Hungry for Success? Try a Home Business

The bacon craze may have been declared over, but pork-lovers can take comfort in the dawn of a new era: Bacon Marmalade. The luscious spread is just one product in a new wave of small-batch creations that enterprising renters are launching out of apartment kitchens.

NYC's Chef Ross Hutchison launched Bacon Marmalade from the kitchen of his Greenpoint, Brooklyn rental in the summer of 2009. The umami-driven condiment was created accidentally when Hutchison tried to salvage a batch of burnt bacon, and has gone on to sweep the Brooklyn farmers' market scene and even the internet.

But Bacon Marmalade isn't a one-off success story of an apartment-based operation turned major success. The latest trend in small-batch specialty food production keeps the focus on the "small", with home cooks around the country peddling goods right out of their home kitchens.

In addition to a great idea, it takes a bit of wrangling with local health authorities (and occasionally fire officials, as our recently profiled lobster roll craftsman learned) to be sure you're properly set up, but after that, a kitchen you're paying rent on anyway can be a great place to start a business.

Once you're up and running, why not turn to the web as an easy marketplace? The incredibly popular (5 million users!) site Etsy is teeming with home-based food products - from staples like jams and spices, all the way up to multi-tiered wedding cakes and heirloom veggies (ever heard of cosmic purple carrots?). Sellers simply need to comply with Etsy's terms of use in order to sell.

So you've got a kitchen, you've got a computer - all that's standing between you and big-time food success is a great idea. Take a page out of Chef Hutchison's book and look for inspiration in your next (seeming) kitchen failure - no sense crying over burned bacon, indeed.
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