The Proper Marmalade Company Blog
~ BRAND NEW ~ Exclusively designed for Cranfields, from our new "Cranfields Recipes" range - our multi award winning Seville Marmalade Recipe on a tea towel!
Our Seville Marmalade has most recently won a Great Taste GOLD Award for 2013, alongside winning a Silver Artisan Marmalade Award in both 2009 and 2010 at The Original Marmalade Festival Cumbria, a Great Taste Award GOLD Award in 2006 and also winning Reserve Specialty Product from the South West 2006
Why not team one of our tea towels with a jar of Seville Marmalade for a fantastic gift!
Our tea towel is 100% premium unbleached cotton, approximate size 48cm x 76cm
It may be a little later than I anticipated but I have attempted to replicate panyan pickle based on the ingredients listed on the original jar. A couple of ingredients have changed, I used cornflour rather than potato starch to thicken the pickle and I suspect I am using a better quality vinegar than the original but, it is done and will soon be for sale in the online shop. This week!
I have based the spicing on all your memories using tamarind, ginger, curry spices etc I need to know if I have got it right.
I do need more feedback, a jar was sent to a panyan pickle lover who says she has tried all panyan pickles on the market. She responded by buying 6 jars and emailed how much she loved it but said her memory wasn't sharp enough to give true analysis.
To this end the first 10 people who order the pickle online will have the cost of the jar refunded if they are prepared to give me feedback, good or bad, just put the word 'feedback' in the' instructions to seller' and I will refund the purchase. Unfortunately the postage will still need to be paid and this is £6.00. Only one free jar per purchaser but of course you can buy anything you want to dilute the postage costs.
Alternatively email me and I can invoice you I am useless at technology.
As the New Year approaches I have decided to share some of the simple do's and don'ts I have learnt in setting up the business to help inspire those who are looking for jobs in this area. Every week I get inquiries but we are tiny and unable to help other than the help I can provide here.
How to set up in business
This is a low cost entry business which should be started in a local market, school fete or through selling to friends.
Initially you can even use recycled jars and wax discs to reduce your outlay although investigate the cost of new jars and lids to factor this into your pricing.
Only make something you want to eat yourself, if you aren't crazy about it why would anyone else be. Be prepared to back up your belief in the product by offering samples.
When working out the cost of your product factor in your time at £6.10/hour (min wage) ie how long it takes you to prep, make, bottle and label it. Add in the cost of the ingredients, jars, lids and a few pence towards heat and light. Give yourself a profit margin, usually 40% Work out the cost of a batch then divide between the number of jars produced. This should be your wholesale price if you ever supply shops.
If you are selling on a stall you have to pay the stall rent and cover your time behind the stall. In the first place you can team up with a friend, hopefully selling something else, to cut both these costs. Once the stall has started you could do alternative days/weeks, remember that by being on a stall you can't be cooking. The costs of your time and rent must be covered in your retail price usually a 40% increase over your wholesale price. This also means that as you become successful the stall price will be the same as the shop price.
Find your USP unique selling point and shout about it. Mine is the use of local fruit, small batch size, hand cutting of marmalade from fresh fruit...so few do this now and for economic reasons for example
A tin of pre-processed shredded oranges for marmalade costs the same, sometimes less, than a box of seville oranges which takes 8 hours to prepare by hand BUT it tastes soooooo much better let your customers know why yours cost more, let them taste the difference. A recipe is on my website if you want to try.
Don't be disheartened if at first you don't sell well, it takes time to build a customer base. If no one likes a product find one they do BUT trust your own instincts and taste buds this is a crowded market and you can always eat unsold stock or give it as presents.
Register your business with your Local Authority if you begin to trade, you will need to be checked by Environmental Health.
Get insurance, the Market Traders Federation has the most cost effective insurance covering anything sold from a market stall BUT it will not cover you for selling to shops or over the internet. Check out the costs and make sure you are covered, you are selling food albeit a fairly safe one with chutneys etc but eggs , meat etc have health implications if not handled correctly.....same goes for jam.
Speak to Trading Standards, our local branch is very helpful, they will pre- check your labelling and provide free guidance on legal labelling requirements, percentages of fruit for example and how to calculate them.
Some markets have a WI stall who will sell your cakes or chutneys for you for a percentage, this route may ease you in if you don't have the initial confidence for direct selling. Contact them directly, they are always a nice bunch when on an adjacent stall.
This is a crowded market as anyone can make preserves by following a recipe so you will have to work hard to rise above the rest BUT the entry costs are low, you can try without losing the day job which maybe looking after the children and if you enjoy cooking at the very least you will be filling your friends and family with proper tasty preserves.
Investigate the local competition there is only so much a jar of preserves can cost, if your cost is too expensive, look to smarter ways to cook to cut the labour costs ie more batches on rotation. Your time is the most expensive ingredient.
Good Luck, the above covers my initial thoughts, if anyone wants a bit more I will try to help, cooking permitting. Others will have a different slant, investigate your possibilities, compare costs of ingredients and the local competition before jumping.
Have a Happy and entrepreneurial New Year!
I came up to the office/kitchen this morning to print off some labels (great Sunday morning) to be greeted by an answerphone message left the evening before from Lulu Benson co- founder of a chutney festival in Peebles near Edinburgh. I'd won, can't quite believe it, a jar that only went in at the last minute, which I'd debated with hubby, chutney/relish/chutney/relish, agreed chutney and it didn't matter as in a good cause. Sod it I've won. Not competitive me, well of course I am but truly didn't expect to win. I have never won a chutney competition ever and probably won't again but it won't matter now.
Of course this is the inaugural event so less competition than next time and it will get bigger and bigger. So much energy has gone into organisation and ringing round (which is how I heard of it) with profits going to such a good cause.... The Gurkha Welfare Trust...I would really urge you to check out their website for an imaginative festival menu One World One Chutney it shrieks of hundreds of hours of work and it's a real shame it's so far from North Devon or I would have leapt in the car.
Anyway, Gardeners Relish WON. Totally and utterly amazing, I love the judges and am so grateful Lulu rang in the first place.