If you've been creating and selling your own specialty food products for any length of time, you've probably discovered just how difficult it is to make a profit, after paying all of your costs. Don't worry, it's not just you. Ask anyone you can find who's doing this, and if you find someone who says they're making a profit, after ALL their costs, question them further. In all likelihood, they are confusing revenues with profits.
More than a decade as a small creator and marketer of my own specialty food products, currently American Salad Dressing, Angus Sauces and Mondi's Vegan Cooking Sauces, has taught us a lot about the realities of the business, especially how many hurdles there are to making a real profit. Conversations with countless other small producers at demos, trade shows, tasting events, etc. has made the big picture extremely clear. Most notably, the odds of success are quite slim, and it's better to learn this sooner than later. A major specialty foods buyer once told me that in ten years as a buyer, he'd only seen two small specialty food businesses make any money. Really!
Why is that? There are a number of reasons. Co-packers, Brokers, Distributors and Retailers all have mandatory cost requirements for doing business with them. Making specialty food products on a small scale, with high unit costs, results in product unit costs much higher than the retail prices of large, established competitor's products, which are produced in extremely large quantities. So can anyone make a profit? The answer is simple. If you do what everyone else has been doing, the way they've been doing it, the chances of ever making a profit are highly unlikely, and that's the sad truth.
Why can this website help when the odds of ever making a profit are so slim? Because it's premise is based on one of the most frequent things I've heard mentioned by other small producers, that finding ways to work together would be the solution. Until now, this really hasn't happened, but strength in numbers is probably the only way most producers will ever have, of making a profit though. That's what this website is all about though, creating a 'Business Cluster', or in other words, a group with some of the best aspects of a co-op, without all the red tape. How will this work? New England Specialty Foods is the first Region of America's Specialty Foods. The New England Region is the first region/website being built. There are several thousand small and medium specialty foods producers in the six New England states, spending many combined millions on supplies annually all totaled. Until now though, this buying power has gone to waste. The first major goal of New England Specialty Foods, is to leverage the combined buying power of all of the area's specialty foods producers, into one powerful group, which will result in better prices on all products and services needed, for everyone in this 'business cluster'. Since there are several other substantial goals which we believe can be accomplished with this business cluster, this website will have several 'sister sites', including Specialty Food's Best Resources, with regional Resource Directories and Classified Ads, to save money for all small producers purchases with reliable vendors. How does one participate in this Virtual Buying Group? All businesses listed in the Directory on this site will be contacted as soon as possible, to announce that the monthly Classified Ads have started. There is no charge to be listed in the New England's Specialty Foods Directory. Being listed is absolutely, 100% FREE for producers. Another website, America's Farmer's Market, will have as it's mission, selling America's Specialty Foods products online via public school websites, to create funding for public schools, while increasing producer's profits by selling to consumers directly. How are these FREE activities possible? Vendors pay a fee to advertise their products and services, at attractive prices to over a thousand participants in New England, as well as many thousands more all over the USA. This will also include the seven other regions of America's Specialty Foods, which will save suppliers a great deal of time finding new customers.