Do you have friends or relatives who sell their home-cooked food online? If you’re planning to do the same, then you’re in the right place.

There are many kinds of food sold by home-based businesses today. Some focus on baked goods and snacks, while others use what they learn from cooking classes to make something they can bake or cook and sell.

The entire home food enterprise idea probably began when people started selling homemade birthday cakes. And once the idea of buying customised cakes made from carefully picked ingredients took off, more people saw the potential for this business. The menu gradually expanded to other forms of desserts, regional specialities, finger foods, and other delicacies.

Here, we’ll teach you all you need to know about starting a home-based food business, from the most popular food products to sell to the requirements for opening a food shop.

3 Most Profitable Home-Based Food Business Ideas 

In any food business, you need to determine what kinds of food sell and how you can penetrate the market with it. With plenty of options out there, it can be difficult to choose.

For us at ICCA, we consider the following three items as the most profitable home-based food businesses today:

1. Baked Goods

If there’s one type of food item that people from all walks of life would buy, it is most likely to be baked goods. From cakes and bread to muffins, doughnuts, and other pastries, these products comprise a vast market in the food industry. The best thing is that they can easily be prepared, making them one of the best choices for your home-based food business.

If you love baking, you can turn your passion into something profitable. You can stick to a specific baked item to specialise in like cookies, cakes, bread, or anything you’re good at making. Or you can select a range of different treats to sell and focus on a further niche like gluten-free, sugar-free, and other diet-speciality goods.

With baked goods, you have the option to sell them through a consignment in a café or local shop or directly to customers via an online shop.

2. Catering

If you enjoy cooking for various types of events, then you’re built for the catering business. While it may seem like an enormous task, you can start at home by catering to smaller events you can work on during the weekends.

You can also consider specialising in a niche, such as a specific event or food. For the latter, one example is creating a sweet treat corner that’s perfect not only for kids' parties but also for gatherings like baby showers.

Of course, in the catering business, it would be more ideal to have a few more hands to help you ensure that everything is prepared and in order. This means you should think about hiring other people. You can tap into your pool of friends or relatives.

3. Speciality Goods

This one may require a bit more experience, but if you have a unique recipe passed down between generations in your family, then you have something to start with.

Some home-based chefs who choose this road focus on unique items that others would love. Below are some examples:

  • Jams
  • Preserved fruits, vegetables, fish, or meat
  • Roasted coffee beans
  • Chocolate confections

Like baked goods, there’s a high demand for speciality items in the market. Not only do they transform dishes into more interesting meals, but they also make great treats or treats sold online, through consignment, at fairs, and more.

How to Open Your Home-Based Food Business: 3 Basic Steps

Opening a home-based food business differs greatly from its traditional counterpart. Aside from the obvious dissimilarity between the location of operations, the former also requires less initial capital than the latter which explains why many small business owners choose it.

However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t any requirements you need to complete to operate in the UAE legally. Below are three steps you need to take before you can officially launch your food shop:

Step #1: Come up with a business plan.

Besides your chosen products and method of selling, a business plan should also contain calculations on the budget you would need. Think about the cost of equipment, supplies, bills, and salaries (in case you hire help).

Step #2: Obtain a business licence.

Even though you’ll be operating from the comforts of your own home, you would still need to acquire a special licence to be able to run your home-based business legally in the UAE. You can get this document from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED).

But before you proceed with your licence application, know the requirements and regulations covering home-based entrepreneurs like you. You need the licence before you start operations, so you must first get one.

Submit the details of your business to the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) via their official website. You might also benefit from attending the basic food hygiene course provided by the agency to help business owners learn the proper way of preparing and storing food based on safety standards.

Step #3: Develop a marketing plan.

While you have what’s called a food business, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all you will need to do is cook. Like what you’ll learn in one of our professional chef training courses, marketing your food is as important as preparing it safely.

Besides the traditional brochures and business card advertising, you might want to consider promoting your food online. Since almost everyone has gone digital these days, doing so will help you reach more customers. Just remember to show it in your business licence application to make sure you’re fully covered.

If you’re sticking to social media platforms, add “e-commerce through social media.” If you plan to use a website, indicate “e-commerce through websites.” Add both if you intend to use both.

Cook Up Something Profitable

Many people consider cooking a hobby, but it can also become a profitable business. Begin your business at home to propel your cooking career much easier.

Don’t have an idea what to cook? We at ICCA offer different courses and short classes you can take to help you realise your goal of having a home-based food business.

Send us a message. We’re always happy to help.