Local Flavors Market - 'Ready to Eat', Artisan Foods
Local Flavors Market - 'Ready to Eat', Artisan Foods
A brand line of products to support local small farms and food systems.
A brand line of products to support local small farms and food systems. Read more
About this project
THE SHORT OF IT
I've developed an unprecedented line of local ready-to-eat foods. I have very specific, simple plans for expansion. When successful, this serves as a model for others.
This project is about the expansion of a brand line of local, artisan, hand-crafted foods, but it's also much more. When you and I make this project a success, a whopping success, then it can serve as a model for others to do the same and more in their own community.
HOW I GOT HERE
Seventeen years ago I started farming at the age of 50 because I was concerned about the quality of our food supply. I became a farm activist passionate about preserving farmland and protecting our food supply, testified at city, county and state hearings, helped protect 50,000 acres of farmland in my county, did numerous farmers markets, and developed value-added products. One day baking my Garden Burgers, I realized I was developing an entire brand line of foods the quality of which you couldn't find anywhere else.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
I have recently scaled back production, much to the dismay of many of my customers, until funding is in place for expansion. I have been operating at break-even during the product development stage, so I've decided there is no sense in increasing production until I'm actually making a profit. My budget outlines the simple steps to create this outcome.
THE STARS OF THE PRODUCT LINE
Here are my top 5 sellers
Garlic Basil Dressing – the star of the line and the benchmark for all our other products. When sampling the dressing 80% of the people buy it. I love watching their reaction. I'm still trying to figure out how to describe it. “Connection” is the word that comes to mind. The light goes on. They've just had a taste, a flavor they have never had (or it triggers a memory), and they LOVE it! We call it the “WOW Effect.”
It started out being a salad dressing, now it's a SUPER SAUCE. Use it on chicken or fish (any meat), pasta, potatoes, eggs, pizza, any boring dish, with mayonnaise (or not) on a turkey sandwich, wonderful with hummus...
In season the garlic, basil and parsley are all grown by my daughter, Mari who has become the 2nd generation farmer in the family. The addition of a moveable greenhouse will allow her to extend the seasons.
And I won't scrimp on the quality of the other ingredients in order to cut costs. We need a new paradigm for a “cheap” food system that is far from cheap in the long run. You see, my food has now become my activism.
Protein Peanut Butter Bars - for anyone who likes peanut butter, this is an instant YES, similar to the response to the 'Garlic Basil Dressing'.
Ingredients: Aunt Patty's (Oregon) Organic Peanut Butter, Local Honey, Hemp (high in protein) Granola...crunchy and yummy, Organic Rolled Oats, Local Mt. Capra Goat Whey Protein, Organic Chia Seed (I've read we can grow Chia Seed in the Pacific NW), and North American Bee Pollen (soon from my local area). A delicious, high protein in-between meal snack or meal (for some).
These totally raise the bar in the world of 'Garden Burgers'. Whole-grain, chocked-full of veggies, fully-cooked, and frozen. Gently warm and use as a breakfast patty, crumbled on a salad, in a sandwich, as a burger.
Ingredients: Organic Lundberg Short Grain Brown Rice, Organic Millet, Organic or Local Onion, Mari's Farm Green and Red Cabbage, Carrots, and Kale/Collard Greens, Cheddar Cheese (Oregon), Local Organic Eggs, Organic Pumpkin Seeds (Oregon), Organic Sunflower Seeds (can grow our own or encourage a local grower to grow), Organic Ketchup, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Soy Sauce (may replace or leave out to take soy out of the recipe), Whole Wheat Flour and Sea Salt. Quick, easy, satisfying, versatile, nutrient dense.
Garlic Roasted Sesame Kale Chips – I have discontinued making the Kale Chips (except for this EXCLUSIVE OFFERING for Kickstarter Backers in the Rewards!) because they are not cost effective to make and sell, though people continue to ask me for them all the time. Who knows, maybe I'll figure out how to make them cost effective in the process. What makes them so good is the marinade (the base of the 'Garlic Basil Dressing', Gomosio (roasted sesame seeds and sea salt)...a medicinal condiment high in calcium, and Lacinato Kale (the best for kale chips), but any kale will work. For those of you who would like to make your own to taste just like these, then check out the 'Kale Chip KIT' (below).
Kale Chip “KIT” - Also a Reward! Everything you need to make the Garlic Roasted Sesame Seed Kale Chips: Fresh Lacinato Kale, Local Flavors Marinade, Gomosio (roasted sesame seed and sea salt)...a medicinal condiment high in calcium, and detailed instructions for making them in a dehydrator or an oven. We receive rave reviews from people who have purchased the kit. Actually more cost effective than buying the Kale Chips themselves.
While there are many more products developed, and more seasonally emerging all the time, these are the 5 we're going to focus on in this expansion. But no worries, we'll be getting back to making our amazing salads too!
PROJECT GOAL: $21,500
Reduce Ingredient Costs - $4,500
- by buying bulk ingredients at wholesale prices
I haven't had enough money at one time to buy in bulk at wholesale prices. I've been buying just a little below retail, so there is no profit margin. I was willing to do this while I was developing and test marketing my products. But I can't and won't expand until I cut my costs and increase my production.
Increase production for my chef - $5500
- with the purchase of commercial equipment: a food processor, 3 bar blenders, a certified scale with a waterproof label maker, a large salad spinner and green packaging
Increase production for my farmer - $5,500
- with the purchase of an Eliot Coleman style moveable greenhouse
Increase sales for three of the stores I sell to - $6,000
- with the purchase of a commercial display freezer and refrigerator for each store, "dedicated" to Local Flavors Products with a sign thanking Kickstarter and Backers (you guys)!
- Yelm Food Co-op
- Olympia Local Foods...a virtual Farmers Market
- M & K Town Store, a downtown convenience store, Chehalis, WA
Sales haven't been my problem, something remarkable to say in this economy, but I have included increasing sales and brand visability in the project as well, and in some ways for a more altruistic reason. These units can serve as a model for bringing fresh local food into "food deserts" where people in cities only have convenience store food available within walking distance, also creating another viable market for local farmers and food producers.
Up until now I've funded my efforts on a frayed shoestring and an empty pocket. To continue I can't do it this way any more and I can't do it alone. But then that's what community is all about, a full-circle of support where we all win by giving and receiving, a perpetual motion machine. With your generous support we can make this not only a successful business, but also a model for protecting our food supply one local morsel at a time, one community at a time.
Be sure to check out my premiums.
I think you will like them A LOT! Thank you for your generous support in helping to make this dream come true.
Risks and challenges
I have everything in place for expansion. Since my products are fully developed, I won't be doing anything new, just doing it easier, better, faster and more of it. I guess that would be new!
My biggest challenge will be running a larger business than one I've been able to micro-manage by myself. I have surrounded myself with very skilled and experienced people in food, business, marketing, writing and publishing who are available to help me take my business to the next level.
One aspect on my side is I've controlled my business' growth, and will continue to do so. Note: I'm not interested in going national with my product line. I think I will do well just serving my own community, and encourage others to do the same in their own community.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)