Do you want to start a cooking business but want to go niche and be unique? If YES, here are 22 best cooking related business ideas & opportunities for 2020.
If you have a flair for cooking to the extent that people always commend your culinary skills whenever they taste your meals; and if you find uncommon joy in making meals, then maybe it is time to make money off that skill. Granted, there is a whole lot of capital requirements involved in setting up a restaurant or food business, and this is what has been holding a lot of people back. It is for this reason that some chefs started considering cooking out of their home kitchens.
First, cooking and selling food from home is convenient especially for chefs who are stay at home mums or even students. Again, overhead cost is reduced tremendously because you are not paying for any additional facility and the bills that come with it.
You only need to make contact with your clients through the phone, or may be through the use of an app; you cook the meals, make the supplies and collect your pay. Easy, right? In 2013, Cottage Food Operations (CFOs) became legal, allowing people to prepare, package and sell non-hazardous foods from a private home kitchen under the Homemade Food Act.
Only specific foods are approved for CFOs and they have to be foods that don’t require refrigeration to avoid people from getting sick. These foods include baked goods without cream, custard, or meat fillings as well as dried fruit and nut butters and nut mixes. The list also includes confections such as salted caramel or fudge and fruit pies and fruit tamales.
Before you can start cooking and selling food out of your home kitchen, you have to familiarize yourself with the local laws in your area, and you should know what is allowed and what is not. You have to acquire licensing and permits and you equally need to submit your cooking space for inspection.
In order to receive a license to operate, your cooking area will need to pass the inspection. If you want to start cooking and selling food from your home, and you do not want to contravene the laws as to the kind of foods you can sell, here are a few legal ideas that can get you started.
29 Best Home Based Cooking Business ideas for 2020
- Bake and Sell breakfast items
It is almost like a tradition that baked goods are for breakfast. I mean, think about those tea cakes, warm croissants, soft pies, doughnuts etc. that you can use to accompany your morning coffee. You can profit from the love of baked goods by baking them and selling them yourself.
You can specialize in a specific baked item such as starting a cookie business, or you can bake a wide range of treats such as cakes, muffins, breads and more. You can consign your baked goods and sell them through a local cafe or shop, or you can sell them direct to consumers through an online bake shop or farmers market.
- Bake and sell desserts
Peanut Butter Cookies, energy bars, Coconut Snowballs, Granola/Cereal Bars, Homemade Trail Mixes, Peanut Brittle, pound cake, various cupcakes etc. are some of the various kinds of dessert goodies you can make out of your home kitchen. A rule here is that you have to look for items that can maintain their freshness for a long time without refrigeration so you do not contravene any laws. Look for unique recipes and have fun making them.
- Bake gluten free goods
Many people live with some form of gluten allergy or intolerance and may even need to cut out grains containing gluten altogether from their diet. This can be really depressing especially for people that love their desserts. There are indeed loads of delicious gluten-free baked treats, from pies and cakes to cookies; one can bake from a home kitchen.
You can actually focus your baking on this niche. You need to first of all research your market to ensure that you would be able to sell your goods after baking. Next is to research the various gluten-free baking treats and then bake away.
- Bake diet-specialty treats
Specialty diets are on the rise, from vegan to organic, sugar free to allergy sensitive. You can take advantage of this rise in people embarking on diets to start your own range of specialty diet foods and bakes. You can supply your goods to specialty grocery stores that sell fresh baked goods.
- Roast and sell specialty coffee
Maybe you have used an old hot air popcorn popper to roast coffee for your friends and family, and it turned out good. You can indeed make the jump from being a hobby home roasting enthusiast to a full blown small scale production roaster, all from your home.
To get started, you can select and purchase a not-so-expensive roaster, invest in some sort of packing and packaging equipment, make some space in your home, and select the right green coffee. You should also know where you can get specialty green coffee.
If your coffee is of good quality and you roast them to perfection, you would not have much problems selling your products. Your selling point in this business would be freshness, so you should only roast the ones you can sell off at a time.
- Make and sell jams
Making and canning your own jam is also quite easy. You don’t need any fancy equipment to make jam; you only need just a couple of ingredients and a few nifty tips. Homemade jam is so delicious and so easy to make and a lot of people would also patronize you if your jam is fresh and homemade.
You can pick the fruit yourself or buy it when it is in season, and either make a jam there and then, or freeze the fruit ready for another time. You can make and supply to clients when your product is at the freshest. To cut costs considerably, you can make the most of seasonal fruits, because such fruits are at their cheapest when they are in season. You can visit farmers markets for good bargains.
- Make chocolate confections
Chocolate is versatile; it can be melted or tempered, used in recipes, molded and or sculpted. If you are an expert in working with chocolate and you can create beautiful chocolate treats, confections and bars, then you can start your own chocolate confections right out of your home kitchen.
There are a lot of acceptable chocolate confections you can make, like the cake pops, chocolate dipped fruits, caramels, truffles, cherry cordials, etc. They make great gifts or treats that can be sold through consignment, online, at fairs, farmers markets, and more.
- Become a small event caterer
Do you enjoy cooking a variety of foods for people who are hosting events? You can use this love to start a small business. Although catering can be a big task, but many caterers got their start working on smaller events; and because you are cooking right out of your kitchen, you should stick really small events for now.
In fact, you might consider specializing in a niche, such as a type of event or specific foods. The odds are that you will need a few extra helping hands on the day of the event to ensure all items are prepared and ready to be served at the allotted time.
- Become a personal chef
Maybe you enjoy cooking, but you don’t want to take on the large task of serving a group through catering. Another option you can consider is to be a personal chef. Busy families often don’t have the time or desire to cook, and they usually hire others to create well-balanced, healthy meals for them.
Many personal chefs cook in bulk, leaving a week’s worth of food with their clients. Some cook at the client’s home, while others cook in their own homes and deliver. You can consider specializing, as well. For example, you can cook for families with special needs, such as allergy-restricted diets.
- Become a cooking instructor
Many people wish they had skills in the kitchen and are willing to pay to learn. Like other culinary jobs, a cooking instructor can focus on a specific area, such as baking or grilling, or may become a generalist. You can lead cooking instructions in your home, or have someone videotape you and you can sell the videos as part of a home-learning course. Another option is to create your own cooking show posted on YouTube, which can pay you advertising income.
- Become a nutrition coach
People are becoming more and more concerned about their health and the role food plays in feeling good. A nutrition coach helps others design and follow an eating plan that helps them meet their health goals. Some clients may have specific issues to contend with such as diabetes or food allergies.
Others may want to follow a specific type of diet, such as vegan or gluten-free. Although you don’t need to be a registered dietitian or nutritionist, it can add to your credibility and allow you to charge more. Or you can consider getting certified as a nutrition coach by one of the many nutrition coaching companies around.
- Start a food blog
One of the fastest and easiest ways to start making money from the love of food, and directly from your home is through a food blog. You can share your recipes through text or video, and post them on your blog, share them on Pinterest and more.
Unlike other food businesses that are under special regulation, a food blog doesn’t have special food rules because you’re not selling the food items. Instead, you can earn income through a variety of other options like affiliate marketing, advertising, or creating your own products such as a cookbook.
- Prepare and sell home-cooked, heat and eat meals
Do you know that making heat and eat meals out of a home kitchen is allowed in some states in America? You first of all have to check if your state laws allow for such. If they do, then know that this is a simple way for you to make money from the home food business.
You will have to prepare and package your favorite meals in microwaveable containers, while also adding heating instructions. You would have to deliver them by hand or have customers come around to pick them up at a designated place on their way home from work. You can as well target office complexes with this business.
You have to go around first and distribute your simple menu selections to all of the employees and then take their order which you would then prepare and bring back. You can also take orders and payments over the phone or online. This can even turn into an ongoing relationship.
- Cater office meetings
Every meeting planner knows that food is a critical part of a successful event. You have to meet and introduce yourself to offices that hold regular meetings. Ensure you meet the admin or any other person in charge of logistics. Many meeting venues don’t offer catering, so get your menu placed in their facility information packets.
- Candy Making
Do you have a lot of candy making recipes tucked under your belt, and are quite adept in making these treats? Then you can start a candy making business. This business idea is a fantastic way to turn your hobby and skill into a profitable home based Business model.
Homemade candies are very easy to make and are also quite popular. From chocolates to truffles to lollipops, children and mature adults enjoy indulging in candy every now and then. This is a wonderful way to convert your passion to a profitable home-based business.
- Cookie Gift Baskets
Cookie gift baskets filled with homemade cookies is one of the most profitable cooking business ideas any individual can start with low-cost investment. People always search for innovative gifts with homemade specialty items. You can offer special cookie gift baskets for specific occasions. You can make different types of cookies and package them professionally. You can as well make specialty cookies for people who request such.
- Specialty cookie baking
Specialty cookies making can be a wonderful and profitable business that anyone can initiate and carry out from home. You can sell your product within your community or you can establish business tie-ups with local food stores, retail stores and gift stores.
- Host Cooking Classes
If you have a lot of experience with cooking, and you enjoy crafting new tasty food recipes, then you should consider starting a cooking class business. This business can be initiated as a home based business with small startup capital. You can get your little class together and teach them at your home. You can also host your cooking class online where you craft lesson materials and send to them, and you as well sell your materials.
- Fresh Pasta Making
Fresh pasta is always in demand. You can sell it within your community or you can offer this to the restaurants who sell fresh foods from their own stores. In starting fresh pasta making business, you will need to have some ingredients in your kitchen, but these ingredients would not cost you much. The most important thing here is to have places where you can sell your products.
- Pickles Making
Pickles are cucumbers preserved in a solution of vinegar, salt, and other flavorings. They are typically fermented with naturally-occurring bacteria prior to vinegar preservation. While the pickling technology has been around since ancient times, pickles are still a popular food, with over 5 million lb consumed daily.
Pickling preserves foods by immersion in vinegar brine or a saltwater brine to suppress microbes that cause food to rot. Depending on the method you use, the process can take a few hours or days for vinegar-brined pickles to be ready to eat, or weeks for saltwater-brined pickles. Picking is quite easy and can be made out of a home kitchen. You can market your various pickles to neighbours, stores and restaurants.
- Sauce Making
Specialty sauces are always in demand. If you have knowledge of how to make them, and you enjoy making them, you can go ahead and start a home based specialty sauce-making business. The specialty sauces can be sold in bulk to restaurants or packaged into smaller quantities and sold to grocery stores and specialty food retailers on a wholesale basis.
- Specialty Cake Making
Specialty cake making is one of the most profitable food business ideas one can initiate from his/her home. You may focus on a specific niche and on some specific products like wedding cakes, birthday cakes etc.
- Cake Decorating Business
As long as there are parties and other events that serve desserts, there will be a need for cake decorators. If you are a very creative cake decorator, then maybe you can start this business right from your home. The key to success here is to choose a specific niche and focus on a select group of customers.
For a cake decorator, being able to create unique designs is very important. However, now consumers are also shopping for healthier options, such as organic, low-fat or gluten free cakes. Those who provide these alternatives can tap into a big and growing market. you may not have to be decorating the cakes at your home as you would be contracted by people or even bakeries to come decorate their cakes.
- Make and Sell Gourmet Food
If you have a unique product idea or family recipe, you can start a business making and selling your specialty food items from home. Note that for you to succeed in this business, every ingredient you use must be organic and of high quality.
If your customers notice you are skimping on quality, they may never patronize you again. Since you are selling from a home kitchen, ensure you sell only foods that are covered by the law. You can market your products online if such is allowed under your license.
- Recipe Website For chefs
If you want to share your creative cooking ideas with others instead of creating them yourself, you can start a recipe website. A recipe website is a website where you can share your unique recipes. In addition to sharing recipes, you can teach people about various cooking methods, entertaining and even diet strategies.
Setting up a recipe website can be fairly inexpensive and simple. Many recipe websites are free for visitors, as they generate income from advertisers. By building a loyal following, you increase your monthly visitors, which in turn attract more advertisers – and revenue.
- Start making candy bouquets
Edible candy bouquets are a popular alternative to flowers in events these days. The good part about candy bouquets is that they don’t rot easily like the fruit bouquet. This makes a candy bouquet business less expensive to start – and less risky.
Being able to create fun and interesting bouquet designs will enable you to sell more. You can do this with regular candy you find at the store, gourmet candy or confections you make yourself. You can sell candy bouquets online through a website, offer a local delivery service or partner with gift shops in your area to re-sell them for you.
- Become a Food Writer
Writing about food can be a great way to enjoy food and share your expertise without having to cook all of the time. Food writers can work as independent contractors, submitting their reviews to magazines, or other publications. You can also start a restaurant review website, where you can make your money through companies that advertise on your website. You can also do freelance writing about food. Many blog owners look for people to write articles about a variety of food topics.
- Start a Home Vegetarian Food Business
A vegetarian who loves to cook and excels at creating new ways to serve vegetarian cuisine can decide to start a home vegetarian food business. To get started, you have to conduct a market survey to discover the percentage of people who will be interested in purchasing vegetarian food.
There are approximately 20 million Americans who are vegetarians and some of them must live around you, you just need to locate them. With an online vegetarian food business, your prospective customers would greatly increase. Note that you will need the proper permits to operate your business.
- Cashew Processing
If you live in an area where you have amble access to fresh cashew nuts, you could start processing and selling them from your home. Cashew processing involves cooking, cutting, cashew kernel drying, peeling, grading and packing. If roasted to perfection and properly packaged, you can easily sell your nuts to both neighbors and grocery stores.