I’d like to give you a brief up-date since I launched Tart It Up! my new damson sauce at the end of March 2012. My business venture The Art of Puddings has taken an unexpected turn since the end of March, turning me overnight into food producer. This was certainly not in the grand schema but came out of my passion for damsons awakened by a chance encounter via the web. What a journey it’s been so far and still is….. Up until now I’ve had amazing support from a whole variety of people working in and around food – consumer, producers,market stall holders, environmental health officers, buyer and sellers of food products – not to mention loyal friends and family members. I’ve been humbled by the level of support that so many of you have given me over these past weeks. They all said the same thing – just go ahead and do it, you’ve got nothing to loose. So here I am doing it and having a lot of fun at the same time….(well most of the time!).
We sold 40 + bottles at Duckpond Market in Ruislip back in March and got a lot of very enthusiastic feedback from customers sampling at our stall which was brilliant. Friends and supporters have also been buying bottles of sauce and getting the word out. My friend Chris used Tart it Up! as a main ingredient in his home-made “Super Damson Relish” hot dog topping which he entered for a ‘topping’ contest organised by @BigAppleHotDogs, one of London’s foremost hand-crafted hot dog producers.
I’ve plunged straight into the deep end with Tart It Up! Armed with wooden spills and bottles of my sauce I offered samples to a number of differnet butchers and delis around town (Central London) – resulting in a win with several wanting to stock my damson sauce. I’ve also started taking pre-orders while I build up more stock which is also very encouraging. All the shops I’ve been into to date like the name, appreciate the look and feel of the bottle and most importantly they love the rich, tangy taste of Tart It Up! There’s no doubt in my mind that the versatility of this sauce has to be one of it’s main selling points.
I won’t pretend that producing, marketing and selling my sauce hasn’t been a steep learning curve. I’ve had to get to grips with the ins and outs of labelling requirements, weights and measures, food safety and shelf life testing. Not to mention bottle sourcing, pricing gun research, tamper proof seals and most importantly profit margins. I’ve also learned that a certain flexibility with pricing at this stage is helpful especially with a new product which is yet to prove itself in the big bad retail market.
Right now I’m making new stock and waiting for the 10th May when I’m due get my shelf life test result back from the food laboratory. Then I will be able to put a good length best before date on my bottles and start selling in earnest.
If you know a stockist in your area (Greater London) who might like to stock Tart It Up! then please do get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask them to contact me direct if they are interested.
Up-to-date information on Tart It Up! can be found on my Facebook page