Good Food, Great Business: How to Take Your Artisan Food Idea from Concept to Marketplace
by Susie Wyshak
(Chronicle Books, 2014)
Review by Kristina Sepetys
Home cooks are often told their homemade sweet or savory specialty item is so amazingly delicious they should consider selling it. For those who let their imaginations travel down that path, the initial prospect may seem exciting. But the scene can quickly turn daunting when faced with the reality of sorting out the particulars. Where do I start? How do I raise money? Price products? The devil is in the details, and those details can seem overwhelming and quickly lead would-be entrepreneurs to give up their vision and stick to cooking for friends and family.
Enter Susie Wyshak, a business strategist in Oakland, California, who spent many years working in the artisanal food industry. She’s also a connector who likes to help fledgling entrepreneurs and businesses. Realizing her background and experience gave her a unique perspective on how to help food makers navigate the path to taking a food product to market, Wyshak wrote a relevant and informative how-to book explaining the startup process for food crafters, featuring expert advice and dozens of case studies (many of them local East Bay businesses).
Her book, Good Food, Great Business, delivers 256 pages stuffed with sidebars, charts, tried-and-true resources, and war stories of successes and misadventures of startup artisan food businesses. To Wyshak, “Good Food” means sustainably produced, all natural, GMO-free, minimally processed, delicious products. Her book is a straightforward, accessible manual for everything from gut-checking on whether a food startup is really for you to defining your vision and strategy and selling and marketing your own good food. Chapters include practical instructions for creating business plans, figuring out whether you want to operate as a sole proprietorship or LLC, developing a marketing strategy and campaign, designing packaging, setting up internal accounting and other systems, and securing production equipment.
Whatever your objectives, Wyshak’s book will give you information and tools to help make your specialty food product dream a reality.