Want to Launch a Food Product? This Book Can Help
ICE Chef-Instructor Kathryn Gordon's new book "Food Business: Idea to Reality" is a guide for entrepreneurs who want advice on how to start a food business.
Chef Kathryn knows a thing or two about pastry. Having over 20 years of experience, she has worked in some of the top restaurants in the world including Windows on the World, Le Cirque and Le Bernardin. She’s been an ICE instructor for nearly two decades and during that time she authored three pastry cookbooks.
In 2012, Chef Kathryn and her founding partners (and former ICE chefs) Jeff Yoskowitz and Jessie Riley launched Food Startup Help, a consulting agency offering services and resources to help food entrepreneurs overcome challenges that often arise in retail and wholesale operations. Now, she can add textbook author to her resume.
The textbook is part of an online course that includes a video library featuring industry pros as well as a financial planning template and one-on-one consulting services.
Penned by Chefs Kathryn, Jeff and Jessie, “Food Business: Idea to Reality” dives into the many layers of action needed to take when launching a food product, including financial projection, sales approach and co-packing.
For research, Chef Kathryn interviewed ICE alums and instructors, as well as industry colleagues and subject matter experts, like Westmere Baking Equipment’s Chris Houle and food scientist Danielle Heaney, to share their expertise for future aspiring food entrepreneurs.
If there’s one part of the book Chef Kathryn wants every budding food entrepreneur to read it’s the section on how to develop a Manufacturers’ Suggested Retail Price — or MSRP.
“MSRP takes so many factors into account — factors that may be completely new to the entrepreneur,” she says. “Food costs, gross profit, manufacturing costs (and there are many options for how any particular product can be manufactured, ranging from renting a shared commercial kitchen space to utilizing a co packer), and packaging costs (and packaging options are very interesting to research, as they can help distinguish one brand's unique selling point from another and help you obtain retail shelf space).”
One of the most rewarding aspects of publishing the textbook, launching Food Startup Help and teaching at ICE is that they allow her to tie together her Wall Street and management consulting past with her culinary present.
“As educators, we feel passionately about helping our students fulfill their dreams, and often speak with alumni about their projects and goals,” she says. “I feel working on the textbook and course really ‘distilled’ the lessons we have learned helping entrepreneurs succeed in the food industry, and really reinforces the knowledge we have to share with others.”
Images courtesy of Food Startup Help Facebook page.