Homemade for Sale:
How to Set Up and Market a Food Business from Your Home Kitchen

by Lisa Kivirist and John D. Ivanko

New Society Publishers, 2015. ISBN 978-0-865-71786-2.
Reviewed by Khadijah A.
Posted on 06/18/2015

Nonfiction: Food/Cooking/Kitchen

Homemade for Sale: How to Set Up and Market a Food Business from your Home Kitchen, by Lisa Kivirist and John D. Ivanko, appeared at just the right time in the growth of our homestead here in the Ozarks. We have dairy goats, chickens, ducks and bees. Our gardens are full of vegetables and herbs, and we have several fruit trees and bushes as well. Much of what we produce goes to feed our family of nine, and we give away some of the surplus, but we hope to find as many income avenues as possible using our resources. Homemade for Sale has become an essential part of our toolbox for making this a reality.

Several things make this book stand out as an excellent resource for those wanting to start a small food business from their homes. While much of the advice is general and can apply to anyone wanting to start a home business, Kivirist and Ivanko focus on the cottage food industry, which allows their material to be much more specific and comprehensive. The book is very well organized and easy to use and reference after one has read it. It covers the technical aspects of setting up your business (financially and practically) as well as the basics of marketing your homemade food items. The chapters are arranged step by step, and the information is presented clearly and in an interesting fashion. The authors share not only their own stories but the stories of other entrepreneurs who are making their home businesses work, and work well. I enjoyed reading how others got started. Each person featured also gave words of advice from their own experiences, adding to the appeal of the book.

Kivirist and Ivanko have not just pushed the book out there to float along on its own. Instead, they have created a very useful companion website that gives more information, as well as providing tips on marketing, taking great photos, navigating your state's cottage food laws. A page of useful links is also available to keep you going even after you've finished the book.

I read this book with a highlighter in my hand, and every page has more than one passage marked in blue. The margins are full of notes I made, with some spillover into a small notebook. Since finishing Homemade for Sale last week, I have referred to it on more than one occasion. It is clearly taking a place of honor on my shelf of valuable homestead resources.

As authors of thirteen books, national speakers and recognized spokespeople for the national sustainable agriculture movement, Lisa Kivirist and John D. Ivanko are regular presenters at numerous national conferences as well as library, university and community events. They're co-authors of Farmstead Chef, the award-winning ECOpreneuring, and Rural Renaissance. John is also the co-author of several award-winning children's multicultural photobooks, including To Be a Kid, Be My Neighbor, and To Be an Artist. Visit the book website.

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