Develop a wholesale price list for your homemade pasta. This will include all aspects of producing the food, such as facility costs, ingredients and packaging. Prepare this document in a spreadsheet form, including the retail price and bulk prices for each item. Providing this information will be attractive to retailers because it will demonstrate proof of a profit for selling your homemade pasta in the store.
Prepare a list of target retailers in your area. Include in the list the name and contact information for the manager in charge of purchasing. This is the person you will want to speak with. Contact each person on the list and set up an appointment. Ask the manager for an email address you can use to send information on your product prior to the meeting. This will give the purchasing manager a chance to become familiar with your product ahead of time.
Prepare for the scheduled meeting. Be sure to bring cooked and uncooked samples of your pasta, any marketing materials, samples of your packaging, an ingredient list and copies of the wholesale price list. During this meeting, be prepared to sell not only the product, but also yourself. Dress professionally and explain to the manager why carrying your homemade pasta is good for the store and the customers. Bring information for any established retail accounts where your pasta is currently being sold, including sales figures.
After the meeting has concluded, the manager will contact you and either offer you a contract for your goods, or decline to sell them. If you are offered a contract, make sure that you are capable of producing the amount stated. If you are not offered a contract, ask the manager the reason for deciding against selling your pasta, as this will help in your future endeavors to obtain retail accounts.
Bring different types and flavors of pasta for the purchasing manager to sample. Show variety and versatility in your abilities. Homemade pasta can go stale quickly, so make sure that you take this into account when developing packaging. Inquire with small specialty food markets in your area. Small Italian markets may be a good outlet for homemade pasta.
- pasta image by Eagle from Fotolia.com