It’s time to break the blog silence! We’ve been busy these past couple weeks since finishing our Kickstarter campaign and wanted to fill you in on some of the things we’ve been up to …
Home Sweet Union Kitchen
We’re feeling very much at home in Union Kitchen! The first evening of production felt a lot like the first day of camp. You’re scared but excited, still getting your bearings and learning names and faces, but everyone is friendly, helpful and happy to get to know you and your business.
Our production schedule has changed week-to-week, but we’re working towards 3 weeknights and 1 weekend day cooking, jarring, and labeling in the kitchen, not to mention the usual number crunching and upkeep most nights during the week.
Speaking of production, scaling up our recipe has been quite the learning experience! Prepping and cooking a food item in a much larger quantity has a way of exposing the less than efficient parts of your process.
For example, we’ve been hand straining all our ketchups to give it a smooth and delicious texture. Well, we can tell you from experience that straining hundreds of ounces of ketchup can and will cause something that feels very similar to (Wii) tennis elbow. So, we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of our mechanical strainer!
Scaling up the recipe also led us to another process epiphany that has us VERY excited. Not only will it increase our efficiency, but improve the quality of the sauce we are able to deliver in such large quantities.
Lesson learned: adjusting a recipe to feed the masses is not easy work, but it’s WORTH the brainstorming and energy to really think outside of the box and figure out what is the best way to make it efficient while also not compromising the quality of our product.
(Don’t worry, that’s not chicken … our ketchups are vegan!)
Aside from cooking, there has been plenty of administrative and marketing-focused work as well. We’ve been having fun ordering Kickstarter reward supplies and designing some new marketing materials. Currently, we’re updating parts of our website, gearing to launch our online store!
Some jazzy new postcards.
We’ve also been preparing for wholesale (nutrition labels, UPCs and ingredients, oh my!) and have already been in talks with a few local operations to carry our ketchups! We can’t wait to get them out on shelves. If you have any leads or contacts with retail shops that would like to carry ‘Chups, please let us know!
Looking forward to our first batch of rewards to go out soon and can’t wait to start seeing pictures on social media and hearing feedback!