Picture this: you're strolling through the picturesque streets of downtown Traverse City, Michigan during an art fair, with the crisp Northern Michigan air kissing your cheeks. Suddenly, a delightful aroma catches your attention, leading you to a charming little tent filled with an array of colorful and tantalizing treats. Welcome to the world of freeze dried candy! In this article, we'll explore the magic of freeze dried candy and why buying it from local small businesses in Michigan, like Mystical Sweets Freeze Dried Treats, can elevate your candy experience to new heights.
The Rise of Freeze Dried Candy
The popularity of freeze dried candy has been soaring in recent years. It's no wonder why - freeze drying creates a unique texture and intensifies the flavors of beloved candies. The process involves placing the candies in a freeze dryer under a vacuum, allowing any moisture to be completely removed. What emerges is a crunchy, airy, and flavorful delight that melts in your mouth.
The allure of freeze dried candy lies not only in its mouthwatering taste but also in its rarity. It's a product that can only be produced by those with access to a freeze dryer, making it a hot commodity in the confectionery world. Social media platforms like TikTok have further fueled the demand for freeze dried candy, with influencers and candy enthusiasts showcasing their favorite treats transformed into delectable puffballs.
The Legal Landscape of Freeze Dried Candy in Michigan
Before diving into the world of freeze dried candy, it's important to understand the legal regulations surrounding its production and sale. Each state has its own rules for home-based food businesses, and Michigan is no exception. Michigan's moderately strict cottage food laws govern the operation of home-based food businesses, including those producing freeze dried candy.
Michigan's cottage food laws allow for the sale of certain food items from home kitchens. However, it's crucial to research and understand the specific regulations for freeze dried candy in your area. Several states have recently outlawed freeze dried goods as the large companies try to catch-up and mass produce or have restrictions on freezing or freeze-drying processes, which could impact the legality of selling freeze dried candy. In any case, starting now or without knowing the laws in your state, is more of a risk than years ago.
If you're passionate about starting a freeze dried candy business in Michigan, it's essential to consult your local officials and familiarize yourself with the regulations. By doing so, you'll be equipped to answer any questions about your business and ensure compliance with the law.
The Freeze Dried Candy Market in Michigan
The market for freeze dried candy continues to expand, with larger commercial companies yet to make a significant presence or mass produce fresh, quality candy like home makers. This presents a golden opportunity for local small businesses to carve their niche in the industry.
While some may worry about competition in the market with up-to five freeze dried candy sellers now setting-up at events, there is still plenty of untapped customers who have yet to experience the joy of freeze dried candy. With a unique product line and creative marketing strategies, small businesses can capture the attention of these potential customers and stand out from the crowd.
However, it's important to consider several factors that can impact your success in the freeze dried candy market. General unfamiliarity with freeze dryers, the cost and availability of home-sized freeze dryers, business models, and state and local regulations are all elements that can shape the landscape of the freeze dried candy market in Michigan.
Starting Your Freeze Dried Candy Business
So, you're ready to embark on your freeze dried candy adventure. But where do you begin? Let's explore the space and requirements, as well as the equipment and supplies you'll need to kickstart your freeze dried candy business.
Space and Requirements
Starting a freeze dried candy business in Michigan requires that your freeze dryer be in your home kitchen. You'll need a sturdy workbench, table, or shelf capable of supporting a freeze dryer and pump. Consider the noise generated by the machine and ensure it won't cause disturbances to you or your household members.
Additionally, allocate space for loading up trays, storing ingredients and unprocessed candy, packaging and labeling the candy, and storing bags, containers, and other packaging materials as well as everything you will need for your booth set-up as Michigan only allows for in-person sales. That means, you will have to pay extra for a website that allows customers to place orders and check-out without paying.
Equipment and Supplies
The centerpiece of your freeze dried candy business is the freeze dryer itself. Harvest Right is a well-known brand that offers home freeze dryers in various sizes, while StayFresh Freeze Dryers and D-Freeze Freeze Dryers are newer options worth exploring. If you're considering using a vacuum oven instead, be sure to purchase a separate cold trap to capture moisture and protect the vacuum pump.
In the early stages, basic supplies such as trays and parchment paper will suffice. You can start with store-bought candy or explore the realm of homemade recipes to add a unique touch to your product line. As your business grows, you can gradually expand your supplies by purchasing from wholesalers (although typically not cheaper) and exploring specialized packaging options.
Packaging and Labeling
Proper packaging and labeling are crucial to maintain the quality and safety of your freeze dried candy. Airtight packaging, such as heat-sealed mylar bags, is ideal to prevent moisture absorption. Deli containers can work well for larger and more delicate items, ensuring minimal damage during storage and transportation.
Ensure compliance with Michigan's labeling guidelines, which typically require a net weight, ingredients list, contact information (including name and a physical address), and any necessary allergen warnings. Regular quality checks and an efficient production schedule will help keep your inventory fresh and appealing to customers.
Selling Your Freeze Dried Candy
Now that you have your freeze dried candy ready to delight taste buds, it's time to explore various avenues for selling your products in Michigan. Here are some potential sales channels to consider:
Sales from Your Home: Depending on local regulations, customers can either pick up their orders or have them delivered to their doorstep. This convenient option allows you to connect directly with customers in your community.
Booths at Vendor Events: Participating in school events, craft shows and festivals provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your freeze dried candy to a larger audience. Engage with potential customers and let them experience the unique flavors and textures firsthand.
Farmers Markets: If you meet the eligibility criteria, consider becoming a vendor at local farmers markets. These vibrant community spaces attract customers seeking fresh and unique products, making it an ideal platform to promote your freeze dried candy.
Selling to Retailers or Other Businesses: This requires having a commercial kitchen but, if you have access to one or build one you can explore partnerships with retailers or other businesses interested in carrying your freeze dried candy. Consignment arrangements or wholesale agreements can help expand your reach and introduce your products to new markets.
Your Own Storefront or Permanent Space: If your state allows it, consider opening your own store or securing a space in a vendor mall or kiosk. This allows you to create a dedicated space for customers to explore and purchase your freeze dried candy.
Online Sales: Leverage the power of the internet to reach customers beyond your local area. Set up an online store or utilize platforms like Facebook Marketplace to connect with customers interested in purchasing your freeze dried candy but, know sales have to be in-person.
As your freeze dried candy business gains momentum, you can consider additional options such as shipping out of state (extra process after having a commercial kitchen) or expanding your online presence to cater to a wider audience. However, always ensure compliance with relevant regulations and consider transitioning to a commercial food business if you exceed the limits imposed by Michigan's cottage food laws, including a gross income of no more than 25K annually.
The Joys of Freeze Dried Candy
What sets freeze dried candy apart from its traditional counterparts? The answer lies in the sensory experience it delivers. Imagine biting into a freeze dried peach ring or saltwater taffy, experiencing an explosion of intense flavor accompanied by a delightful crunch. The unique texture and heightened taste of freeze dried candy create a memorable and satisfying treat.
Freeze dried candy also offers benefits to those with braces, dentures or no teeth at all. When completely dried, the light and airy texture of freeze dried candy eliminates stickiness, making it a convenient and enjoyable option for individuals with dental appliances. Even caramels undergo a transformation, turning into crispy clouds that melt in your mouth.
Supporting Local Small Businesses: Mystical Sweets Freeze Dried Treats
Now that you're well-versed in the world of freeze dried candy, it's time to indulge your taste buds and support local small businesses in Michigan. Mystical Sweets Freeze Dried Treats, located in Traverse City, is a delightful treasure trove of freeze dried confections.
At Mystical Sweets, the passionate candy artisans take pride in crafting a wide variety of freeze dried candy that will transport you to a world of sweetness and nostalgia. And if you're heading in or out of Traverse City through Kingsley MI, make sure to swing by one of their pick-up locations and treat yourself to the magic of freeze dried candy.
By buying freeze dried candy from Mystical Sweets and other local small businesses, you not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also contribute to the growth and success of Michigan's entrepreneurial community and avoid buying delicate, freeze dried candy illegally that can be easily damaged or melt during shipping, if it's even created with the actual candy and not an overseas off brand.
So, what are you waiting for? Let the enchantment of freeze dried candy take you on a flavor-packed adventure like no other!