Bushwick Kitchen Startup Journey — Production RSS



Williams-Sonoma: 534 Days, But Who’s Counting...

Bees Knees Meyer Lemon Honey, just hit the shelves of Williams-Sonoma stores around the country and online. But the journey from “Wouldn’t it be cool if Williams-Sonoma carried our stuff?” to “Williams-Sonoma carries our stuff!” was longer and pricklier than you might expect. Here’s how we did it and what we learned along the way. Round 1: Taking our First Shot On October 14, 2014, I received this email from a friend: “TED! Your timing is EPIC! They have a meeting with their president this afternoon to present honey concepts. Is there any Bees Knees Spicy Honey in the Bay Area that you could have expressed over to the Williams-Sonoma office today for her meeting? The buyer's information is below....

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Wholesale Update: 2015 Numbers & New Strategy

At the end of 2014, there were 19 retailers carrying Bushwick Kitchen products, heavily concentrated in Brooklyn & Manhattan. Fast forward to today and our products now grace the shelves of 265 retail locations in 38 states around the US & Canada. In other words, we grew our retail footprint by 734% in one year, which resulted in $220,000 in gross revenue in 2015. Not bad, right? To be frank, it was a ton of work, replete with nerve-wracking trials and head-scratching errors. We cobbled together strategies learned from fellow food entrepreneurs, tactics borrowed from the world of growth hacking, and some good ol’ fashioned sales moxy. (Thanks Glengarry Glen Ross!) In the end, we started to reap the rewards...

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#1 Lesson From Our Mistakes - You Should Make Your Own

       One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning.  So far we’ve made a mass of critical mistakes: We made poor assumptions on our COGS / product cost and barely made a profit on our first 60 LBS It turns our we made our first 60 LBS worth illegally (but safely :) We are substantially overpaying on the cost of our packaging Our first large-batch production run was a mess, literally We forgot to order bottle caps in time for our large-batch production   Profit, now that’s an important one. We accurately estimated the costs for our honey, chilies, and packaging. We used the correct math to estimate how many bottles would yield from our first 5 gallons /...

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Making The Product, Now That We've Sold It

One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning.  By the end of day 30, we have—with very little effort—a full batch of orders ready to be filled and shipped out. Which means it’s time to stop testing and time to start making the recipe in bulk. Easier said than done. Translating a recipe from small batches to large is always a delicate process because ingredients don’t necessarily increase in tandem. I decided to play it safe and used a little less chili than I thought I would need; it’s always easier to add heat, it’s almost impossible to subtract. Streaming the honey out of the bucket and into my pot was one of the most joyful moments so far. It was...

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