Here in the Cincinnati area, I started doing festivals, craft shows and farmer`s markets to get my company off the ground. You will get to know other vendors there and learn a great deal from them. (As long as they are not direct competitors.) I have just added my website and am now dealing with shipping issues. There`s always so much to learn.
I sell dip and dessert mixes and microwave pork rinds. The Dept. of Agriculture said I had to use a commercial kitchen. They sent me a list of over 100 kitchens in the area that are licensed by them. You can approach any of them to see if you can work a deal for using their kitchen when they don`t need to use it. The Dept. of Ag also will tell you (at least in Ohio) what your labeling requirements are. Steve was exactly right with his info. You don`t need nutritional breakdowns unless you make a specific nutritional claim. Getting a nutritional breakdown for each recipe is about $550 from one company I priced.
I just developed my recipes and started having friends and family tasting them for me. Then I started with a flea market, then went on to bigger markets as mentioned above. Also tried a county fair. You get great in-person feedback from customers this way and you will learn a lot. Good luck.
Jim Miller - Owner
Cherry Orchard Foods
Dip Mixes, Dessert Mixes, Microwave Pork Rinds