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Old 09-07-2006, 08:17 PM   #21
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i will eat the medical bills if they get sick(they won't, im almost medically sterile)
That's gracious of you but they'd probably take you house, property, car, 1/2 of you salary forever and first born child...in addition to the the medical bills.

I think quite a few of us here have started businesses. It sounds like fun but just the paperwork and dealing with the government is overwhelming. The fines, taxes and penalties are retroactive if you get caught without the licenses.

We had a lawyer and an accountant and I still had tons of paperwork to supply them the information so they could handle the forms to be turned into the government.

Having a company is not just something to do on the side. We had the lawyer to wade through the laws and tell us what we could and couldn't do.
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:27 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Mylegsbig
i think the flea market might be my best bet and just little deals here and there with people online. i shipped 5 bottles and get any permits or any feds involved or anything.


selling it in bigger jars, because mexican familes tend to be large and it will go fast. Im thinking i could also sell it in plastic maybe? I found a company in europe that will sell me 5oz for 49 cents each glass.

Or how about hitting up clubs in mexico, and buying the corona bottles that are empty? i could easily scrape the corona label off with goo-gone and a knife.
" Large Mexican Family's" (I kinda take offence to your statement) make their own....it is the best you'll ever have store bought or otherwise.

Corona Bottles with "no permits" sounds unappetizing at best.
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:28 PM   #23
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I'd try it! It sounds great to me, and I sort of know you. But one bottle would probably last me for six months to a year, and that's a long, long way from being economically viable.

You have to figure on making a very small profit on a huge number of sales, like the Tobassco folks, or a huge profit on a few sales -- which isn't too likely given all the choices available. That's why so many extraordinary cooks are content with the praise of their friends and family and maybe an occassional blue ribbon at the county fair.

But, who knows? If your sauce is really better than the competition, it could become very popular. You'll never know unless you try, but if you try, you need to do it right and to CYA.
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:16 AM   #24
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OK im going to say this veryyyyyyyy carefully so please please listen

In your state it is ILLEGAL to SELL aka ask for money AKA give to other people and recieve money ANY food ((YES this includes sauces there is a WHOLLEE section legally for sauces)) without obtaining a licence

You can not just pay someones medical bills. If someone gets sick they will SUE you personally for fortunes....Heck without proper labelling warning people its HOT SAUCE.. ((i know ppl are dumb but remember mcdonalds was sued for their coffee being hot)) they could sue you should thye burn their mouths etc.

Selling online with OUT a licence is ILLEGAL. I will say it again ILLEGAL. especially if your making your own goods.

Do yourself a favour go speak to your business advice centre they are FREE call your local health board THEY ARE FREE to speak to they will send you all the forms etc.

Im fairly certain you also have to register your business with the health board 28 days BEFORE opening.

you can not accept ANY money for your products until you do.

dont try to cheat the system!! it will blow up in your face mate..

its a very expensive and cr@ppy process
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:50 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by TexasTamale
" Large Mexican Family's" (I kinda take offence to your statement) make their own....it is the best you'll ever have store bought or otherwise.

Corona Bottles with "no permits" sounds unappetizing at best.
you shouldn't take offense to my statement. ive been in texas for 25 years and on the border for 18 years. Mexican families are larger than average. why would that be offensive?
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:55 AM   #26
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Hmm, ive never heard of cops raiding my flea market hassling vendors unless something really bad went down.

In Edinburgh nearby, some guy got served some food and nearly died but thats all i can recall ever happening.

You have to understand this place is huge. i can give a vendor a free monthly spot in exchange for him to sell my sauce. No one will get sick because not only are the jars sterilized, they are just red habs and dried herbs, vinegar, tequila, salt. that's not gonna get you sick.

You have to understand this place is huge. i can give a vendor a free monthly spot in exchange for him to sell my sauceall cash under the table. [edited by administraton because of a political statement that is not allowed on this site]
do you have to have a government license to send out free gifts? to get the quality of your product known?
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:01 AM   #27
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Ok ive been to texas... use to go there for weeks at a time.. Firstly Flea markets... ALL HAVE VENDOR permits.. and YES you can get sick very very very sick off of sauces. Your answers to this thread (please dont take offence) seem to indicate your not ready for this venture nor have you taken the proper steps. Not only that just cause you dont hear about it doesnt mean it doesnt happen I know in texas esp. Houston and FTworth where inspectors go out specifically for markets

Yes I have a licence to cook in my kitchen i also have a Personal Cheffing licence and i get health inspected. on a REGULAR basis. Free is a bit different. Like if was to send my mom some jam i made for an xmas gift thats a bit different then if was selling my jam by the dozens.

Your ignorance on the fact that no one can get sick just baffles me please read up on food born illnesses. Did you know that one of the leading causes of boci.. is lettuce?? who would have thought right?

Anyway its not about just people getting sick its about you breaking the law and about you not covering your own butt. What if someone sues you what are you going to do. Your fiance is pregnant and you have a baby on the way.. protect your family.

if your sauce is as good as you say it is Then do it legally the small cost of doing it legally and having peace of mind will be beneficial in the long run and the sauce should pay for itself.....


Oh on a side note *true story* there was a guy on another forum who was thinking of doing something similar to you posted his plans etc... little did he know that a loca health inspector happend to frequent the board and read what he was doing... Needless to say.. He isnt trading his goods he got busted.!
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:04 AM   #28
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Oh and PS your bottling ideas of putting it in corona bottles is illegal as well.. Corona will not let you do that nor would the health dept..

and containers for europe make sure they are legal food containers in the US as our laws are differnt here
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:12 AM   #29
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Leg,

I would highly reccomend, if you haven't already, contacting your local SBA (Small Business Admin) office. They are usually closely associated with the state and local universities.

They will be able to help you map out the nuts and bolts of putting together a small business. This is all generally done for little or NO charge (Many of the workers at these offices are business students who are getting class credit, which is why they can keep the costs down). They will be able to tell you what types of rules and regulations apply to you, and which ones won't.

They can help you put together a business plan, and as long as you are brutally honest with yourself, they'll be able to help you determine if this is a viable business venture. They can also provide information on the how/what/where of getting start up financing for your operation (grants, investors, loans, etc.).

John
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:16 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Half Baked
I wouldn't sell anything to anybody without liability insurance.
Big,

What Jen and 1/2 Baked are telling you is 100% true. You need liability insurance and you need to follow all applicable health and safety laws no matter who you are selling to.

Botulism isn't the issue. You could make someone sick or hurt them in a lot of different ways. Or they could claim you did. You need insurance and you must follow the law.

Please listen to them. You could totally ruin your life if you don't.

I'm a lawyer (think you know this) and can give you some advice, though I know nothing about the laws in Texas. PM me if you want.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:21 AM   #31
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Plastic? Plastic reacts with all kinds of substances. Have you ever seen hot sauce sold in plastic? Not a good idea.

Sea Salt? Why? It's quite expensive and will be indistiguishable with kosher or table salt in the final product.

Flea Market? Honestly, I would never buy any food product at one.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:46 AM   #32
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MLB,
You can do it man! All great accomplishments are at first impossible!
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:04 AM   #33
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What about a state/county fair? Perhaps something like a Farmer's Market too? Dunno if those are open to other items not directly derived from the land, but you never know.

I agree with everyone else, though. There are an infinite number of hoops to jump through when it comes down to making food products. If you aren't up on them, they're gonna bite you on the backside sooner or later.
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:25 AM   #34
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Hmm. I would worry about not doing through the correct process. But I'm sure if you do that and have a viable buisness plan its worth it. Even if only as a second income. I join the crowd urging you to check out the legality. If nothing else, as Chef-Jen pointed out, you never know who is here. The fact that you discussed all this in an open forum would NOT, I imagine, help your case if someone did decide to prosecute ...whether for the product or you selling it.

Re marketing. I would buy things that looked "proper" on a stand. I have been to a couple of car boot sales where people sell stuff that is from a cottage industry. I would NOT buy stuff from a bottle recognisable as being that of another product. Producing stuff is hard enough without having to jump through hoops of people worrying about how well those bottles were clean and sterilised. Its worth the expense of proper jars and printed labels....make it your own and take the credit. Also, if you are going to charge a "good" profitable price, packaging helps, I would certainly think about paying an otherwise exagerated price for something presented as if its the tops and I think I need it.....I am duped into it all the time my the cosmetics industry, lol. On the other hand, somethng that looks like a good, but unproven business in second hand bottles I would notice but probably think I could do as well at home..on the if they can do it I can principle.

It is stressful but exciting to start a business. I am sure you'll get a lot of support from people if you follow the correct channels. Good luck!
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:07 AM   #35
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Chef Jen, i never said you couldn't get sick off of sauces. You're saying you can get sick off of a habanero pepper mash mixed with vinegar and dried herbs then sterilized?

No offense but it sounds like you don't know much about chinense's
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:35 AM   #36
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MLB - please listen to Jen!

We went through a big deal here - we have a "season opener" for all the businesses here on the "Loop". For years we've BBQ'd oysters and served hot wings and waffle fries. Other marinas had hamburgers and hot dogs, deep fried turkeys, crawdads and jambalaya, etc. This year the Health Inspector found out about all the un-licensed food vendors and out came the pile of paperwork, the price of the permits, and the requirements for food service tents. She would have to inspect the cooking, food storage, and serving areas. We just gave it up. We could do it as a private party - but she'd be lurking and we'd be busted! It wound up that only restaurants could serve food. It wrecked a great business generator for all of us - but it just wasn't worth the hassle.

The real kicker for us . . . . . the oysters would have to be cooked to 165 degrees! And the lady meant that we had to check every few to make sure the were at the right temp - and she would be there to check too!!!
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:54 AM   #37
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paying all of these lawyers and agencies and then permits and then normal people would have to lease land and then get a staff and pay other bills how in the **** are you suppsed to make money?

That's why so many small companies fail during the first couple of years. If you don't have 10x the $ that you think you would need to start up, it's very hard to keep up with the government taxes, pay your lawyer/acct, buy your licenses and purchase the insurance. Then you have the costs associated with the company: jars, labels, ingredients, marketing etc


If my sauce is REALLY GOOD,i mean REALLY GOOD, how many units you think i can move a week online? just through the reviews i get on this forum and another one, mma.tv, which has thousands of active members

I can tell you really believe in your sauce but don't think you're going to get rich soon. It takes years for a product to catch on. Maybe it is so good that you could get an interview at Heinz or another manufacturer and they'd buy your recipe. I'm not being fasicious at all.

OMG, there are so many approvals needed. Sometimes you have to pay for your own tests at government approved agencies. I have a 4" binder with all my 'approved' letters from scientists, government (local and national) and universities.

You have to collect tax from different states and that in itself is a PITA. You'll need a company checking acct. Never mix company money with your money.

There is so much to consider. Forming a company is not something you do talking to friends over a few beers. I agree with the person who suggested you go to the SBA first. They can tell you how to get started legally.


I wish you all the luck in the world.
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:55 AM   #38
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YES YOU CAN.. ok listen to this...

Ketchup is tomatos vinegar salt etc. when left in the sun or not refridgerated it can cause you to be VERY ill look up how many people die from it.. its a lot.

You dont know me from Jack and Yes i know a lot about sauces and I know a lot about safety Ive had to. Im a qualified chef with licences out that Wazoo. When i opened my bed and breakfast and i do catering and make jams I know the laws and I know what can make you sick

Like i said You are being ignorant and narrowminded ((again no offence) if you think your sauce couldnt make someone sick. Its about shipping.. What if sitting on the delivery truck it BAKES in the sun.. and turns it

Listen do me a favour just call your local health department. I dont want to argue with you but i dont want to see you on the streets.

Like I said its not just food born illness... Look what hapend to McD's A woman sued voer the fact their Coffee was too hot...imagine if someone does that to you

YOU NEED PROTECTION!
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:18 PM   #39
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I posted this just yesterday under "Things that make you smile..."

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I just got through to the Compliance Dept of the Comptroller of MD....been trying for 2 weeks! And I got a kind, sweet, understanding woman who had tons of patience with my ignorant questions.

Yippee and a HUGE smile here.

Getting through to the government shouldn't be so difficult.__________________
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:29 PM   #40
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Legs,

No one has to get sick from your sauce to sue you -- all they need to do is CLAIM they got sick from it.

Defending against even a completely frivolous lawsuit can easily cost $25,000! That's one heck of a lot of hot sauce.

Business is not nice -- it's a cutthroat, adversarial, dog-eat-dog game, and you dare not play without wearing your helmet and cup.
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