5 Small Businesses for People Who Like Food

I love food. There's nothing more satisfying than a great meal after a busy day. And don't forget the food over which business deals are made: the "power lunch". If you love food, you can build a business from it. Here are 5 great businesses for people who like food.
  1. Caterer: This is one classic business that never goes out of style. Caterers are needed for all kinds of functions, from weddings to funerals to corporate events. A strong marketer might even help customers develop their own reasons to have a caterer. A signature recipe that is served at every event will help to solidify your place in the pantheon of caterers and will have your name on the lips of anyone asking around for a good caterer.
  2. Meal planner/preparer for busy families: This is a business I believe is going to grow in the near future. People have less and less time but are more and more aware about the need to eat healthily. A meal planner/preparer is not a maid or a cook (like Alice from The Brady Bunch) but rather like an independent concierge service that specializes in one thing: planning and preparing meals for busy families who want home cooked meals without a lot of effort. Create a few easy-to-make recipes of one-dish items that can be put in the oven, as well as a calendar of when to eat it. The families just pop the food in the oven when they get home.
  3. Chef in your home: This is similar to the above business, except it adds a special flare: you actually show up at their home to cook! You’ll want to have some credentials and you’ll need to have a little flare. Also, you may want to wear a traditional chef’s outfit to make it seem “authentic”. People love the experience, although you may find that business idea #2 is an “every day” type of business while this idea will be used in special circumstances (like a romantic dinner at home).
  4. Recipe writer: I’ll be honest, it still amazes me that this is such a lucrative business, but it is. Jean Pare of the Company’s Coming series has a smash hit and seems to produce a constant stream of perennial best sellers. Start by writing for a magazine or create a website with some of your own recipes. Compile them together and get them self-published. Once you have a book, aim to get on a local PBS channel as a guest (or even as a host of a local cooking show; we’ve all pretended we were one at least once when we had the kitchen to ourselves, right?)
  5. Food travel: People aren’t looking for the same old travel experience any more. They want something more. Some travel is themed, like the recently popular DaVinci Code tours that visit the sites from the famous book. Another is a culinary experience. Some tours will take you on a sampling tour of great dining experiences though a country or a region. Other tours will bring you to a market in the morning and in the afternoon show you how to cook the food you bought there. If you like a certain kind of food, you can be sure that there is a tour for it already, but the market is still young and there’s plenty of room for someone else’s twist on this successful business.

The great thing about food is that everybody eats it. That makes many food-related businesses recession-resistant. (Not all food business, but some of the basic ones). If you have a craving for food AND for business, consider some of these ideas to tide you over.

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