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Sell your homemade food online

Castiron is a software platform purpose-built to help independent food artisans start, build, and grow their businesses.

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And forever after that.

Castiron is 100% free for artisans to use. We know how important a professional digital presence is, which is why our platform is free forever. And because we know you’re wondering, we make money when you make money, applying a small transaction fee that’s paid at checkout.

What we do for you

We’ve tailored Castiron to fit the needs of kitchen-based creators who are selling their products to family, friends, and followers through word-of-mouth and social media. After a super fast setup (if you can create a social media profile, you can set up a Castiron shop!), you’ll have a single place to sell, manage orders, and communicate with customers.

Build a Customized Shop

No code required. Add products, upload your logo, share your story, and link to your social profiles from your flexible store.

Make Buying Painless

Never track down a payment or oversell products again. Real-time inventory tracking and secure payment processing make life easier for you and your customers.

Promote Without the Effort

With our magical marketing tools, email and social media marketing are on autopilot. We make it easy to promote your latest products and deals.

How to Start a Packaged Food Business

You may want to discover how to start a packaged food business from your own home to make a good profit. Food that is prepackaged is simply any consumable food that is packaged so that the product cannot be altered without opening the package. Prepackaged foods are cooked or raw and are ready for sale to the public.

Depending on where you live, each state will have its own licensing requirements if you want to start a local or online food business. These requirements are put in place to make sure the business owner is packaging food that is not spoiled and will not spoil — and is free from foodborne pathogens and other contaminants. Therefore, having an operation that promotes sanitary food prep, food cooking, and food packaging procedures is critical.

Some food business ideas from home and food business establishment examples include:

Start your packaged food business with a good idea, then start small by researching other food business establishment examples like a food kiosk, gourmet popcorn shops, or spicy homemade sauces. Many well-known barbecue and steak sauces were started as packaged food business ideas from home. Sriracha is one well-known sauce success created by an immigrant from Vietnam.

Check out this list of 101 Food Processing Startups in 2021 to view these companies' sample of food business description. Here you will find a mix of how their innovative ideas fueled their exceptional growth.

How to Start a Small Food Business at Home

Here's how to start a small food business at home. First, research your state and your county's rules regarding permits, licenses, home inspections, and food safety guidelines. The rules on selling food from home are typically regulated by each state's public health department, along with each state's department of agriculture.

Here you will find cottage food laws for every state in America, so you will know how to start a packaged food business and your state rules on selling food from home.

Next, you want to know how to make money selling food from home. Sure, you may have a great recipe for a new healthy granola bar that is gluten-free, but planning every step of your marketing, advertising, preparing, packaging, delivery, and pricing should be written down in detail. This will be your business plan.

For example, if you decide to package your sugar-free, homemade brownie bars, then you'll need to layout how you want to distribute them once the sales start coming in. Maybe you want to test run your idea first! Then learn how to start a takeaway business from home where you are advertising right in your community and offering prepackage food for pickup.

Your best chance of really taking off is when you have unique food business ideas, such as selling packaged foods at high school athletic games in your community.

Starting a Food Business Checklist

After deciding on what type of packaged food business you desire to start and how you will likely distribute your goods, you're ready to nail down the business side of your new venture. Begin by starting a food business checklist that will guide you and keep you focused on actionable items that will bring you closer to launching your packaged food business.

How to start food business from home

Step 1. Write a food business plan

This step will outline the type of business (typically a LLC), the concept for your packaged food products, and your company's logo and name. Also, look at the market you hope to sell to - young people, health enthusiasts, gourmet food lovers, etc.
how to start a packaged food business

Step 2. List operational and inventory details

This includes making a list of all the kitchen equipment you will need, the foods for your recipes and the food suppliers, your menu and how the food will be packaged and distributed, along with how much you will charge for each packaged food.

Step 3. Determine how much help you will need

Decide on the staff you will need. You may decide to be the sole prep, cook, packager, cleaner, and delivery person. That's fine, but then you may need administrative help such as website design, bookkeeping, and other help.

Packaged Food Business Ideas

There are many cottage foods that can be sold from your home after wrapping, bagging, sealing, packaging, bottling, or canning. And, there are manufacturers who make packaging equipment for smaller scale food business owners. Consider the following pieces of equipment you may need to support your packaged food business ideas:

As you can see, the industry is already set for anyone to become a packager and seller of foods from a small warehouse or even your own home.

The foods that are permitted to be sold from your home are governed by your state's cottage laws. These are the guidelines for selling food outside a commercial establishment, such as a home-based kitchen, farmer's markets, roadside stands, and local events. Cottage foods include:


Take this list of cottage foods to develop innovative ideas for food business that will set you apart from the competition. Some food business ideas with low investment include these small food business ideas:

There are many other food business ideas 2021 that may take more of an investment, but can be worth it! Consider the following innovative ideas for food business:

Bundled Food Package and Class - This could be a meal package with a cooking class, a high-energy foods package with an exercise class, a dried foods package with a hike or city tour, or a take-home pre-bagged ingredients to create your own special sauce at home.

Mediterranean, KETO, Paleo (or other diet plan) Bundle - Take any of the new and reputable diets and create packaged foods that make staying on the path of good nutrition much easier.

Ready-made Host Meals - This could be food packaged for hosts that support community functions, school athletics, field trips, after-school activities and other events to make it easier to feed guests during special occasions.

How to Start Online Food Business From Home

A packaged food business is the perfect way to launch your business of selling homemade food online. E-commerce is made much easier when you partner with a platform like Castiron that supplies the website to market, showcase, sell, and get paid for your online food business ideas. They make it easy to build an online, home-based food business with easy-to-use software that removes the administrative hassles of selling food online - directly from your home.

So, what should you look for in an online food selling website? Start with knowing the best food products to sell online. These are typically foods that do not spoil, are packaged and labeled, and can be easily delivered by a mail service. Next, you want to research all the legal and licensing requirements of your state that apply to how to start a food product business and food selling websites.

Selling homemade food online using food selling websites like Castiron will help you not only build your business, but to also grow it to serve consumers all across America. They supply one centralized location to handle all the administrative tasks like taking orders, arranging deliveries, and taking payments so that you can focus on your core business - making and packaging foods for sale.

The best food products to sell online are often those that serve a niche group of consumers. This could be vegetarians, those with food allergies, reduced sodium/fat/sugar products, plant-based products, and organically-grown foods. You can find many online food business ideas just by browsing Shopify, Whole Foods Market online shopping, or Google some interesting ideas like specialty diet foods, online chef menus, or easy international recipes.

How to Start a Food Delivery Business From Home

Discover how to start a food delivery business from home, instead of a pickup-based one like a farmer's market. A food delivery business plan pdf would have plenty of information on how you will market and sell your food products on a website. Therefore, website development is crucial, just as important as location is to a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

First contact your state's Department of Agriculture or Health Department to know the right license required for food delivery business. You might also want to protect your novel idea by registering with the federal government for trademark protection or tax exempt status.

Next, make a detailed food delivery business plan. There are free food delivery business plan pdf templates to get you started. This business plan should have specifics about your products and services, your vision for the company, and any job roles you will need to fill.

The best way to start a food delivery business is to start with an app like Castiron, which is designed specifically for home-based chefs and food artisans. They'll handle everything but the deliveries!

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