How Much Profit is there in selling canned artisan canned goods?

There are plenty of reasons to buy artisan, hand-crafted, seasonal and local food at the farm market or in a specialty grocery section and here are some of the reasons why:

1. Health

1batchtomatoesConcern for BPA and other additives in many commercial canned foods (such as tomatoes) is on the rise, and a huge incentive for home cooks and concerned parents to can their own or purchase from small batch canners. Doing this, you can ensure BPA-free foods, as well as healthy, preservative-free foods that contain no harmful additives or pesticides.

That’s my first choice. When my son was young, he was diagnosed as ADHD. I did not want to put an active 5 year old on drugs and I wondered if it might be additives in prepared foods (including canned tomatoes). My mother had canned when I was younger, so I asked her to help me and I discovered I liked it.  Within 2 months, my son was fine. We kept making and eating home canned food.

2. Eco-Friendly

tomatoes2The environmental impact is minimal when you can your own food or purchase from a small batch canner. It reduces the waste associated with pre-packed foods–remember, those mason jars are reusable–the rings are reusable–the lid is recyclable. Most people who sell canning at the farm market, will take those jars back. Your tomato sauce is only traveling from the farm to the counter to the pantry or to a Farm Market instead of thousands of miles across the country on a truck belching out emissions. And those vegetables and fruits traveled from the garden or farm to the market to the canner’s kitchen.

3. Passion & Personal Satisfaction

StrawberryYou think knitters are passionate about their craft? People who are serious about putting food in jars are a more than worthy rival. They help us remember that the experience of opening a jar of cherry preserves in January is more than just jam on toast – it’s transporting you back to summer. It’s a flavor explosion that makes the plain yogurt you stir it into a delectable delight!

4. Gifts

RockCreek5Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like a jar of homemade preserves or pickles. Good food makes everyone feel good, whether they are giving or receiving, its all in the taste. After all, who does not like tasty well prepared food.

5. Quality & Taste

The perfect hot summer night supper!It is not personal preference, it is not self-delusion–no commercially canned product tastes as good as locally grown, harvested in season, small batch preserves! Good canners know that the end product is only as good as the produce selected to make it. No soft, almost gone produce makes the grade. The produce is selected, during season, from plants grown in dirt, in the sun  – ensuring top quality – and then canned it at its peak of ripeness. You can bet the flavor of any small batch product will mirror the quality and care that went into making it.

BUT, small batch canning is not cheap. Sure, you can buy a jar of Strawberry Jam or a jar of pickles for less in the grocery store, but:

  • What additives did they put in for the “crunch” or the “Mouth Texture“?
  • Are there added food coloring, high fructose corn syrup, salt, and preservatives?.
  • Where did the fruit/vegetables grow?
  • What insecticides, fertilizers and growth hormones were part of the poor plant’s life cycle?

In the last couple of weeks, I have been gearing up to re-start Beary Good Stuff and I’ve been doing a fair bit of research into how much the costs have gone up in the last 18 months.

the following visual gives you some idea of how much it costs to make a jar of REAL food.

CanningCostsFurther, out of the profit, comes all out research, federal provincial and regional district fees (got to love those hidden taxes), transportation to and from any market–and if it is a farm market, the farm market fee too.

Product we sell at wholesale prices have a profit of less than 50 cents a jar, so the retailer can get our product to you, the purchaser. Consider–a batch, that takes an 3/4 of an hour to make can leave you with $4.00 an hour wage.

Choosing small batch canning as a profession is not going to make you wealthy, but it makes you rich knowing how much others appreciate good, flavorful and quality food.


About badkowalik

Prepared by hand and cooked in small batches – our preserves are cooked slowly. There is an average of 1.5 pounds of fruit in every 8 oz jar. Not only can you taste the difference – you can see the difference. Beautiful natural color and unmatched textures – that can only be achieved by the patience and experience of the Confiseur (the maker). There is alchemy to what we do. Like fine wines, each season has it’s own specific style. We create preserves with exceptional taste. Capturing these flavors is the craft of our business. Beary Good Stuff is a collection of seasonal, sustainable, artisinally made preserves. The collection is made (in limited quantities) from local fruits using traditional cooking methods. We use the freshest ingredients we can get. The small batch production insures a taste and texture that is unmatched in the commercial market today. The collection includes preserved fruits & vegetables – marmalades, jams, fruit butters & salsas, pickles and gift collections that reflect the bounty of the season and spirit of feasting. Although not necessary yet, we have received a letter from the BC Heath Authority. We submitted a package detailing how and where we made our products, what each recipe contains and how we prepare it. This letter is displayed in our tent at the Farm Market. We have our BC MarketSafe and FoodSafe certifications.

Posted on May 13, 2015, in Unique. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. That was so informative, Barb. I love that you are so knowledgeable and passionate about small batch canning, and the wonderful foods you are sharing with your customers. 🙂

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