Is the kitchen your domain? Have you been cooking Michelin Star-worthy meals since you could walk? Would your homemade cakes get a handshake from Paul Hollywood? Do you consider yourself a true foodie?
Food is a source of comfort. It’s an introduction to a new culture. Food brings people together like nothing else. If you’re ready to take your culinary aptitude to the next level, check out these 13 ideas for young foodie entrepreneurs.
1. GROW HERBS & SPICES
Spice is, well, the spice of life. Basil is always popular. Mint is highly versatile. Ginger and turmeric are thought to have certain health benefits. And peppercorns are nearly ubiquitous in kitchens around the world. You can even grow many herbs and spices indoors! When they’re ready, package and sell them whole and fresh. Or, dry and crush them, which helps them last longer.
2. COOK JAMS & JELLIES
This business is quick to start up and can prove quite lucrative at farmer’s markets or bake sales. First, you’ll need to invest in some high-quality fruit and appropriate containers. Once that’s ready, the rest is simply a matter of finding a jam or jelly recipe you like. The nice thing about selling homemade jams and jellies is that you can whip up large batches at a time!
3. FOODIE BLOG
A blog can be absolutely anything you want it to be. Share recipes you’ve created. Review restaurants you love. Interview local chefs. Rate food trucks. Share the importance of the foods of your culture. Or all the above! Blogs are easy to set up. Once you get started you may even be able to monetize yours by becoming a foodie influencer!
4. FOODIE PODCAST
The cousin of blogging is podcasting. Those of you who prefer speaking over writing can start a food podcast quite easily. Anything a blogger can do in writing, you can do podcasting. Interviews. Recipes. Stories. Reviews. And, just like with blogging, podcasts can be monetized through sponsors.
5. PICKLE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
The great thing about pickled fruits and vegetables is that there’s no single way to do them. And almost any fruit or vegetable can be pickled! Play around with combinations of foods, spices, and types of vinegars you like. Do seasonal themes or use only locally grown fruits and veggies. Once you get the hang of it, you can sell custom-made jars of delicious pickles!
6. MEAL DELIVERY
Reasons why someone might not cook home meals:
- They don’t have time
- They don’t like cooking
- They live alone and don’t want to cook only for themselves
- They are too sick, old, or disabled to cook
Reasons why those people might want you to cook and deliver meals to their homes:
- They want a home-cooked meal
- They want something nutritious and delicious
- They don’t want fast-food or other expensive delivery
- They want something fast, fresh, and delicious for the whole family
7. BAKING AND/OR CAKE DECORATING
High-quality designer cakes are very fashionable right now. Everyone wants a custom cake for their event that’s as incredible to look at as it is delicious to taste. Those of you with a decent amount of artistic ability AND a talent for baking can start your own business right now! However, if you’re better at one thing than another, consider partnering up to deliver the whole package for clients.
8. FRESH, HOMEMADE BREAD
Is there anything better than biting into a slice of freshly baked, still-warm, homemade bread? (No, there isn’t.) This is a business that can be as general or specific as you want. You can bake all kinds of rolls, buns, and loaves. You can also specialize in something like:
- Fresh challah for Jewish families right before Shabbat
- Gluten-free bread
- Cuban bread
- Fancy, gourmet bread
Keep in mind that, unlike your peers who make pickles, jams, or spices, bread should be delivered as close to the day it’s ready as possible.
9. UNIQUE ICE CREAM
Take ice cream beyond vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Make a name for yourself as the Ice Cream Wizard! Invest in an ice cream maker, learn the basics of making ice cream from scratch, and then let your imagination run wild creating new and exciting flavor combinations.
10. GROW YOUR OWN FRUITS AND/OR VEGETABLES
You don’t necessarily need to be a good cook to start a food-related business. Anyone with a green thumb can grow fruits and vegetables to sell. You can even grow them indoors! People – especially foodies – love using the freshest, most local ingredients they can find. Why not be their go-to supplier?
11. COOKING CLASSES FOR KIDS
Love food AND kids? Want to pass on the cooking traditions you were taught when you were little? Offer cooking classes for kids! You can do this in your own home for small groups (say, start with 2-3 kids at a time), or do in-home lessons for birthday parties. Keep the recipes easy to follow, bring copies of the recipes and instructions for the kids to take home, and make sure you cook something that can be enjoyed right away!
12. CHOCOLATES AND CANDIES
Here’s a little secret: DIY chocolates and candies are ridiculously easy to make and sell. With a little investment into some cute and creative molds, high-quality chocolate or candy melts, and some savvy marketing, you can have your business up and running in no time.
13. ALLERGY-SAFE SNACKS FOR KIDS
If you are one of the 11% of Americans with a food allergy, your kitchen is probably already set up to keep you safe from your triggers. Use this to your advantage to create, package, and sell snacks to families with kids who have the same allergies, such as gluten-free cookies. Make life a little simpler for families like yours as they send their kids off to school!
Starting a business out of your love of food doesn’t have to mean waiting until you’re old enough to open a restaurant or food truck. You can translate your elevated tastes and skills right now with a little cash, patience, and creativity!
Florida’s young entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for a Kantner Foundation college scholarship. Learn more by clicking here!