The last two weeks have been a real doozy, so much that it’s taken me two weeks just to write this email.
As you may have gathered from our previous notes, we’ve spent a lot of time in the first quarter of this year doing some “boring” behind the scenes work.
Our goal has been to be ready in case anyone wants to place an order for 1,000 bottles. On that note, a few things have taken a back seat – our “weekly” emails haven’t quite been weekly, and we haven’t posted on social media at all. However, we have broadly achieved what we set out to do so far this year.
Here’s a few highlights of what we’ve accomplished:
1. Farmers Jam officially has legal counsel and an insurance agent. Thrilling stuff!
2. We have our first company credit card! For a very small business, sources of funding are important as we grow.
3. All of our flavors are approved by FDA standards - Peach Basil, Strawberry Lemon, and Spiced Apple.
4. Our accounting system has been updated and improved to gain a more complete picture of our spending and revenue. Yay to weekly financials!
5. Established a buying relationship with King of Pops. We’re helping them source locally, and they’re ordering in bulk quantities that means we get a price break due to the size of the order. This is HUGE and has already decreased our cost of production.
6. Ordered a new kettle that not only helps us produce in greater quantities but also helps us reliably keep temperature control during production. This is critical for the safety of our syrups and ensures they are shelf stable.
7. Tweaked our labels: they now include a barcode – essential for wholesale clients – enhanced the words “cocktail syrup” so it pops on the label, and a line that says “made with real fruit.” Most of our competitors use extracts so this sets us apart.
8. Improved our recipe, and now use Organic Lemon Juice instead of the regular stuff that included added preservatives. Once we discovered this wouldn’t impact our shelf stability thanks to a UGA food scientist, this was a no brainer and aligns with our values of production.
9. Wrote a 10 page strategy and outlook document that got LOTS of things rattling around my brain out on paper. We are now clear about exactly what we’re offering, who we’re offering it to, how to create, sell, deliver, and follow up with clients, and where we need to improve.
10. Completed our paperwork for a co-packer – this is basically someone who can make our product at scale. While Jason and I can create about 200 bottles in four hours, they can create closer to 1,000.
Now the real fun begins. We'll see you out and about soon.