Make Money Making Preserves

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You don’t have to be a nutritionist to understand we’re being served ‘crap’ almost everywhere we buy our food. The supermarkets are stocked with low quality ingredients, with produce that’s as healthy as poison and precooked meals that showcase the entire Periodic Table.

Many of us are getting more interested in cooking at home (the advantages are clear), preparing our meals from scratch and getting back to some more traditional and clearly healthier foods and meal options.

The constant quest for organic / natural has driven many people towards small local food producers who provide a healthy alternative to the ‘poisoned’ foods we can purchase from the stores. This is where you can come in and we’ll teach you how to earn money making preserves.

Who can earn money making preserves?

ANYONE with a kitchen, an oven and some passion for cooking (you don’t have to be a master chef, but you do need to follow some basic recipes). If you have access to fresh and organic produce and got some ideas for jams or pickles, then this small home based business idea is for you.

How to start

1. Think about some preserves you can make.

Ideally you should already be making them for your family, so it’s not a difficult task to come up with few recipes: strawberry jam, plum jam or pickled cucumbers. There are MANY possible options and combinations, so the sky is the limit. OK, the limit comes from what you can secure locally.

2. Get a very good organic produce provider

Again, the ideal situation is that your provider is local, so that you have access to fresh ingredients and great prices. I’m mentioning the word ‘organic’, since for me at least, the only reason to switch from the store preserves to something done ‘at home’ is the idea that I’m purchasing something healthy, organic and with no ‘chemicals’ in it. Otherwise, the store options would suffice.

3. Make few smaller batches to test the market

Now that you have the produce, the jars and an idea, start .. cooking. Use these first batches to test the market, see what your friends/relatives are thinking about them, start selling locally to get your initial clients.

4. Make more preserves and start earning more

Once you have received the initial feedback and already got some experience in earning money making preserves, you are ready to develop your business more and see what else lies ahead. I’d create a nice online store to showcase the products and promote this, too.

How to earn money making preserves?

In this case it’s pretty straightforward – you sell your jars filled with delicious jams or pickles. Your clients will love your products and get back for more, while also recommending you to others. With some smart pricing, excellent quality and a knack for promotion, you can earn a good income from this.

How to promote your preserves business

  • get in touch with local groceries stores. Some might be interested in selling your products. Same goes for farmer’s markets or any such event.
  • create a web site and showcase your products. If you also add a checkout option, people will be able to purchase from there.
  • join social media outlets (Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin etc.)
  • print flyers
  • promote in the local papers (if you have the funds, of course)
  • place a decal on your car (what you do, website URL and phone number)
  • let everybody know about your business
  • be active in same niche forums / blogs / networks

Final advice:

  • use only organic produce, no ‘chemicals’ recipes etc. People need a reason to choose your products from the ones on the shelf, so your target is to provide healthy and natural options.
  • base your production on what’s in season. No need to make strawberry preserves when their season is over. This will allow you to get better ingredients at very small prices.
  • don’t skimp on quality. You can get really cheap produce, if you’re willing to compromise, but your clients are looking for an excellent product.
  • looks matter! Hire a graphic designer to create some cool labels and pay a printing shop for this. Sure, you can use your own printer and maybe ‘design’ with Comic Sans Serif, but your merchandise needs to look the part. This will allow you to sell more and set a higher price.
  • make sure the kitchen is CLEAN and you don’t make any mistakes. When dealing with food it’s difficult to keep everything clean and sterile. Make sure your jars are properly cleaned and the product is safe for your customers.
  • always be professional and nice. Share your story with the customers, answer their questions, show you care. By being a good seller and act nicely you can increase your sales and get more customers.

In my country there are some successful businesses that were started this way. Some have big contracts with some very big restaurants and very rich clients. Have you given this small business idea a thought? Do you think you can earn money making preserves? Have you?

11 COMMENTS

  1. I have a friend who has tried getting into this business. It wasn’t too difficult for her, since she lives in an area that’s great for growing a lot of fruits and vegetables. She’s not getting rich from this, but it clearly pays the bills.

    • If you’re doing it right, then this small business venture can really pay some bills. Even if you won’t become a huge seller, earning a bit of a side income is already great.

  2. Never thought about this, but it makes a lot of sense. I could just start with few preserves for our own use (a good alternative to the store preserves) and then see where this takes us.

  3. This sounds like an amazing idea!

    I should try to make preserves more often, I actually hate the ones we buy at the supermarket, I can’t even remember the last time I ate jam… (replaced it with honey).

    I tried making strawberry jam once though, last year, and it was a disaster 😀 But I should try harder. Heck, if I’m good at making pies & stuff, I should be able to cook up some preserves! 😀

    • You should most definitely try. When you get back here, you could ask my grandma about some of her recipes. Most are VERY easy, it’s just the fruit and some sugar (don’t know how much though) and then let them ‘stew’ for hours.

  4. As a buyer, I would much rather pay more money for something home made, with quality ingredients and all that, than pay “only .99 cents” and eat crap. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who actually makes money making preserves! If I did, I would definitely help them promote their business 🙂

    • We are also getting more careful about what we put into our mouths, so buying home made everything really makes sense. We are lucky to still have our grandmothers who are making preserves, but we’ll eventually have to learn to do it ourselves or pay good bucks for such products. I don’t know personally anyone who’s got a business like this in my city, which makes it a good idea in the future for myself 😀

      • Please may I have tips on foolproof sterilisation methods for my jam / preserve jars. I make some lovely jams for friends & family & boil my jars to sterilise. Not sure if that’s enough If I am to go commercial.

  5. This sounds really fun, but don’t you need a licensed kitchen and a business license and a food handler’s permit to be legally allowed to do this? I don’t know for sure, but it’s something I would wonder, especially if you’re being honest and listing it as a source of income on your taxes!

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