Last night we went to an informational meeting on food processing put on by the Franklin County CDC and the Business Growth Center at Springfield Technology Park. Informative and enjoyable, the lecture discussed the logistics of making small batch food. While there, some bottles were placed on the table in front of us. All of the products within the bottles were produced at the Franklin County CDC. A brief discussion began about who the attendees were and what we did or what brought us there for this lecture. We explained that we had a food blog and that we also sold small batch foods on our web site. The host mentioned that many of the makers of the products on the table are looking for wholesale opportunities and might be a good fit for our web site. That led to a short discussion (but got us thinking) about how we select the products we decide to sell on Charlotte Julienne.
There are three specifics that jump out right away. Philosophy of the maker. Taste. Design. We have to love the story of the person/people making the product. They are working to create something they are passionate about. Not many people get rich making food, but they usually have a lot of heart and soul about their process. The product has to have great taste and utilize good ingredients. We can truly say that we love the products we sell. We use them. We cook with them. We bake with them. We give them away as gifts. We are passionate about promoting small batch foods. Finally, the design element is huge with us. If it tastes great but the packaging is not our style, it is not something we will sell. Let’s face it, the packaging is what we see first. In the case last night there were roughly 15 bottles on the table in front of us. We both (without discussing it) only selected three. The same three. Clearly we have the same sense of style. We loved the simplicity of the labels. The color choice of the artwork/design against the product. The fonts, the artwork. It all has to add up. And then of course, this is just our eye. Your eye might have selected three entirely different products. The host asked us what it was that we look for in a label- and although beauty is in the eye of the beholder- I think everyone has an aesthetic that they find pleasing. Yours might be different than ours, but you know what you like.
We have made a Pinterest page with some of our favorite designs that we have been admiring for the past few months. Hopefully they will aid us in our decision to create a fabulous label should we ever decide to produce a small batch food in the future. In the meantime, we will keep promoting the other producers working hard to keep small batch foods alive. And…just in case you were wondering…our top three local small batch food product labels we loved last night were Fire Cider, Kitchen Garden Sriracha Sauce & Ooma Tesoro’s. Gorgeous packaging (in our opinions) and three things we have not yet tried but can’t wait to get our hands on! Thanks Franklin County CDC and Business Growth Center at Springfield Technology Park for a great lecture.