Monday, January 25, 2010

My First Online Order!

Hey everybody,

Quite a bit’s happened in the past couple of days that I wanted to share...

First, I heard from the FDA and Baron’s International Kitchen has been registered. Keep in mind that this is not for FDA approval. Rather, the regulation requires that all food manufacturers register with the FDA basically so they are aware of who is doing what. The FDA registration form was pretty intimidating but the process was remarkably smooth. If my experiences would be helpful to anyone out there who is going through the process too, let me know. I’d be happy to share specifics of my experiences to help a fellow entrepreneur get started.

The next thing I wanted to share is that the company has hit another milestone. The first online order came in today. YEY! I’m very excited about it. Thank you! Tomorrow I will package and ship the order. This is certainly one of the biggest milestones and I’m so happy to have made it this far.

The last thing that’s going on is that I’m headed into the kitchen tomorrow morning to produce and bottle the hot sauce. It will be an early day as usual- a 5 AM start but to all of you out there who have been waiting to buy the hot sauce, hang in there for just a few more days. You’ll soon be able to order this gourmet hot sauce on the website. I’ll let you all know when.

Next week, I’ll head into the kitchen to produce the Portuguese Repolho Relish and then I’ll have all the initial products available for purchase. I’ll need to register these last 2 products with the FDA but now that I’ve been through that process, I don’t expect it to be a challenge.

Check back soon for new and exciting news,


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another milestone reached...

Hi out there,

I've more great news to share...I've hit another milestone! That's right, I made the hot Jerk Sauce/Caribbean Marinade and now have inventory of both varieties of this product. My husband Josh added some of that inventory to the e-commerce component of the website which means you can now order either of those 2 products from this site. Isn't that cool?! I can't help but check every few minutes to see if an order has come in :) It'll be so exciting when that first order does comes in and I can tell I'll especially enjoy packaging it up and shipping it out (yeah, it's the little things that make me happy- hehe).

Josh has been cutting and adhering product labels to the jars. It's tedious work but he's getting through it. You know, he's doing such a great job at it in fact that I think secretly he's having a good time ;)

I also have an update to report on the anxiety producing FDA product registration process. I received a call from an FDA Representative who had a quick question then let me know that the 2 products I wrote about registering were "good to go" -- Woohoo! I asked how long before I would receive official notification of that and he didn't know. Still, it felt like a really big step in the right direction.

OK, well, that's it for now. I've gotta run to try and line up some hot peppers for my next production run which is to make the hot sauce. Wish me luck!

Stay tuned for more news to come,


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hit Another Company Milestone!

Hey there,

well, I'm really excited because yesterday I hit another company milestone - I have product labels! Now I realize this may be no big deal for some but when you're trying to start a small business on a shoestring budget like me, this is big news :) It's all relative.

It was a bit of a challenge to find a supplier who could produce the product labels within my budget. Through this experience I've come to learn just how expensive self adhesive product labels are though it's worth it if you need large quantities. I found a solution that will work for now- no minimum quantity requirements and the prices are low enough that it's affordable. This will allow me to get started but I'll need another solution once larger quantities of label are needed (I'm looking forward to actually having that problem ;) If you are in the same boat, let me know. Maybe my solution will work for you too.

I completed another production run yesterday and now have inventory of the hot Caribbean marinade as well as the mild Caribbean marinade- WOOHOO! I'm going to affix the labels on the sauce jars and enter them to the website e-commerce inventory in order to start accepting online orders. It's taken a long time to get here and sometimes, it's hard to believe that I made it this far.

I'm looking to schedule another production run soon to make the hot sauce but first I have to find a supplier for the hot peppers. I have a lead on a farm in NC where I might be able to order them directly wholesale so I'll reach out to them and see how it goes. As always, if you have a lead on a supplier, let me know.

Well, that's it for now. Stay tuned for news about when online inventory is available.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Production Run!


well, it's been a really exciting time since my last post. Since then, I set a date and prepped for the first production run. It was today and I wanted to share the news about how it went.

I made the Caribbean Marinade- Mild Jerk Sauce today. It took about 8 hours working by myself in the kitchen at the Reservoir Inn Restaurant in West Hurley, NY which I'm currently renting. My day started at 4 AM and I finished producing the sauce at 1 this afternoon. It was so exciting! The best part- there weren't any problems (though I did manage to cut my finger with one of the knives-ouch! It was a fairly deep cut and still hurts a bit but my finger is on the mend thank goodness).

I had a bit of a stressful time trying to find all of the ingredients and supplies. For a while there I wasn't sure I would have been able to produce the sauce today because there were a few ingredients that I wasn't able to find like the Thyme and the Scotch Bonnets. At the last minute over the weekend though, I was able to get everything. I was so happy when I realized that I would be able to produce the sauce today. Let me know if you have a recommendation for suppliers where I could get these particular ingredients.

I will be back in the kitchen hopefully next week to produce the hot version of the Caribbean Marinade. In the meantime, I'll be looking into getting labels for the sauce jars printed. I'm also seeking recommendations for Printers or print shops.

Another piece of great news, I heard from the bank today that Baron's International Kitchen was approved for its very first corporate credit card. I feel really "official" now :) Overall it's been just a great day. The credit card application process was a bit stressful in itself but it was well worth the effort. If you are interested in advice about the credit card application process or looking for bank recommendations, let me know. I'd be happy to share my experiences with you.

Well, that's it for now. I'll let you know how the next production run goes...