Since last week, I found an interesting and relatively recent article here on starting a pickle business.
The first nugget I picked up is that I have to know what kind of pickles to make. I have that covered: spicy beer brine with a couple of key ingredients that I’ll keep to myself for the moment. The next piece of advice is to know where I’ll be making and selling. I have a connection who has a catering business and as a result, is the proprietor of a commercial kitchen, so I need to talk to him, but also to investigate the feasibility of making something in my home that I can sell to a consuming public, albeit a small segment of it. I want to sell them in Maryland, close by at first. Remember, this is a side hustle after all.
Stream of consciousness: If I am going to make this work, I should probably consider how I might sell these things to people located where I am – on Saturday in particular! I have an 8-year-old son who is turning out to be a pretty decent wrestler, and I’m at tournaments a lot on Saturdays – with probably close to 1,000 other people! Usually, there is a schwag table. Well, not exactly. They sell quality goods (and for the avoidance of doubt by “schwag” I don’t mean low-grade cannabis products). I wonder if they’d let me stack a couple of pickle pyramids up on that table? I also have kids playing basketball in the winter. A lower-volume opportunity, but perhaps with more discriminating palates and time to talk. Seasons change, so I’d better think about what happens in the spring.
The article also tells me to get the legalities rights. Well, if I screw those up you should probably stop reading this blog.
I am supposed to know what I’m pickling. Covered: It’s cucumbers. It is suggested that one spend some time testing recipes, etc. I had planned to do this, but not with the intent of altering my core recipe; rather, to determine how long I need to incubate my cucumbers and how much of the various ingredients I need to use in order to get the taste I want while avoiding waste (particularly of money).
Right now, I’m thinking about making them in half-cucumber format, cut lengthwise. There is a reason for this which relates to a trade name I think I might use, but more on that later.
I’ve talked about my vision of my pickles being made available in limited release fashion at places I like to go, that way I can enjoy my customer destinations. I’ve also had an offer from a reader to help me figure out how to get them into farmers’ markets, which is an idea I enjoy. Ultimately, however, I think at least locally significant retailers need to be an outlet so I can scale a little. I’m still figuring out the market, but these suggestions confirm my own assumptions.
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Scott Lloyd is a registered patent attorney who specializes in intellectual property counseling and commercialization work. He has served as a technology commercialization specialist and advisor to companies in a diverse array of markets, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and beverage, specialty chemicals, technology, and engineering. In addition, Mr. Lloyd spent ten years as in-house general counsel to small and mid-sized companies, where he managed corporate matters and resolved commercial disputes in addition to intellectual property strategy, and now serves in the same capacity for entrepreneurial clients. He serves as counsel to small and mid-sized business owners seeking to implement growth strategies and succession plans.
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