Make and sell your own ice cream (or any other food)
So you could pretty much start a food business by making any batch food you love and sell it direct to consumer. However, why not look at how you can sell more volume by also selling direct to local businesses in your area?
If you see yourself as a future Ben or Jerry, then what could be better than coming up with your own crazy flavour combos when working from home, then putting them to market to see what the instant response (look on customers faces) is?
Creating your own ice cream food side hustle could be a great way to start small and build a profitable business. A few ingredients here, a few experiments there and you could well be on the way to having something that can be scaled up into a much larger enterprise.
Find yourself a few top-quality B2B customers like hipster bars and cafes, plus get your branding down with a strong social presence and you’ll be well on your way to solo entrepreneur success. That future dream of your own VW Camper with an ice cream selling window will only be months away once you start selling in bulk to other local restaurants and eateries.
Looking for inspiration for your own foodie ice cream side hustle? Check out these incredible ice cream recipes and make sure you make the Apple Crumble & Calvados one for us, please!
Start a food truck business
Speaking of VW Campers and food from windows, why not go the whole hog (foodie pun intended…) and set up a street food van, stall, or hut?
Coming up with a great name for your food truck will just be half the fun as you get to choose your theme, menus, ingredients, suppliers, and where you’ll pitch. You’ll also get to hang out with other cool food peeps when attending street food festivals and events.
The beauty of setting up a food truck business is it’s complete ability to act as an experimental startup in wolf's clothing (stick with me here people…)
Can you only do it 2 days a week? no problem! Demand is proving hugely insane? Let’s switch to 6 days a week! Burritos not selling? Ok — let’s pivot and start selling Thai!
Being a food entrepreneur and running a food truck is the ultimate testing ground for setting up a future brick and mortar store (if you wish to). Test, Test, Test with minimal overheads, then grow, grow, grow once your reputation is through the roof.
Plant, grow and raise amazing ingredients
It’s time to bring out your inner farmer as allotments and homesteads have never been more popular than they are now. Looking for the ultimate work from home job with lots of lovely fresh air? Going back to your agrarian roots could well be it!
What literally could be a more enjoyable foodie side hustle and lifestyle than growing plants and vegetables, raising chickens for eggs, beekeeping for honey and even going a bit deeper like raising livestock for milk and meat.
There’s a huge global movement towards local, sustainable produce and you could be the ultimate local hero by supplying top chefs, local eateries, and customers directly with awesome, trackable food from farm to plate.
Make money in food photography
Yes, the world has gone Instagram crazy with pretty much everyone thinking they’re some kind of divine priest of photography. However, food photography is notoriously hard to get right and needs expert food photography skills. Too much light x too much shade x too much plate and you have something looking far from enjoyable if only just edible…
So if you have a passion for food, are pretty sharp at taking snaps, and think you want to get more behind the scenes of your favourite restaurants then why not make food photography your side hustle? It could be a full-time gig or a great way to make extra money if you’re at college or looking for part-time work.
Beyond teaching food photography classes to fellow foodies, why not think a bit bigger and pitch yourself as the official photographer of some of your local food joints. If their website or Insta is looking a bit tired then reach out to them. You could be chief ‘grammer’ of their latest creations, setting yourself a nice scalable business model as you go from one restaurant client to five and ten.
Start a food podcast side hustle
Like all podcasts, it’s super important to find your niche. However, no matter what your theme is, it’s good to know that podcasting has never been so hot as it is now.
Whether you see yourself as an expert on Michelin stars, a champion of your local food scene, or just have a lot to say about steak and eggs, there’ll be an audience out there for whatever you have to share with the world.
Successful podcasting is all about energy, so make sure you keep spirits high and bring your personality to the table. If you’re bored with your show and theme then your audience probably is too…
Food lover's podcasts are everywhere. Grab some inspiration and get to work!
Create a food based youtube or video on demand channel
Ok so you think food podcasting may be for you, well why not go one step further and turn your podcast into a youtube show.
There may not be anywhere to hide when you’ve thousands of eyeballs staring straight at you, but video definitely lends itself more to food-based shows (at least until we have smell and taste-o-vision). Think of yourself as embodying Bourdain and you’ll have all the confidence in the world!
Again, it’s back to that ‘niche’ word… but maybe the world needs a new hot sauce based show, an ‘eye on Springfield’ or a magazine interview format with the world’s top chefs. Look at what your hook is going to be and see if you can get a sponsor or two. These top youtube chefs made it, I’m sure you can too!
Create a successful online cookery school
Of course, we’re calling this running a ‘successful’ cookery school. You wouldn’t want to set out and run an unsuccessful one now, would you?
The winning formula of starting a cookery school side hustle is to be absorbing, informative, and a damn fine cook. Ok so there are a few more moving parts to it than that, but overall let’s work on the premise that you’ve got a great personality, have a desire to share your secrets with the world, and want to bring incredible Vietnamese, Mexican, or Danish cooking to the masses.
Some good advice on how to set up a cookery school is to start small and test your concept out on some friends. You’ll need to find the right environment for your studio (whether at home or a borrowed kitchen), work out the minimum amount of equipment you need to get going, and then really get started on developing your business brand.
The beauty of starting an online cookery school is that you can develop an incredibly loyal global fan base, which leads to a great potential subscription business and monthly growing recurring revenue. This is the absolute holy grail for the true entrepreneur!
Running an online cookery school could be a great option when looking for remote work, making money at college or you need the flexibility to fit it around your other life commitments.
Running a local cookery school startup
Well, you have online covered pretty much through necessity at the moment. But surely you also want to feel the buzz of being alive and the heat of the kitchen? Of course, you do!
Online is great and online is scalable. But it’s missing the instant feedback, the smiles on your customer's faces, and the opportunities to interact and mingle with a group of passionate people that live to eat.
The perfect cookery school business blend is probably a mixture of online and offline cooking classes. You can start small by cooking at home and inviting a select group of locals around and as you scale, look to borrow a restaurateur friend's facilities on quiet days for more advanced classes.
You could even do a revenue share with the venue as you ‘co-chef’ with each location you bring people to. They provide the location, ingredients, and know-how. You bring the brand, the passion and the curation!
Create a recipe book side hustle
This could be the ultimate side, side hustle because if you already have customers coming to your classes and buying your produce, then why not upsell them your recipe cookbook (printed or digital) and get them fully engaged with your brand.
The beauty of printed books is that they are a great gift for birthdays, seasonal holidays, and when looking for a gift for fellow foodies. However, if you look at going digital then you have an opportunity to build up a narrative with your customers over time and potentially have them sign up to a monthly ‘recipe book’ subscription.
By building a recipe book subscription service, you can share chapters as and when they’re ready as well as interactive bonus content that your customers won’t get anywhere else. Think of it as an evolution of the food blog, but you get paid for all your hard work by making it an immersive, personal experience — nice!
You can also think beyond inspiring cookbooks and sell your own branded cookware such as clothing, utensils, and foodie ingredients once you’ve built up a loyal audience. Get those cash registers ringing everyone…
Setting up a personal chef business
As you develop your food-based brand and skillset, why not look to set yourself up as a personal chef by request. Whether it’s catering to a private dinner party or cooking for larger parties and functions, your personal brand, reputation, and of course awesome fodder will be what people are looking to bring to their nearest and dearest.
Look at what culinary delights you can offer and your full package of services. It’s no coincidence that people will pay for convenience so if you’re able to offer services such as menu planning, ingredient sourcing, invitation, and table settings and the full 360 experience then there is an opportunity for you to expand your profit margin across the whole board.
Personal chefing is the perfect side hustle as it’s well paid, the hours are flexible and it offers serious room for creativity. Don’t forget the hustle bit though — build a strong local reputation, develop a package and sell, sell, sell!
Nutrition is big business
There has never been a better time to set us a nutrition-based side hustle.
Quite simply — health, wellness, and greater knowledge of exactly what crap we’re putting into our bodies is so hot topic. Think nutrition and health, think premium pricing, and an ever-growing customer base as you embrace the global wellness movement!
Ok so you may want to do some online food nutrition qualifications first and work out what your angle is, but getting people to eat and live healthier is definitely a noble cause that is only going to grow in terms of popularity.
From online and offline courses, to pop up health food clinics and nutritious products, there’s so much scope to set up a health-based business whether as a full-time role, to earn extra income, or as a side hustle amongst your other projects.
Food side hustles are a great opportunity to live your passions
Whatever side hustle you do choose to start, you’re in for an enjoyable ride where you get to live your passion each and every day. Food is one of the fundamentally most important and enjoyable aspects of life and you’ll get to work amongst fellow passionate eating aficionados across both sides of the kitchen counter.
We can’t wait to see what business you’re inspired to create!
Until next time…
If you like what you've read here, have your own success story, or want to join the conversation around entrepreneurship then hit me up on Twitter or check out our YouTube channel - I'm always around!
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