Saturday, May 11, 2013

Powering-up with Kimchee

Pictures don’t do justice. This is what 20 of the 30 lbs. of vegan kimchee looks like. By commercial industrial standards this is small, but by artisanal standards this a large batch. As I proceed in the PowerUp! Business Plan Competition, there are so many holes to fill. I’ve been meeting with Gregory Callander of Pace University, he has been my sage business coach and mentor how is guiding through the many components of a food business. It also helps having many friends in the restaurant and food & beverage trade, but my experience as a food manufacturer is a bit different. So far every question launches another question, but I’ve been advised that’s normal.

My homework this week is sourcing ingredeitns. Although lugging 30lbs of produce from Flushing Queens might seem altruistically artisanal, it’s hard on my knees especially on those rainy wet days. I’m exploring manufacturing space next week in Long Island City, two very important components that are attached to facility are the ability to create quality volume and refrigerated delivery.

At the last PowerUp! marketing class the lecturer, Santos Morales, asked if any of us had our product(s) or service in the public for assessment. I raised my hand to speak along with two others. Although I’ve been making my own vegan kimchee for about eight years, for over a year I’ve been doing tastings and food demonstrations, not just for writing the ePUB cookbook but for exploring what the American market will bear for a fine aged kimchee. Like fine wine, aged meats and sharp cheeses fine aged kimchee has deeper components of long-lasting flavors that are perfect for cooking. I’m happy to report my test market is alive and well and growing.

Meanwhile... back to Queens.

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