Food Business Tips Subscriber Questions from Marketing Food Online Youtube Channel

Posted by Damian Roberti on

I hope that you are having an amazing day and I wanted to hop into a handful of Q and a questions that you guys have sent me my subscribers. And I appreciate as always that you guys reach out to me and ask me questions. It's one of the most fun parts actually of having this YouTube channel is actually interacting with you guys. I do love to create content and love Korean videos, but more importantly, getting to your questions and getting you guys' answers to the whole purpose of why you are watching the channel. And let me adjust this light above my desk really quick. Sorry about that area. Okay. Just here in the shop. Actually in our shipping department, wrapping it up for the day my eyes are a little dry and as you can see, I've been blinking like crazy because it's been a long day.


But I want to get to these questions, let me hop right into it as always and see what I can do to help you guys out. So if you see me looking down here, I actually got my laptop open and of course these are you guys. These questions I don't make up any of these questions. I simply just read them and answer them. All right. So I actually had a question. This was actually a great question because we have a lot of subscribers who sell on Etsy that are looking to grow their food business or have a food product that they hand-make on. Etsy. Let me see here. There we go. Okay. That's a little better. So the question really quick. Okay. So I was asking about business and selling the legalities of selling food online and specifically the legalities of selling on Etsy.

Okay. So you could open an Etsy Etsy shop as I always recommend. And a lot of my videos, Etsy and eBay are actually two very simple stores to open in comparison to Amazon and a couple of other websites. Even actually it's easier than opening your own website because the ability to get the traffic to your site, as I mentioned in a few of my other videos is very challenging, but I won't get too much into that right now. Well, I'll talk about that in some other videos as well. So the, the galleys of selling on Etsy, you don't really have to have a special license to sell online, but if you're, if you're starting from home and you're making a food product, technically it's under, that would fall under the cottage food law. And there's like pretty much every state, except for just a couple allow you to sell locally, but they don't allow you to sell online or transact anything through the internet.

If you're doing it from home, you really would have to operate under a commercial food license. And you would have to actually have some type of a food sales, establishment license, which is different than the type that you would actually fall under, under cottage food. So technically, and I don't want to burst your bubble, but if you're selling from home, it's not really legal to sell online. Unless you have separate type of licensing or a separate commercial kitchen, believe it or not. Actually, this brings me to another interesting point. There's a lot of States that if you can create a separate commercial kitchen on your property, if it's allowed within the certain city ordinances and regulations, you can actually have a commercial kitchen on your property. Like, let's say a basement. For instance, if you were working in a basement and you had, you were in a state and then the County as well, allowed that to happen, you can actually create a commercial kitchen, believe it or not, and get signed off on as a commercial kitchen.

And you can actually open up a a commercial facility that would legally let you sell online. So are there any legalities? Not really, but you definitely need to be insured. You need to be incorporated as a business. You need to have all of those business licenses and such available set up for your business to protect yourself also, and to also separate yourself. But is there a legal, legal requirement to sell on Etsy or eBay? No. but you really can't necessarily do it from home. You really have to do it from a commercial facility. Plus it's very limited to the type of products that you can ship because there's a lot of time temperature, sensitive products that are considered potentially hazardous. And those under the cottage food law are not allowed to be manufactured and sold. So I hope that helps you out and helps you understand that one.

Alright. Now the next one I had I'm selling on Amazon. Okay. So this was a really great question. So I had a gentleman ask about private label food business with Amazon. Okay. Is it possible that they refuse your products that are conform to Amazon rules simply because you're new in the business? I've actually, no, I've been on Amazon for nearly six years. As far as selling food, you have to just get ungated, it's actually a category that requires a certain amount of documentation. And some hoops you have to jump through when you apply. Now, the question this particular subscriber had was about private label food, because you're a new business. I've never heard of that being a criteria. If you're, if you're brand new and you've, you've followed all the rules, and you've said to new paperwork and you get ungated, which is allows you to sell food on that category, the gourmet food category, then you're good to go.

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You're fine. But having your custom private labeled food product doesn't really have a difference between reselling another product or selling food in general. It's actually a great thing. It's a real benefit for you if you are a private label product, because it sets you apart, believe it or not from my own experience, having our own products and being a private label that we, we make our products and make our own items as a brand, it gives us a huge advantage because we're not reselling. Let's see here, we have a big box of these. So you're not like reselling food, which, you know, a hundred other sellers could be selling the same product. There we go. Sorry. so reselling, reselling food in general is okay, but it's very competitive, but if you made your own type of bar and you've got some advantages that maybe this bar doesn't have, that's actually a big plus for you being on Amazon, believe it or not.

So I would highly recommend that if you've got the capacity or you're making a product of your own, definitely go through the process to get ungated given all the information, the documentation they need, let them get you approved and get up and running because it's actually a really big benefit. You can set yourself apart in a very big way having your own brand and not just reselling that stuff over and over. That's one of the biggest challenges. A lot of people who want to start food businesses online, and they just want to resell stuff that doesn't give you an edge at all. It gives you a very hard competition with dozens of dozens, if not even hundreds of other sellers that are selling the same food products, there's nothing unique about it. If you're making your own beef jerky, if you're making your own salsa, if you have your own hot sauce and it's really unique and it's packaged differently, that is a huge plus, trust me, because there's not going to be a hundred other people selling the exact same item.

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So that gives your listing and your company a huge advantage when it comes to selling online, not just on Amazon, even actually on eBay or even Etsy. No this was an, this was another great one. So I do a lot of videos about co-packing and private labeling. And the question was, can you use an out-of-state packer if you are registered to do business in another state? So let's say you were in Florida and your business was in Florida and you create hot sauces. Okay. You found a co-packer who works out of California and they have a great price on the co-packing service for you. And it's a something that you can definitely take advantage of and make a profit on it. Doesn't cost a lot. It's a great company. Well-Known anyways, you've got a great relationship with, yes, you could do business and you can have a co-packer who is in another state, fill your orders for you.

That is absolutely legal. Of course you can definitely do that. There's nothing prohibiting that. Now I would recommend though just from a perspective of, if you're just starting and you're getting a, getting a co-packer or a private label to work with you, if you have the ability to get one closer to you or someone within a reasonable distance, that you can actually have a physical sense, you can have a relationship with them, you know, where they are. Maybe you can, you, can you go there periodically? You want to follow up with product quality, whatever it may be. That's always kind of a plus, to be honest with you, it's not always easy to do though, because there's not always a hot sauce manufacturer. That's, you know, 10 minutes away from your house. I understand that. But can you work with the one that's out of state and different from where your business?

Of course you can. Yes. is it best to try to find one closer? I would highly recommend, yes, you do that as well. That's just a big plus for you. So the answer to that is yes, you can. All right. So the next step I had a question about food trucks. Okay. Yes. Using food truck. So I want to start a food truck. Do I have to use a commercial kitchen to do all the prep work? I would highly highly recommend you have a space that is available and set up apart from your food truck to do the food preparation food trucks in general, do not allot the space that you would need to prep and cut and have a whole bunch of workers. If you've got four or five people working at the same time, prepping stuff within a food truck that is not going to be enough space to give you, to get yourself set for a, an event or a festival or whatever it may be that you're going to.

So having the use of a commercial kitchen prior to going to an event is going to be a huge asset. Okay. Now the way that it would work is that let's say you have an event on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You would want to prep yourself a couple of days prior to the event, utilizing that kitchen, prepping everything and getting it in the containers, getting it all set. And normally those kitchens, those commercial kitchens have walk-in coolers, walk-in freezer. So you can store everything you need. So then you could get your set yourself self set up with your truck prior to your event, go to the commercial kitchen, fill up with your ingredients and go on the way over to your event. That is normally the best routine. And the most common that would make most sense is utilizing that commercial kitchen for that type of reasoning.

Now, if you have a truck, a food truck that has the space to do that in, you could probably do that yes. In advance. But for most of the friends that I know and the people that I've come in contact with, and the ones that I, I know who do this for a living, I've never utilized their truck as a prep kitchen. They've always used kind of a commercial prep kitchen to do prep work. So try that. CVFI, one's close to you. There's a lot of ways that you can utilize kitchens. If you don't have a commercial kitchen near you, there's a lot of different types. There's kitchen incubators, there's even some local venues like church kitchens. If you go to caters, a lot of them, they have a catering event hall. You can rent the kitchen from them. There's a handful of different ways that you can get a prep kitchen.

Okay. Next up. All right. So this was another great one, another great question about preparing food at home. So am I able to prepare food? That's not baked goods or cookies such as like meals and such. It's sell them to local people in the community technically. No. if you're looking to do hamburgers pizza and stuff, that's not potentially hazardous. You would again fall under cottage food law, and it looks like they were asking about like pretty much a menu of, of, of items they want to sell locally to friends or different events. That's something that's not normally allowed through the cottage food law. You have to check your state specific list of what they allow. And normally those are baked goods, things that are time or temperature sensitive that can be held without in an oven or held without being an infringer later, they would have to be shelf stable and such.

So those are the types of products that you can sell from the question that you look at, you're asking selling meals and hamburgers and like pizzas or burritos or tacos, that's normally not allowed under cottage food law. So, so I'll wrap it up there. And I hope that that answers. I had a handful of questions and I'll do a few of these other Q and A's. And as always, you guys are the ones, the reason why I'm doing these videos, if you have more questions about any type of a food business that you need, some advice on, let me know down in the description, I'd be more than happy to get back with you. And I'll see you guys on the next video. And as always, if you aren't subscribed, make sure you hit the subscription button. We've got over 500 videos now in counting to help you get your food business up and running.






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