I'm a restaurateur. How can I bottle and sell my popular cooking and barbecue sauces nationwide?

I own a Thai restaurant in Washington state. Customers always ask me to sell them my pad thai sauce and my Thai-style barbecue sauce. I would like to expand my business by selling the sauce nationwide. How do I accomplish this? Can I hire a company to do all the marketing for me?

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Start out small and do it yourself from your own store. You've got a retail advantage over someone in his or her home kitchen who doesn't have any retail "shelf space" whatsoever. Then branch out locally. If your product is a winner, the large distributors may find you.

You can also target some of the larger companies yourself with samples of your product to sell it from the "ground up." One key to this is to develop a story and a brand for your sauces to help differentiate your product--and look to develop a complete line of different sauces. Variety is important because, at the retail level, it really is about "shelf space" . . . and you and the retailers will want as much of your product on as much shelf as possible.

Brad Sugars
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