Monday, November 21, 2011

Market Research

Every year, my friend Lois has her "Cool and Groovy Garden Party" and invites her artistic friends to set up tents and tables to sell their creations in her whimsical garden. She sends out invitations and posts flyers to bring in the customers. I have participated for the past 2 years. Yesterday, I not only set up my craft and vintage tea ware table, but I set up a tea station for some market research.

I blended and brewed some teas from what I had in my kitchen and offered them for tasting. I had prepared questionaires for each taster to fill out. I got some very good results. My Lemon Creme Spice was hands down the favorite. The Rose Petal Black took a close second, suggestions were to add more Spearmint. While, the Berry Good Oolong came in last. Some liked it, but most didn't, stating it was weak and too tart.

I also emailed the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services some questions about the Cottage Foods Act recently signed into law. I can start this venture under the act, blending and packaging my teas in my own kitchen. However, I can only sell directly to the consumer, meaning no internet or mail order sales and I cannot go over $15000 in gross annual sales. So the plan is to start out as a cottage business and sell at farmers markets and other events, until I start actually making money... Then I'll contract with a professional kitchen and expand into internet sales and local grocers.

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