Kitchen Stuff: Cooking up a Business


Giveaway now closed. Thanks for entering! – C, 12/23/13

In a small kitchen, you don’t need a lot of equipment to cook great food. Still, you do need some pots, pans, utensils, and dishes–obviously. In the BGSK book, you’ll find a bare bones list of necessary tools, but I’ve long wanted to bring you a similar resource on the web.

So we’re going one by one, stocking up our virtual pantries and maybe our real ones too.

Most of the items in this series are actual pieces of cooking equipment, food processors and pasta servers and mixing bowls and such. Today, though, I want to talk about a book, Rachel Hofstetter’s Cooking Up A Business.

If you’re the type whose cookies and granola always garner comments like, “You could totally sell these,” then this book is for you. In it, Rachel profiles the founders of food companies who made it work, who did market research and baked hundreds of test batches and negotiated shelf space at grocery stores and figured out how to package and scale and ship and market–and do it all again the next day, until they found success. She also distills practical lessons from the founders’ stories, which make this as much a how-to book as an entertaining read.

Even though I don’t sell actual food in my business, I loved the sections about how founders reacted and met challenges and worked crazy hard to understand their markets, clients, and vendors. If you–or someone you need to give a gift to this season–are interested in food, business, or both, I think you’ll find a lot here to intrigue you!

(In the template I use for these posts, I usually paste in three recipes that you can make with the piece of equipment I’m featuring. Today, we’re a little more abstract–three different ways I’ve built BGSK into a business. Top to bottom, that’s 1) working over breakfast; 2) writing a book; 3) pitching and writing freelance pieces.)

And: I’m so happy to be giving away one copy of the book to a lucky reader! You’ll also get a gift package from the creators in the book, which includes lots of granola, chocolate, gummy candy, popchips, and more (at least a $50 value!).

To enter:

{one} Leave a comment below and tell Rachel and me about your dream business–the company you’d start tomorrow if there were nothing holding you back. Maybe it’s food, maybe not!

{two} Tell your facebook friends and/or twitter fans about the contest – post the link and tag @Big Girls Small Kitchen and @Cooking Up a Business (facebook) or @BGSK and @rachelhoffy (twitter). Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so for a second chance to win.

Posted in: Kitchen Stuff
  • Tara

    What a lovely giveaway! If I knew the ins and outs of how to make money from it, I would lock my mom in the kitchen and force her to make her amazing homemade jams and jellies all summer long. :)

    • BGSK

      Tara–thank you for entering! You’ve been selected the winner. Congrats!!

  • Itzia

    I would start a beer bar with my husband

  • Itzia
  • JC Carter

    If there was absolutely nothing holding me back I would start a northeastern locally sustainable resturant with an ever changing menu based on my mood and whats fresh that day.

  • Margreta Rempert

    I would love to open a bakery

  • Eva Snyder Emanuelson

    I am trying to start a home based jam business and I need this book! Pick me, I promise to use it well! My business is called Jam Near Perfect and my best flavor is Peach Mango!

  • christaavampato

    What a wonderful giveaway! I would love to sell a dry spice blend I brew up every week to make a health tonic that keeps colds at bay. I got the recipe from a friend of mine whose doctor gave her the recipe many years ago. It’s delicious hot or iced and doesn’t need any sweetener.

  • Jordan Moore

    Would love to run a food truck with my husband. We both love to cook and its a dream of ours!

  • Shelly West

    So glad you introduced me to this book! I’d really love to start a popsicle shop similar to what I’ve seen in Nashville and Atlanta. The flavor options are endless!

  • Gretchen Alice

    I would start up my own photography business. (Actually, I have a goal to do this next year!

  • Erin

    I would do a small events catering company with mostly appetizer and snack foods. I would want to go into business with someone who does baking, since I only really like the food part :)

  • Pei

    I really want to open a small bakery shop, serving most delicious pastries

  • Gin Ewbank

    I have actually started a small baking business, which I love, but truly could use some pointers from those with more experience!

  • Caitlin M

    My dream company? Something involving baked goods, but not involving having to wake up at the crack of dawn to bake them! I am not a morning person, haha.

    • BGSK


  • Shoshana

    I would love to have a comfy, cozy coffee shop!

  • Casey

    I would start a meal planning business!

  • rlk

    If there were nothing holding me back, I’d love to open a breakfast place cafe. It always seems so dreamy to cook breakfast foods (frittatas and ricotta pancakes, anyone?) and brew good coffee for a living.

  • rlk

    Just tweeted, @firsttimefoods

  • Mary Clay Kline

    I would love, love to have a healthy cooking business. Teaching people how to love cooking, love healthy food, and love cooking healthy food = the dream.

  • Aravis @veryusefulblog

    I’d open a kitchen event space … A lovely space with a beautiful commercial kitchen built in. I would use it to host a monthly supper club featuring local chefs’ original menus (their “passion” food, not just what they cook for their restaurants). It would be like having a new pop-up restaurant every month. In addition, I’d rent the space out for parties/weddings/fundraisers/cooking demos, etc.

Buy Now - In The Small Kitchen