There are people who thrive on takeout and then there are gourmands. If you have a passion for trying out new cuisines, dabbling in the kitchen, and producing works of culinary art, you have the option of using your hobby to your advantage.
For those who find joy in baking and creating delicately crafted plates of delightful food, an encore career in the foodservice industry can be a very alluring prospect after retirement.
It’s easy to get lost in the sea of food enthusiasts, so creativity is the strongest tool you can use to set you apart from the competition. Within the food and beverage industry, there are several paths you can choose to start your own business. The most powerful implement in your arsenal is your own imagination. So run wild with whatever fancies you!
Here are some exciting ideas for the inner artist in you:
Blogs are the new avatar of cookbooks. Your grandma’s handwritten recipe book will forever be a treasure, but you can now share it with thousands of subscribers via food blogs. Popular and innovative food blogs can draw a huge following and the traffic to your website can be easily monetized.
You can post new and exciting news about food trends, reviews of popular restaurants, exotic cuisines you have sampled, and your own culinary creations. Many food bloggers have celebrity status, and their opinions are considered as valid as Julia Child’s or Marco Pierre White’s. All you have to do is take a plunge into the world of internet blogging (or vlogging) and unleash the maestro inside you.
In the world of culinary arts, cooking is considered an art, but baking is viewed as a science. You have to take some measurements by volume and others by weight. Baking powder is an entirely different compound from baking soda. A measurement of butter in tbsp instead of tsp can lead to cookies shaped like dinosaurs (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing).
If you know your baking well, a few key ingredients and an oven can be your recipe for success. You can organize bake sales and even establish online shops where customers can order in bulk. A sublime collection of cakes, pastries, cookies, croissants, and bread can be a huge draw to your shop.
You can create your own signature baked goods and have a successful business going as soon as the word gets out.
Catering can be expensive, and rightfully so. Creating a well-rounded menu with dishes that complement each other can be a pensive task and pairing drinks with different course items can be even more difficult.
It takes a sophisticated taste to know which wines and meats go well together. With knowledge on your side, you can easily break into the catering world and earn your stripes as a successful caterer.
For those against animal cruelty, factory farming, or who just prefer vegetarianism for personal reasons, starting an ethical catering business is the way to go. Vegan recipes and meat substitutes are also extremely popular with the health-conscious.
With the right amount of exposure and some appetizing recipes, you can launch your own vegan or vegetarian catering empire.
Planning parties can be a fun way to exercise your creative side. Wedding rehearsals, baby showers, and birthday parties can all use your je ne sais quoi to add charm to the celebration. Baked goods, ice creams, charcuterie boards, party platters, fruit punches, and mimosas are excellent ways to create a table that attracts guests who can’t resist coming back for more.
The margins on party tables are decent enough for you to get a few helping hands on board as well. You can even add décor as an additional service to complete your party planning business.
A career as a trained chef can be quite demanding for someone who doesn’t want to feel exhausted all the time. You work long hours in the kitchen and unless you work at a Michelin star-rated restaurant or your own establishment, the salary is often less than handsome.
Taking up a career as a personal chef, on the other hand, can be quite rewarding as a supplement to your retirement income. You can develop a personal relationship with your employer, travel with them to exotic locations, and meet interesting people.
Not to mention, the salaries for personal chefs are on the higher end of the spectrum. Most personal chefs work for famous people, so you’ll accumulate quite a few stories during your tenure!
Food trucks are an excellent investment to start off a food business. Getting a permit from local departments can be challenging, but the investment requirements for a food truck or trailer are quite low compared to opening a brick-and-mortar establishment.
Food trucks can be specialized for quick, on-the-go cuisine and can serve anything from burritos to halal foods and specialty sandwiches. You can even drive to profitable locations during different times of the day to maximize profits. What’s more, you can save money on labor costs as most food trucks can be run by two or three staff members at the most.
If you’re into the homestead lifestyle, a farmer’s market may just be the perfect station for you. Growing your own fruit and vegetables can be extremely rewarding and if you’re interested in raising chickens, free-range eggs can go for a pretty penny.
You can also make jams and preserves out of the fruit you grow, and an all-organic range can attract a wide customer base. Farmer’s markets are an excellent way to support local growers and merchants and are rapidly evolving as an alternative to superstores and mass markets.
Passion projects for food can be demanding to start but rewarding once your business takes off. All that is needed is some good marketing and talent that is instantly recognizable.
Does your love for food transfer into cooking? Or maybe food blogging? Have you thought of making an encore career connected to the food business? Or are you already a chef? What is your personal experience with cooking/baking and general food loving?