For Women Who Can Cook and Bake
If you can cook naturally you can capitalize this talent in a great many ways and find ample opportunity to devote your full or spare time profitably. The following are but a few of the ways picked from the experiences of thousands of women:
GIVE COOKING LESSONS—If you possess the educational requirements necessary, your best opportunity is to obtain a position as teacher in cooking at your local high school.
If that position is already taken, why not teach privately? If you have a reputation in your neighborhood for delicious cakes, pastries, and desserts, advertise in your paper that you are starting a cooking school. This will bring you a number of young brides as well as older women who are determined to learn the art of cooking.
You could give lectures and demonstrations three afternoons a week, and in addition to teaching general cooking, you could make your school much more appealing by giving lessons in marketing thriftily.
If you find difficulty in obtaining recruits for your school watch the marriage and engagement announcements in your newspaper. This will give you a number of leads that you will be able to turn into students for your cooking school.
COOKING SPECIALIST BY THE HOUR—This service will be welcomed by married women who go to business every day and would like to have an experienced cook come in for an hour or two before the dinner hour to prepare the meal, set the table, and have a warm dinner ready.
Young and inexperienced married women who find themselves without a maid or a cook would be glad to have you drop in for an hour or two a day to assist in the general cooking, baking, and roasting.
If you have established a reputation, you can easily get occasional jobs in the preparation of luncheons, bridges, and other social functions.
To keep your name before the community run an occasional classified "ad" in your paper, and prepare a mailing card with some such copy:
Mail this card to business women, newly married housewives in your own and neighboring towns.
CATERING TO HIGHWAY TRADE—If your home is located at a strategic point along any of the well traveled roads you can advise the passers-by by the medium of an attractive sign that you sell sandwiches, lunches, soft drinks, ice cream, frankfurters, etc.
Not having any extra rent to pay, and by preparing and serving the sandwiches and other edibles yourself, you have every chance of making a substantial profit, for regardless of conditions, a certain number of motorists will stop at your lunchroom every day.
THE BOX LUNCH BUSINESS—Here is another business that requires no capital, except the cost of a meat cutter and a bread cutter.
With this equipment, a few loaves of bread, some meats, lettuce, and dressing, you can begin to put up lunches in boxes and sell them regularly to office and factory workers, and to school children.
Of course, you should have an assortment of sandwiches. Factory workers will have special preferences, so will office workers and school children.
In factories, very often, you can get one of the employees to find out how many boxes are wanted daily. You can also get him to collect the money and telephone you around ten o'clock each morning how many luncheons you should prepare. He will do this work for you if you will supply him with a free lunch box daily.
The same method can be employed by getting one of the office workers to take charge of orders and telephone them to you daily.
In serving school children it were best to approach the school principal and convince him of the wholesomeness and cleanliness of your luncheons.
In cities you could arrange to sell your sandwiches and luncheon boxes to drug stores, newsstands in office buildings, bus terminals and railroad stations, and at any of the other places which would like to offer the convenience of selling light luncheons but have neither the facilities nor the inclination to prepare them.
COOK FOR STUDENTS—If you are living in a college town you will find that students frequently get hungry for a real home cooked meal as a relief from the institutional atmosphere found in a college dining hall or from the meals that are served in the type of restaurant or cafeteria that one finds near a college campus. An attractive "ad" in the college paper, or the posting of notices on the dormitory bulletin boards will bring you a number of steady customers for regular meals, sandwiches, preserves, and other home made delicacies.
HOME CATERING—The woman who can cook and at the same time has a car at her disposal can supply home cooked meals by cooking them at her own home and delivering them to her clients, returning later for the dishes. A great many homes where the wife is forced to work away from the home will welcome such an arrangement. The pleasure and the convenience of arriving at home from a day's work to find a well cooked meal awaiting you is a powerful argument to be used in getting customers.
Home catering does not necessarily imply providing full course meals. Attractive and novelty sandwiches and sweetmeats can be catered to the busy hostess who gives afternoon teas, bridges, and other social afternoons.
Church clubs, social clubs, and men's clubs often serve weekly or monthly luncheons. Approach the officers of these clubs and offer to relieve them of the usual fussing and the responsibility entailed in preparing sandwiches, coffee, and other refreshments at their luncheons. Show them that it will not cost them much more to have you serve them; and because of your specialization in catering you are in a position to create interesting and unusual combinations of sandwiches which will make their luncheons more inviting.
DOUGHNUTS AND CRULLERS—If you can make doughnuts and crullers that bring forth praises from your friends you can build up a good business in that line by supplying the various tea rooms, restaurants, and drug stores that sell luncheons. Wherever possible, at church affairs, at women's exchanges, at teas, bridges, etc., supply sample orders of doughnuts. If you make them up in boxes be sure to enclose your card with your name and address as this will lead to new customers. If you have a son or daughter, send them out to deliver samples to the various homes. Put up single doughnuts in glassine envelopes which bear your name and address and use these for sampling.
START A FOOD EXCHANGE—On the same principle that one operates a woman's exchange it should be an easy matter to start an exchange dealing exclusively in foods, and refreshments. Select a central location, preferably at one of the shops in town. Have each member of the exchange send in the foods that she can best prepare.
SELLING PRESERVES—Here is a list of preserves for which there is a good market, if they are gotten up in attractive jars and adequately distributed to the numerous marketing channels, food shops, women's exchanges, house to house sampling, etc. If you have a special talent for preserving, use your own recipes; otherwise pick up a good book on the subject and you will find many valuable hints.
Make up the following varieties: chili sauce, mustard pickles, red tomato relish, pepper hash, piccalilli, catsup, chow-chow, spiced rhubarb, carrot conserve, pickled beets.
Make up a box containing one jar of each of the above preserves. Have the glasses or jars attractively labeled. Offer this box of assorted preserves as a Christmas item. It should sell in large quantities.
Also go after hotels, lunch wagons, boarding houses, cafeterias, drug store counters, tea rooms, etc. To this type of trade sell your preserves in larger containers at a reduced price. You can do so because when you sell in bulk quantities you are saving on packing, delivery, and the cost of small containers and labels.
BAKING TO ORDER—The home baked loaf of bread has yet to be duplicated in excellent taste by the large commercial bakers. Hence, the woman who can bake a good loaf of bread will be able to keep herself busy a part of the time baking loaves of bread for neighbors and friends who cannot bake yet prefer the home baked loaf.
Some grocery stores, candy stores, and women's exchanges will handle your home made bread and help you to create a demand for it by recommending it to their customers.
If you have any doubts about the possibilities of being able to sell home baked bread, ask the average man or woman and you will find that they all possess a soft spot for the bread that mother used to make.
SPECIAL SCHOOL LUNCHEON—If you cook and have a car try to build up a steady business in the specialty of preparing pure simple foods suitable for children's luncheons.
Have little plates comprising a choice of three different food groups, all well balanced and nourishing. For example, have one of the plates comprise a sandwich with nourishing filling, a tall paper container of milk, a small salad, and a paper container with a good dessert of stewed fruit, pudding or custard.
Driving out to the school a few minutes before recess or lunch period you could easily dispose of your entire stock of luncheons in a few hours' time at a good profit.
SPECIALIZE IN INVALID COOKING—If you understand diet in its various scientific aspects, and you can do so by taking one of the university extension courses; and if at the same time you are a good cook you could make a great success by specializing in invalid cooking. Cards distributed to the doctors in your community would soon bring you a number of invalids and convalescents whose food problems require special attention.
BREWING TEA—If you have discovered an unusually good blend of tea by combining different grades, make up a quantity in small individual bags and sell them to tea houses, restaurants, clubs, and hotels.
There are a number of other specialties that can be made very profitable in cooking and baking. They may have a geographical appeal but you can best determine that by knowing the tastes of your community. The following list may contain a specialty in which you excel:
There's baked beans for New Englanders; plum pudding for holiday sale; solid hominy; home made sausage; special fish cakes; cheese or orange straws; food for dyspeptics; guava jelly; fruit rind jelly of all kinds, etc.
In baking you may be able to excel in such a variety of cakes as the various fruit cakes; date loaf; coffee cake; raisin cake; nut cake; prune cake; layer cake; angel cake; and the numerous kinds of cookies, cream puffs, and the dozen or so varieties of pies.
Table Service. L. G. Allen, "Little Brown & Co., Boston, Mass.
Note: To account for inflation, multiply prices by 8 to 10.