How We Turned Stolen Rhubarb Into A Profitable Home-Based Specialty Food Business

 

Home-Based Specialty Food Business

Sweet Success!

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not much of a gardener. I’m pretty good at the sprinkling part but anything beyond that is quite simply beyond me. My wife, Brenda, is a farm girl. Her family had a huge farm in Saskatchewan. Ground crops harvested and canned kept her family fed during those nasty, cold prairie winters.

In the time both of us have been together in southern British Columbia, we have not had much luck with gardening. The ‘urban’ deer that live in and around our community make sure of that although we have determined some of the plants they won’t eat.

One of them is rhubarb.

We happen to have a large rhubarb patch alongside our shed. However, we hardly ever notice it. That was until one Spring Brenda discovered that someone had helped themselves to the crop. They picked it completely clean. It wasn’t as if we were going to make anything with it – it was the principle of taking without asking that got Brenda concerned.

The following Spring, May 2014, she cleaned out the crop before anyone else could. The freezer was soon home to more rhubarb stalks than I had ever seen in one place. She started baking rhubarb loaves. That moved to crisps and other dessert treats. It soon cycled back to loaves and the freezer was still full.

Brenda started going through her recipe books and found something called Gingered-Citrus Rhubarb Jam. She made a batch. It was pretty freakin’ awesome. She started to try selling it at a local outdoor market using the name JamBusters! Her first day there was a huge success. This led to more jams, some jellies and many different recipes.

A theme was soon chosen, the combination of fruit and spice (from hot peppers), and a full line of products followed including relishes, chutneys and salsas. JamBusters! started getting approached to sell at local indoor events. By the Summer of 2016 we were now vending out of town weekends and loving it.

Through trial and error and a lot of observation, Brenda (with a background in customer service) and I (with a background in marketing and advertising) found ourselves with a home-based specialty food business that had a following and was getting even more popular. We started to vend at indoor markets in the Fall and Winter of 2016.

Our experiences turned into a small business manual I published in April 2017 as an eBook titled, “Someone Stole Our Rhubarb: How We Started Our Home-Based Specialty Food Business.” In it I share details of the start and growth of JamBusters! (including a couple of recipes) and show you how to start your own small vending business.

There are tips on how to pick a niche product, how and where to market it online and in your surrounding area and secrets on how to be a great vendor. Brenda and I put a lot of effort into our on site presentation and sales program. This eBook with show you techniques that we have had proven to be successful.

What is most interesting is that we have managed to build JamBusters! into a reliable part-time extra income and still have time for several other pursuits. This handy guide to building your own extra income with a home-based specialty food business could be the last handbook you will ever buy. It is available on Amazon for $2.99 USD a copy. To download yours today, click here.

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