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Fyrman_Mike 05-27-2011 03:47 PM

Help with Business Start-up
Lets start with a little background.

My wife started a small cupcake/candy venture and it took off like a rocket. I have fixed bbq for family/friends/coworkers for years and think I can do ok as a vendor. We are looking at expanding this under my wifes company as she alsready has an established customer base. I have had several asking when I am going to start selling as well.

What we are looking at doing is selling prepackaged pulled pork in 2 lbs portions, vacuum sealed, frozen, then labeled with reheating instructions. As this weekend is Memorial Day I think it would be a good weekend to start.

What is the average price per pound for pulled pork if you aren't doing anything else? I was thinking around $5/lb, but seemed high to me. I know other established places that sell it for close to that 30 minutes from me, but they have a store front as well.

Thank you for your input!
Oh, you can email me your info as well as I am not on here a lot.

YankeeBBQ 05-27-2011 04:09 PM

$5.00/lb is way too cheap I don't care where you are. I get $9.99 a lb here

Cast Iron Chef 05-27-2011 04:34 PM

I started doing the same thing. I charge $6.00/ lb and put in 2.5lb bags. Probably a little cheap but mostly coworkers and friends until I can get legal.

Cook 05-27-2011 05:25 PM

First, you want to ask your local health department about this venture.

Second, $5/# doesn't sound bad to me (depending on your pork costs). What the rest of you guys need to understand is that he's selling FROZEN pork. Personally, I sell fresh for $10/# where I am. One state north and it might go for $8-$10. Frozen is usually around $5/#.

Fyrman_Mike 05-27-2011 05:30 PM

Appreciate the responses......Some could be fresh. There is a local business Hog 'N Dog (I believe its some franchise) that runs from a modified garden shed. They do descent business as a drive through.

I am paying $1.39/lb right now for boston butts.

Oh and we do not have any local Health Department, but my wife holds an Illinois Sanitation Certification. We are one of the few counties in Illinois without a Health Dept.

Meesterson 05-31-2011 11:31 PM

No health department? Who does the health inspecting and regulating?

Fyrman_Mike 06-01-2011 06:13 AM


Originally Posted by Meesterson (Post 1660303)
No health department? Who does the health inspecting and regulating?

No I said, we are one of the few counties that do not have one. If someone wanted to open a hole in the wall shack and serve roadkill they could. (Oh wait, some idiot actually tried it!)

HandsomeSwede 06-01-2011 07:19 AM

You're going to want to do some studying of the state sanitation code at Just because you dont have a county HD doesn't mean you don't have to follow state regs. You're wife's operation is probably a Category 1 (low risk) food. Your pork would be Category 3 (high risk) requiring manager level food safety training. Also, unless commercially processed you will need to label those packages for contents and date. I would also get insured, somebody gets sick yoy don't want them coming after your house.

chad 06-01-2011 08:12 AM

$1.39 per pound is the base cost, add 40-50% shrinkage and your time, effort, and equipment costs and then multiply by 4. Around here pulled pork goes for $8-9 per pound. Go for quality and let word of mouth do it's work. You can't compete with the per pound price of the Lloyd's and such in the frozen food section of the grocery - so don't even try to match their price point.

goodbuddiesbbq 06-01-2011 08:58 AM

It seems like your wife has a good thing going...make sure that your product can live up to her levels. If you aren't adding positives to her venture, stay away from it...for your marriage and your sanity:confused:.

As far as the pork goes...a couple of lessons:
1. Pork can go up and down and has been as high as 1.69 a pound here. You also have 40% shrinkage, rubs, injections, fuel (to heat), sauce (maybe), time, cleaning and packing supplies.
2. Once you name a price, it is hard to be anything other than that price. If you say you are $5 a would be hard for me to pay $8 a pound tomorrow. Most people understand that it takes a long time to cook pork and even then you can end up with average pork. I say don't go a penny under $7 a lb so that you can use all the ingredients that you want to use.

I would also look at selling rubs and sauces in this equation...its more gourmet than frozen pulled pork. Just some thoughts to consider.

Good luck and make some money!!!

Bbq Bubba 06-01-2011 10:01 AM


Originally Posted by Fyrman_Mike (Post 1660419)
No I said, we are one of the few counties that do not have one. If someone wanted to open a hole in the wall shack and serve roadkill they could. (Oh wait, some idiot actually tried it!)

so many things wrong with this post.....

Just because you dont have a local HD doesnt mean you don't have to follow state regs. You may get away with it for a while but sooner or later it will bite you in the arse.

Your food would have to be prepared and packaged in a commercial kitchen.

Not sure what a Sanitation license covers but it doesnt sound like anything to do with food handling.

NOW that you have all that in place, your pork is worth a minimum of $8 per lb and unless your selling several hundred lbs at a time, your still losing money.

It doesn't matter what everybody else is doing, you posted in the food handling forum so i assumed you wanted to know how to do it properly.

Just trying to give you some facts brother. :thumb:

WeberMan317 06-01-2011 02:45 PM

Good luck with your new business. I had a friend who would sell bread under their clear span tent at a farmer's market. Now they have their own bakery and have several locations across town. As long as you have a good product, you'll do well.

txschutte 06-01-2011 03:40 PM

No county HD is something that gets taken advantage of all the time. We use State health dept. with an out of town inspector.

Many times, if you get dinged with a fine, these inspectors make sure the state is compensated well for their time to get out to the styx.

Just ask the illegal taco wagons out here. Heck, one even got towed away.:thumb:

Ford 06-04-2011 03:35 PM

selling prepackaged food usually requires a USDA approved facility. start there and figure 100-159k for the kitchen. You can't sell cooked meat that has been packaged in your own vacuum sealer. It must be commercial. But like I say the kitchen comes first.

This is a case where pleading ignorance of the law could get you in a world of trouble and of course shut down your wifes business as it's being done under her business license.

Fyrman_Mike 06-05-2011 01:08 AM

Ok, after some investigation after some of the posts we will be forgoing the pre-packaged frozen. In fact several people have stated that they would prefer fresh anyway. As far as the Sanitation License thingy, it is a Food Service Manager Sanitation Certification. It is recognized by the state. In the process of pursuing the insurance thing as well.

Thank you all for your input!

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