Do you know what it takes to get that tasty recipe into a packet and onto a retail shelf, and then grow your product into a successful business? No? Not many people do.
Jane Del Rosso does. As the founder of My Other Kitchen and The Business of Food, Del Rosso escaped corporate life to follow her passion into the kitchens of Melbourne.
Now living vicariously through her clients’ food ventures, Del Rosso’s mission is to raise the notoriously low success rate of new food businesses. She does this by facilitating Australia’s first kitchen incubator.
“My Other Kitchen provides advice, guidance and expertise to new food business owners that would like to scale or fail quickly. Housing a true business community made up of added value service providers, and clients and alumni,” Del Rosso explains.
Each year she brings the full strength of these community connections to bear facilitating The Business of Food expo. The expo delivers education sessions, workshops and business boot camps.
“It’s our business to know these subjects and every year we bring experts in the food industry together into the expo to continue to raise the poor success rates of young business trying to get a foothold.”
For the last five years, The Business of Food has brought together a group of peers and referral partners to talk to young and growing business owners about the journey they are on.
Del Rosso says you could be forgiven if you are confused by the plethora of resources, accelerator programs, experts in residence and funding options floating around at the moment.
“Why have we seen large organisations, like Chobani Austrlia (one of our two speakers) stepping out of their core business in order to help the new, up and coming entrepreneurs be more successful?
“We have a theory and we’ve named it the “Open Sauce” Principle,” says Del Rosso. “In the IT industry Wikipedia cites: ‘Open-source code is meant to be a collaborative effort, where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community’.”
Transplant that principle into the food industry and open-sauce principles are therefore collaborative and iterative in nature, building on the experiences of food business owners that have gone before and sharing those lessons to benefit the industry as a whole and the passionate individuals that come after.
Not many people (even in the industry) know firsthand the steps a new business owner needs to take to build a business on the back of a brand new product: the long hours of hard work involved; the never-ending To-Do List; the steep learning curve; the unknown unknowns; and the range of emotions that journey brings with it.
“We believe peers are your best teachers and case studies are your most remembered lessons” says Del Rosso.
“On August 14 2019 at The Park in Albert Park, attendees will hear from Chobani on why they deliver a leading accelerator program in support of young food business owners. You will also learn what it takes to bring novel new products to market from an insect farmer that has been there, done that.
“We’ll introduce you to experts in branding, packaging, business growth, legal food matters, marketing, digital strategy and retailer engagement and distribution strategy, among many other things so that you can find your place in that Open Sauce culture,” Del Rosso concludes.