Craft Business

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

16 JUNE 2016, 06:26 AM
Hello friends, hope all are well and busy crafting.
Today I’m going to talk about consumables and how they fit into a crafting business model.
They fall into two main catagories, edibles and health and beauty products. Today I am discussing edibles. Edibles can run the gamut from delicate chocolates and candies to hearty cakes, breads, and pastries. You can choose savory or sweet it’s all up to you.
A common myth floats that you need a catalogue of different products to be successful. But in actuality many have become very profitable selling specialty niche products. Some businesses specialize in one single item. I’ve seen one niche business that sells gourmet English toffee and another that makes Mandelkuchen, a German pastry. I looked at a company that makes specialty lolly pops in exotic flavors and another that bakes only cheesecakes. I have come across one entrepreneur that makes specialty jam from an exotic fruit that she grows herself. I’ve seen blueberry growers centered around all blueberry products and honey producers that of course sell honey and honey derivative products. Some bakers only sell an item at one specific time of year, much like the pinwheel cookies we used to wait until October for. Or the Pfeffernusse cookies that my husband loves (more on this particular cookie, keep reading).
There are so many interesting ideas for one product or several, the sky is the limit. You could mold chocolates that you infuse with different flavors yourself, you could make your own saltwater taffy or recreate something from your childhood. In my case I’ve always wanted to make and sell my families recipe for spaghetti pie (sweet). Hard candy, sweet rolls, cinnamon buns, macaroons, ect. Potato knishes, meat patties, empanadas, ect. Literally anything can translate into a business if attempted properly. Just be sure to research, research, research. Check with state and local entities about any and all regulations required for producing an edible product.
Some localities will permit you to make items in your home others will not. In some areas it’s the type of edible product that dictates if it can be made out of your kitchen or if you need a dedicated space. i.e. molding candy vs. baking a pastry.
No matter what you are sure to find customers for your particular product.
Now, more on my husband’s favorite seasonal cookie the mighty Pfeffernuesse. Both I and my husband grew up in N.Y. and as kids we used to get Stella d’Oro brand pfeffernuesse cookies at holiday time. His absolute favorite, so it was to our dismay when we discovered some time ago that the company no longer produces this particular treat. So we embarked on a quest to find a suitable copycat recipe. No such luck. This went on for a couple of years. No recipe yielded the proper result. Too hard, too spicy, too much molasses, not sweet enough, not right, not good, not not not. Until he stumbled onto this beauty.
1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 large pinch ground black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons molasses (not blackstrap!) or honey
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Yields: 3 dozen cookies
Step 1 – Mix the dough: Preheat oven
to 325° Fahrenheit. Whisk together flour,
baking soda, salt, and ground spices. Set
aside. In a separate bowl, use an electric
mixer to cream softened butter and sugars
until light and fluffy. Add in egg, molasses
(or honey), and vanilla. Gradually add in
dry flour mixture, blending just until the
dough comes together.
Step 2 – Chill: Pat dough into mound and chill for 30 minutes.
(Dough will be sticky and chilling will make it easier
to handle in the next step.) At this point, you can store the
dough for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, but be sure to
wrap it tightly in plastic to prevent it from drying out.
Step 3 – Bake the cookies: When ready to bake, break off
small pieces of dough and roll into small balls (3/4 inch in
diameter). Bake in 325° F. preheated oven for about 13
minutes. Do not burn bottoms. Insides will continue to cook as
they cool.
Step 4 – Snow-dusting: Allow cookies to cool on the cookie
sheet. If you handle them while they’re hot, they will lose
their shape. Once they’ve cooled, roll them in powdered
Storage tips: Make sure your cookies are completely cool before
storing in an airtight container. When cookies are stored warm,
condensation can occur, turning them soggy.
This recipe comes from the ever talented Cleo Coyle, a N.Y. Times best selling author, who writes fantastic mysteries centered in a N.Y. coffeehouse. Of course appropriately named The Coffeehouse Mysteries. Check them out, you will love them. Each book has a wonderful collection of recipes to go along with the mystery.
So the reason I decided to add this recipe to this blog post was to get a wonderful copycat recipe out there, but also to illustrate that people will search out, make or buy something they love, especially when it was something fond from their childhood. And they will seek high and low and not rest until they find it. From a business perspective this can mean a tidy profit for you and probably a good amount of repeat business. Also this means good word of mouth because when people like something they tell their friends. So get a thinking, what really good and yummy edible can you make and sell? Until next time Get busy…Get Dizzy


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