I am working with a co-packer to see if they can make Yummy Yammy in their fabulous, large, efficient facility. A co-packer is a business who takes your specialty food prototype and makes it on a larger scale than you ever can at home. I’m lucky in that there are several in Vermont near me, and one that is just in the next town! Even better, they are the most wonderful, down-to-earth, experienced people, and I hope it all works out so we can produce Yummy Yammy together.
The main issue with producing it at home is that I do what is called “cold-pack”, meaning my food is cooked, mixed, then chilled, and put in plastic 8 ounce tubs, and delivered and sold refrigerated. It has a 13-day shelf life from the day of production, which means I make small amounts very frequently. This is relatively inefficient, and I take back all the product that hasn’t sold by the expiration date, which is costly for me.
It also means I can’t sell my foods very far from home, because they need travel time to get there. So no distributors: just me in my car, bringing food everywhere. With two kids in school and family life to attend to, that means I keep my food in a few stores near home. But I want to make my food available to more people, and not just in the Upper Valley of VT/NH.
So I’m working with my new friends on how we can get Yummy Yammy Tex-Mex dips to shelf-stable jars. This way they will be jarred, like a salsa is, and have more like a 9-month or 1-year shelf life. I still intend to convince retailers to carry them all in the coolers, near the hummus and guacamole, because that really is the most logical place to sell them from. So I hope we can find packaging that will fit with refrigerated products, rather than relegating Tex-Mex to the salsa and chips aisle, whenever possible.
This way we can sell truly across the nation: to co-ops all over the country through their regular distribution channels, to Whole Foods, and much more easily through internet ordering. Also, it will be less of an environmental impact, I believe, because it won’t have to be refrigerated all along the way.
If you are a buyer of Yummy Yammy, especially the Tex-Mex (the only one we’re working on switching over right now), would you please let me know your thoughts on this? Would this product meet your needs as well as we do now? Better?
Thanks so much,