THE BUSINESS CASE
Capital costs: Close to $ 230,000 for the land, building and machinery.
Production: 100kg of finished product a month – until recently when that figured doubled.
Staff: Chris in the factory and Sally in the office. RRP: $15 for a 100g salami.
Profitability: “We haven’t started paying ourselves yet but expect to do so by the end of the year.”
Marketing budget: $10,000 set aside on the advice of Chris’s brother Dave, a consultant who helps with financial planning. Overcoming the challenges: Chris says commercializing the recipes and keeping costs down has been his biggest challenge, followed closely by the difficulties of buying land, building a factory and navigating the regulatory hurdles involved in dealing with wild meat and an uncooked product. “I didn’t realize how hard and intensive it would be to go through all the MPI stuff and build a factory. We got so overwhelmed with all the paperwork – there were so many times when I thought we’d throw it all in. But we learned to deal with one little bit at a time and we slowly got there. Now the challenge is space. We’re already outgrowing the factory.”
Lesson learned: Believe in your product and stick to your guns.
Chris says he would love to sell his salamis loose with their protective mould intact, as is the norm in Europe, but it’s a step too far for the Ministry of Primary Industries, which insists on vacuum- packaging.