Monday, June 13, 2011

Starting a Home Grown Business

I have reached the point where I want to start a small home grown business.
Since I learned to make cajeta, I have found that this is an item in short supply in my area.
This is surprising, as it is a traditional Mexican food item and I live in an area that is approximately 80% Hispanic...and of those, 90%+ are of Mexican ancestry!
I checked local grocers, even the small Mexican stores. I had to take along a friend to translate, as in some of them, no one spoke English! I found one store that sells traditional cajeta--made from goats milk and cane sugar---and they charge 12 dollars for a 10 oz. jar!
From what I gathered, the Nestle product in a few stores is imported from Mexico, is made from cows milk and uses high fructose corn syrup in it's manufacture.The Mexican grocers bemoaned the fact that import regulations limit their options and they cannot provide their customers with the *true* cajeta they so desperately crave.
I dropped off a few samples here and there and with some friends.
Consensus is that I have will have no problem selling it. I will be the only person in the area making it in the traditional manner!
The fella is bankrolling my efforts. He bought me the canning jars I will be using.
I sat down this weekend and figured out my costs. I hate math! But, I struggled through (with help from the fella, a calculator and the Boy and the Girl) and figured out my cost at $4.00 per 16 oz. jar.
More or less...heh-heh. Math is NOT my best subject.
It's actually a little less, but we rounded up.
Cajeta is traditionally made in 3 flavors.
Regular (which I have been making)
Chocolate (tried last week, need to tweak the recipe)
Spicy (made with the addition of salt, jalapeno peppers and habenero peppers---trying that flavor this week)

I figured I will offer all three flavors once I have my recipes tweaked to the way I want them.
Since the traditional cajeta imported from Mexico sells for $12.00 a jar (10 oz.), I figured I would sell my 16 oz jars for $8 to $10 each. I just have to see what the market will bear around here.I guess it will depend on how the shop/grocer wants to do wholesale from me and then price it themselves (8 bucks a jar wholesale?), or let me put it n their shop on consignment (10 bucks a jar retail?)
Eventually, I will also sell online.
I also want to produce some more products, especially for my online store.
I make aprons and shoulder bags. Within the last month, I have been complimented by strangers on my shoulder bags and all asked where I bought them. I think they would sell. I make them out of scrap fabric and they only take 20 to 30 minutes to stitch up.
Since I am still recovering from the cajeta math torture, I'll put off figuring the costs for the bags!
Right now, the cajeta is simmering away on a back burner and I am about to do a test batch of chocolate cajeta in the crockpot.
The house smells so yummy it is unbelievable!

Keep checking back for the progress of this endeavor, as in around 3 or 4 weeks, I plan to do a cajeta give-away for my readers when I launch my online store!


  1. Congrats on finding a marketable product. But as a fellow Texan you might need to check on local health permits/licenses on selling a product made in a home kitchen. On my side of TX., kitchens producing food products for commercial sale must have a health inspection and license. You might try finding a local commercial kitchen that will rent you space during their off hours. You might try SBA or a Small Business Development Center. I am so sorry to bring this up but I really didn't want you to get in trouble.

  2. Good for you! It's great to be able to work from home (and make some $$ from it noless!!)

    Not sure if you remember this post:

    But it was an offer for some free advertising on my pathetic little site if you want me to link your offerings!

  3. Anon beat me to the punch. It's a great idea, Lamb, but better check with the county where you will be selling. The permits and inspections and such are a bit of a hassle at the front end, but WAY LESS hassle than the fines and bad PR if you try to circumvent the regs.

    I don't know if the same thing applies to online sales but that might end up being a more profitable market for you in that you could produce to FILL orders rather than produce and hope for orders.

    Best wishes on the endeavor and keep us posted on your progress!


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