Money for Jam by Oonagh Monahan (book review)...

"Money for Jam: The Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Small Food Business"
by Oonagh Monahan

Paperback (171 pages)

Chapters: Introducing the Opportunity; Starting Out; Navigating the Food Legislation Minefield; Ensuring Food Hygiene; Product Development, Routes to Market; Branding and a Marketing Plan; Labelling, Nutrition Claims and Allergens; Making and Managing Money; Training Requirements; Bread and Baking; Jams, Chutneys and Preserves; Duck Eggs; Ice Cream, Yogurt and Cheese; Value-added Meats; Smoked Meat, Cheese and Fish; Where To Now? Help is At Hand.

I won't be alone in saying that each and every person who bakes, cooks a little better than average, had a thought in their mind at some point, that maybe, just maybe they can sell, what they're doing so well. And here's a question that probably each and every of those people asked themselves (including myself!) "But where do I even start?!" So, if you happen to live in Ireland (as this book refers to laws and regulations specifically on The Green Isle) "Money for jam" would be a great point/place to start.

Besides formal regulations, information about registering your new food business, rules you would have to obey, they are also information about creating your product, your brand, about market research, marketing and everyday business dealings like finances, dealing with suppliers and your clients. Oonagh's language is clear and easy to understand, no complicated words that you might need a dictionary for, no definitions straight out of the marketing or law books. If you happen to be a complete novice you won't feel out of place and I think you'll actually believe in yourself more. You'll see that it's all not as scary as you might have thought and what's more - that it IS achievable! 

Putting aside all the rules, requirements, labelling, packaging etc. we're also shown how each food sector has its own specifics - like what you would need to start a bread baking business, which is completely different from keeping ducks for selling their eggs. How market for jams and chutneys is different from that for smoked meat or fish. There are case studies, cost comparisons and information as to where to look for suppliers, equipment and even your potential clients. At the very end of the book you'll find a complete list of of all the resources mentioned in the book, contact details and addresses for all the institutions connected with food industry and other companies in that field.

So if you're seriously thinking about starting your dream job - your own company (being it home based or a little bigger venture) producing food for sale - Oonagh's book is a great reference, a handbook that you'll get back to again and again.

About the author: Oonagh Monahan has over 14 years experience of the food industry, working with small producers in particular for over 10 years, helping them to start up and grow their businesses. She has worked with producers of every variety of food: everything from fudge, sausages and bread to beer and cream liquors. As one of her clients said, she is like a big sister – the person you turn to when you need advice, help and encouragement! - by

I received a free copy of this book to review from Oak Tree Press. All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.