53 minutes | Oct 27th 2020

How To Start A Vegan & Gluten-Free Bakery From Scratch with Noel Martinez

Cuban-inspired, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, organic, low-carb, allergy-friendly, diet-specific, healthy… Noel’s baked goods are certainly unique!

Noel Martinez runs his highly specialized bakery, Mami’s Bakes, from his home kitchen in Pittsburg, PA.

Noel started baking gluten-free for himself when he was diagnosed with celiac disease 20 years ago. Then he started baking sugar-free and low-carb for his “Mami” (mom), who had diabetes.

After Mami passed away in 2019, Noel finally decided to start selling the baked goods that his family and friends had raved about for years.

He started selling to coworkers, and soon enough, they were keeping him busy with orders every week. They also had no problem paying top dollar ($40 for a coffee cake, anyone?) for his products, even though most of them had no diet-specific needs!

Only 6 months in, Noel is still in the early stages of his business. Despite his consistent sales and enthusiastic customers, there are growing pains as well.

Noel shares a view into the ground floor of a new business, including his process for improving recipes, pricing products, building an email list, attracting raving fans, sourcing ingredients, and finding time to run a side business while working two part-time jobs.

What You’ll Learn
  • What inspired Noel to start a highly specialized bakery
  • How to use a cultural connection to build interest in a food product
  • Why most of Noel’s customers buy even though they have no food allergies or dietary needs
  • Finding the right balance between perfecting recipes and selling them when they’re “good enough”
  • Lessons learned from building an email list when starting a cottage food business
  • Setting proper expectations when using email marketing to promote a food business
  • The importance of attracting raving fans that buy every single week
  • How to sell to coworkers when starting a cottage food business
  • The challenge of starting a cottage food business during the pandemic
  • Why people gladly pay $40 for a coffee cake
  • The importance of communicating your story to your customers
  • How to source organic, vegan, and specialized ingredients
  • The challenges of balancing two part-time jobs with a cottage food business on the side
  • Why you should start your business with a simple menu
  • Striking a balance between selling popular items and trying new ones
Resources

Mami’s Bakes Website

Pennsylvania Cottage Food Law


Get full show notes and transcript here: https://forrager.com/podcast/20

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