April 29, 2013
Baking is always fun, and half of that fun comes from sharing your baked goods with friends and family. Sharing with the public at large, however, is a bit trickier. To help bakers reach new customers across America, Bernard Huang and Hang Su have decided to take the bakery to the Internet with Food by People.
Cottage Food Laws, adopted by 31 states in America, allow individuals to operate bakeries from their homes and sell the baked goods for a profit. Huang and Su tracked these laws early, factoring them into their initial design of Food by People.
Huang and Su want bakers to maintain focus on their actual baking, so they tackle the technical side of transitioning bakers to an Internet market. Food by People ensures that all aspects of the online selling process will be taken care of; however, they leave marketing up to the baker.
After a baker signs up on Food by People, they get a specific webpage to showcase their sponge cakes, apple pies, and buttery pastries. Through their dedicated page, which operates on their existing web domain, bakers upload photos and descriptions of their delicious baked goods for public viewing.
Bakers can then create custom invoices, manage online orders, and receive payments for their products easily through their page. Food by People, in addition to the website, generates checkout links for bakers to share with the public.
These checkout links, most effectively blasted on social media, effectively kill two birds with one stone. First, they publicize the baked good itself and help drive business to the site. Second, since everything works through the baker’s personal domain, checkout links publicize the actual baker, too.
“For the most part, we have concluded that the bakers we want do not want to be on a big marketplace,” explains Huang. “They have their own bakery sites already, and owning their own domain is very precious.”
While big marketplace settings are successful, the trend in online selling is shifting towards a micro-commerce level. People have friends, family, fans, and followers that they can promote their goods to without the help of major labels and distributors.
“Everybody wants to be their own boss,” says Huang. “Everybody wants to own their own product, and big marketplaces are becoming less popular because of it.”
Food by People is still fresh out of the oven, no pun intended, but they have made some big waves with their current clients. Take a peek at their websites, maybe order some cake pops, and break out the mixing bowls. You never know how good of a baker you might be unless you give it a try.
Food by People was featured at Tech Cocktail's Austin Mixer and Startup Showcase.
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