Ideas for Starting a Food Business From Home

April 14, 2021
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The past year has seen a sharp rise in people setting up their own business. Between 2019 and 2020, the total business population grew by 113,000. As people enjoy the creative freedom of being their own boss, this trend shows no signs of slowing down.

Perhaps you love the food industry as a whole but don’t know how to fine tune that love into one particular area, or maybe you are simply unaware of all the different avenues available to you. Whether you are wanting to take the leap and become your own boss, or you are in the early stages of imagining ‘what if’ – this article will aim to outline the foodie’s treasure trove of business possibilities. 

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What is a Good Food Business to Start?

Making and selling cupcakes, creating a meal prep box business or selling sushi via a delivery app, the possibilities are endless! The notion of starting a business is very exciting – but it can seem like a lot to begin with – even more so when starting your food business from your own home. However, there are many benefits to this, such as flexibility of hours, working from home and to your own schedule, becoming your own boss and creating a business within a niche that may be very close to you, such as a dietary requirement. Furthermore, due to the low start up cost and having a higher profit margin than a restaurant, they have real potential to be a profitable avenue.

You could potentially have the profitability of a successful restaurant on your hands, without the added utilities cost of running a whole restaurant. Whilst the idea of so many food businesses may be exciting to begin with, it is important that you find your passion amongst them all. The next section will provide you with a range of home food business ideas – take your pick or see if any ideas spark!

Want to learn more about successfully starting your own food business from home? We offer a range of online training courses and, whilst our Level 2 Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering course will cover your hygiene requirements, our Starting a Home Food Business course goes into depth about everything included in this article and more.

Food Business Ideas

We have compiled a brief collection of food business from home ideas, but rest assured the list goes on, it really is up to you and your imagination.

Cake business

Woman decorating a cake for her food business

Even pre-pandemic, independent cake businesses were on the rise. It was really no surprise that when lockdown began and everyone remembered they loved banana bread, that the figures would sky rocket even more. Whether you are making extravagant 4 tiered celebration cakes or vegan friendly and gluten free cupcakes, there is so much you can do with the simple notion of baking a cake so why not give it a go! To discover more you can read our article on How to Start your Own Cupcake Business.

Meal prep business

Meal prep businesses come in a wide array of forms. You can either make pre-made meals that are delivered ready to eat, or provide boxes that contain exact ingredients and a recipe. The notion of delicious and often healthy meals being so easily accessible is an appealing idea to a wide number of people, for many reasons.

There are 3 main approaches to the meal prep industry:

  • Healthy, directed towards specific lifestyles, e.g. gym/fitness.
  • Low maintenance, quick and easy for those who are short of time. 
  • Custom-made by tailoring to customers with specific dietary requirements such as veganism or coeliac disease.

To find out more on all things food prep, you can take a look at our article on How to Start a Meal Prep Business.

Catering business

Food catering business offering a variety of canapes

The catering business industry is huge. In 2017 it was estimated to be worth 4.7 million and this figure continues to grow. COVID-19 shook the hospitality industry, with bars and restaurants closing, and remaining so for many months. As a result, a lot of unemployed chefs and home cooks alike turned to catering from home as a next step.

You may already have everything you need to set up a catering business in your home kitchen. It doesn’t take a huge (and expensive) industrial kitchen and a whole team of chefs. It really could be just you and your home kitchen cooking up a storm – catering for weddings, parties and so much more. To find out more, check out our article on How to Start a Catering Business.

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Pet food business

Stay with us here as it may sound a little odd, but in the UK, it is estimated that 45% of households have pets, that’s 51 million pets owned. Whether you’re a dog or a cat person, or maybe even a snake or tropical fish person, we all love to treat our animal companions. The pet food market, of both food and treats, was reportedly worth £67 billion in 2018 and is forecast to grow to a staggering £102 billion by 2024. People are, now more than ever, willing to splurge on more luxury, nutritious and wholesome foods for their pets, which makes this a popular and fast rising area of business to consider.

Pet food

Condiment business

The pair to a good chip, the sauce you slather over fried chicken or cover your burger in – condiments such as hot sauces, ketchup, mayonnaise and aioli’s are a household favourite that are added to many meals. You may want to take a boutique spin on them, and create a gourmet ketchup, or you may want to explore the world of spice and test your tastebuds limits with a new hot sauce combination.

People are always looking for new and different taste sensations, which leaves a lot of room in the market for new sauces and condiments. You can either give a classic condiment a twist or go completely new and fresh – you never know who might love it.

Sweet business

This is largely focused around packaging varieties of sweets in appealing ways and perhaps also providing a sweet delivery service alongside. You could also tap into the online gifting market or cater for birthdays and special events by providing personalised tubs of sweets that customers can fill with their choice. There is even a market for this in the wedding industry and other large celebrations. ‘Pick n mix’ style sweet stands are done up to look glamorous, while still providing you with a childlike nostalgia that only a fizzy worm and a few bonbons could elicit.

Preparing a sweet food business

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Cooking class business

If you are someone who has perhaps worked in the cooking industry but feels it may be time to hang up the commercial kitchen apron, then this may be for you. Perhaps your time working in a kitchen is over, but you now want to pass on your wisdom and years of experience on to the next generation of chefs. Granted, for this idea you may need some more certified cooking skills or experience for your own credibility, but it could still be an avenue to consider if you have them.

Fine dining meal kit business

With restaurants being shut down for a large portion of the year, people started to crave the dining out experience, but from the comfort and safety of their own homes. This opened up a whole new area for foodies and entrepreneurs alike. Meal delivery kits are offered at a slightly higher price point, providing gourmet, restaurant standard meals that can be delivered ready made, or only requiring a small amount of final cooking and assembly.

However, with restaurants opening up again on April 12th for outdoor dining, and indoor on May 17th, you may be asking – will meal kits be flying off the scene as quickly as they hurried on? Not to worry, this may not be a fleeting industry to invest in, with many suspecting that the restaurant sector has changed forever. Whilst there will be a surge of people wanting to eat out again, it is now not the only option.

Cocktail from home kit business

When bars also began shutting down, this also opened up a market for more luxury from home, and gifting opportunities. People started to miss the extravagant cocktails you would usually pay a tenner for in a dark, crowded bar, which led to the cocktail kit business rising. Whether it’s for a happy hour zoom call with friends and family, or used in conjunction with a fine dining meal kit to give you that ‘all dressed up nowhere to go’ aesthetic – this business venture is one that could be for you.

As with the fine dining meal kits, cocktails from home show no signs of going away as they have proven themselves to be a worthy contender to a night out on the town – though maybe best to not have your opening week in conjunction with the bars re-opening!

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How Do I Start My Home Based Food Business?

There are a number of steps that you must take when starting a food business. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has seen a concerning rise in the number of food businesses illegally operating from peoples homes when they are not registered, inspected or trained in proper food hygiene practices. Remember, there are a number of legal requirements if you want to start your own food business:

Washing hands in a commercial kitchen
  • It is essential that you register your food business with your local authority at least 28 days before you begin trading.
  • Having a food hygiene certificate to demonstrate your knowledge of food hygiene and safety will certainly put you at an advantage. At the very minimum, you will need a Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene certificate if you prepare and distribute food yourself. 
  • Being well versed on matters surrounding food labelling and allergens will also be very useful, and will reflect well on you and your business.

Whilst not essential, it will be useful for you to write a business plan, conduct market research and understand the different ways you can and should promote your business.

Our Starting a Home Food Business course is beneficial to any individual who wants to start a food business from home. It outlines the steps you need to take to be legally compliant, the importance of safe food handling practices in your kitchen, how to write your business plan and how to get your products to your customers.

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We hope you found this article helpful, and wish you the best of luck in finding that foodie passion to spark your business dreams into life. For any more information feel free to get in touch. High Speed Training offers a wide variety of courses and resources that can help.

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