It’s been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. This saying certainly rings true for not just Jamaican men but women as well, as it is part of our culture to enjoy a good meal. Practically every month a food festival is held somewhere in the country, and people will travel far and wide to partake in the offerings.
With the universal love for eating out, it’s ironic that the restaurant business holds the dubious distinction of having a 90 per cent failure rate. Although researchers debunk this statistic as an urban myth, many persons are still wary of venturing into the food industry because of its varied challenges.
Despite the possible setbacks, there is nothing as satisfying as food preparation for those persons who are naturally talented in this area. The good news is that you don’t have to inject significant financial capital and spend extended hours to benefit from the food business, as it also presents several opportunities for earning part-time income. Let’s look at some tantalizing options:
The pressures of modern-day society rob many people of the time to enjoy some of the traditional pleasures of life. Leisurely breakfasts have been sacrificed in the daily job commute, and there are many offices where the employees arrive at work without eating a morning meal. You don’t have to possess any major culinary skills to take advantage of this opportunity – providing simple dishes such as porridge, festival or muffins to hungry co-workers can give you a steady income.
It’s rather disappointing that the majority of children’s snack manufacturers fail to use innovation to create new and exciting products to attract their target market. However, this opens up great possibilities for part-time bakers to use their imagination for profit. How about forming unusual shapes with cookie dough to produce visually appealing snacks? I particularly love the concept of a cookie shaped like a dollar sign.
Increasingly, Jamaicans are expressing appreciation for non-traditional cuisine such as Italian and Middle Eastern fares. However, while generations of grandmothers have passed on instructions on making conventional Jamaican dishes, there aren’t many places to learn how to properly cook more exotic menus. If you have a knack for preparing authentic meals from other countries, why not share your expertise in a cooking class? Open up your kitchen and you might be surprised at the response.
Jamaica is blessed with a variety of fruits in season at different times of the year, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of these crops to make money. One exciting new trend in food is the creation of fruit bouquets, where attractive, edible designs are crafted with fruit instead of flowers. With basic implements such as flower-shaped cookie cutter and bamboo skewers, you can easily create eye-catching gifts and event centrepieces. Search online for instructions on making fruit bouquets.
One of my pet peeves is to see so much delicious fruit going to waste in the height of the mango season. With a little effort and dedication you can turn a variety of ripened produce into preserves by bottling them in jars. If your homemade efforts develop an enthusiastic following of buyers, then you can contact the Scientific Research Council for technical guidance on how to professionally bottle these confections for a wider market.
Another way of making use of our bountiful harvest of fruit and vegetables is by producing natural juices for sale. There is currently more awareness of the benefits to be derived from healthy eating, and fresh juices are in demand for their high nutritional value and cleansing effects. If you have the ability to whip up an assortment of natural juice recipes, then a small investment in a juice extractor may bring you big returns.
One of the biggest challenges for persons with strict dietary requirements is the difficulty of finding food providers that can accommodate them. Many caterers assume that vegetarians only eat basic salads, while people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension have to suffer with meals containing too much sugar and salt. There is also demand for gluten-free foods for children with learning disabilities. If you are looking for a profitable niche market for food preparation, then cater to persons with special food requests.
The back-to-natural-food bandwagon is not just being promoted by those with special health needs, as more persons are realising the tremendous dangers of food additives and preservatives. Although most people might admit that their food choices are unhealthy, oftentimes the convenience of junk food wins out over hard-to-get wholesome fare. I encourage part-time food providers to supply more nourishing alternatives including fruit, vegetables and whole grains to a nutritionally starved market.
Whichever area of food delivery you choose as a means to earn extra income, make sure that you follow all the relevant regulatory guidelines. Next week, we will examine several other practical ways to make money in your spare time.
Copyright © 2010 Cherryl Hanson Simpson