Author Topic: Selling starters.  (Read 1854 times)

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Offline wucactus1

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Selling starters.
« on: June 12, 2011, 01:40:42 PM »
So I have a locally gathered sour dough starter that I have kept goin for around 4/5months now and was wondering what you guys thought about selling the starter at my local food coop.  I live in a town where people are obsessed with horses(lexington, ky) and I could call the starter "Thorough Bred" package it and sell it with instructions on how to bring it back as well as a little info book on caring for yada yada.

Offline yumarama

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Re: Selling starters.
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2011, 03:23:14 AM »
It's certainly POSSIBLE to sell starter, people do do it after all. Sourdough.com sells starter, but they have a large selection of "starters from around the world" so people will buy multiple kinds, plus their book. King Arthur Flour sells it too, but it's just one of several hundred other products, a minor one at that and they sell a fancy branded ceramic crock with it. Customers will come back for flour and other goodies. They also have a huge bread baking audience, massive branding power and it's a small item in their overall inventory, not their "bread and butter" if you'll pardon the glaring pun.

Then again, Friends of Carl give their 1847 Oregon Trail starter away for free. NY Bakers sells theirs but will also give it away for the asking with other orders.

Can you sell it? Probably, sure. You will find small websites selling their own starter. Can you make it a viable business, even if a small side business? That one's a bit harder to gauge. You'll need to do some number crunching and see if you can make enough sales at a low enough price people will buy and still make a profit after costs and retail margin.

Are there enough potential bread bakers in the area to sell enough  units to make a fair income after all the costs are accounted for? Can you re-sell to these people or do they now have a perpetual supply of your starter? 

Offline Saturday Coffee

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Re: Selling starters.
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2011, 10:30:59 PM »
I have bought a few starters online -- solely based upon their reputation.  I also got the free starter from Carl's friends.

As a consumer and potential customer.  I would be enticed to purchase the starter at your local co-op if you had free samples of assorted fresh baked breads made with the starter, a brochure giving the history of your starter and your bread recipes.  Your recipes should be using typical flours and ingredients found at any grocery store. 

A traditional Sourdough would be probably be the most marketable. Would you be selling your starter alive/dormant in individual jars refrigerated or on ice, or in powdered form?  If you are selling the powdered form - I think packaging in a little glass spice jar (nicely labeled) would be better over receiving a little package of white powder in a ziplock baggie. 

Assuming you would be using packaging costing one dollar or less- I probably would not want to pay more than $4.00 for live starter, or $3.00 for a powdered starter.

This is just my opinion.