Welcome to 2014 and episode 26 of the Food Truck Empire Podcast. This morning I ring in the new year with Stephanie Ganz, a food business coach that delivers instruction on everything from pricing product to social marketing, book keeping and more. But for this morning’s conversation we focus on how food truck owners can create their first wholesale product based of their existing menu items.
The thing that I love about Ganz is that she isn’t someone that has read a bunch of books, has a lot of ideas about operating a successful business, but no real world experience on the subject. Ganz has been in the gotten her hands dirty in the process and was instrumental in getting neapolitan pizza concept Pizza Tonight into grocery stores and online. In addition to the wholesale product, Pizza Tonight now has a mobile presence and can be found in Richmond, Virginia.
Best of all, Ganz provides instruction on how you can follow the same process to start a wholesale line with your existing food truck or restaurant. She also explains why there are a lot of advantages to a food truck launching a product since you may already have a signature item that has proven itself in the market and passed many of the health inspections required to get started.
In addition to learning how to create a food product that can be sold in grocery stores, farmers markets and other local stores you’ll also gain insight into Ganz’s culinary background and how she’s developed her food business acumen over time.
What You’ll Learn
The three step plan needed to get a food product from idea to store shelves:
Develop a Star Product: What is the one thing that customers come to you for but can’t get anywhere else? What are you known for? What do your customers purchase or talk about the most? Also, is this product something that you could package efficiently? This is the ideal place to start when identifying a food product.
Attain Department of Agriculture Approval: When you want to sell a product wholesale you need to go through a Department of Agriculture inspection process. This will often come in the form of a packet that you will need to complete outlining your recipe, method of procedure, and a hazard analysis. A map or sketch of your kitchen is usually required as well. Depending on your municipality the rules accomplish this step will vary slightly.
Pursue and Maintain Wholesale Accounts: 1.) Start by determining the type of stores and customers you plan to target with your product. 2.) Create a wholesale menu to provide to retailers. 3.) Build a list of the stores you would like to get into. 4.) Start pounding the pavement and make connections with individuals that can . This process requires a bit of creativity, but Ganz provides a lot of actionable steps within the interview to help you get started.
As Ganz explains during the interview there are a variety of business benefits that can be achieved by launching your own product. The most obvious one is that you can both increase revenue and improve the consistency of cash flow since by having a product within store shelves you’re no longer as susceptible to weather conditions as you would be with a mobile food business. There are also marketing benefits to this activity. Some customers may find your product in stores, enjoy it, and decide to visit a mobile location. Of course, you’ll also be developing a whole new set of relationships with buyers in stores and small business owners that can always help referrals for a catering business.
Mentioned in this Episode
StephanieGanz.com – The official website of this week’s guest Stephanie Ganz. Here you’ll find more information about coaching programs and trainings that are offered.
Onion Cloute – When Stephanie isn’t helping business owners, she’s writing about food. Check out her blog here.
Pizza Tonight – This is one of the wholesale products Ganz has helped get into retail.
ROAM Conference – Mobile food conference that Ganz spoke at in 2013.
I’m looking forward to how finding out what will happen with this blog in 2014. As usual, if you enjoyed this episode please leave a review on iTunes.