Photo credit: Liz Pickard

Case Study: Food and Ferments

Money is More Than Numbers

Carly came to Kitchen Table Consultants after three years in business, when she realized they needed to get their chart of accounts in order.  She didn’t have any specifics on sales and expenses and lacked financial organization. She was in love with the craft, the creativity, and the freedom of her new business, but she needed to really be the business owner and take hold of knowing where the money was going.


Tailored and Functional Solutions

With Rebecca’s help, tasks Carly had found daunting, like moving from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, became manageable. Next came creating the chart of accounts and understanding how to create a functional COA, and most importantly, beginning to understand the story the numbers could tell about the business .

Once Carly felt less overwhelmed, she knew she could do it. For the first time, Carly felt like their reports finally made sense when she looked at them. With KTC’s assistance, they created a streamlined farmers market inventory system, and learned how to clearly track both online, farmers’ market, and wholesale income.

“Suddenly all of the numbers that we had be spending so much time inputting into QuickBooks were clear, accessible, and valuable.”


You Can’t Grow Until You Know

Carly’s advice?  Be a recovering perfectionist–ask for help and be willing to not know!  As a business owner you’re less likely to admit what you don’t know out of a feeling of “I feel like I should know it!”  Through her work with Rebecca, she discovered she could actually be good at the stuff that she felt so hesitant about only a few months before.

Through their work with KTC, Food and Ferments has more tools to assess where to sell more or less. They feel empowered to keep growing because systems are in place to check in on finances.  Carly’s confidence has grown a lot as well: “I beat myself up a lot less now. I wake up every day figuring out what problems I need to solve. I don’t take it personally.”

These days, Food and Ferments is kind of killing it.  Their fermented food and beverage business enables them to support local farmers and create a health product that both reflects historic food culture and looks towards the changing food culture. They’ve just moved into a second location which allows for increased production, and are expanding their product line. Since working with Rebecca, their sales have grown by 40% and they admit to having a deeper understanding of their business numbers, where they want to head next, and a roadmap of how they can get there. In addition to offering peace of mind, this new business roadmap led them to a Good Food Award this year for their Hearts on Fire Kraut.


Grow with Clarity, Confidence and Optimism

Having tools to make informed decisions about the business really lets the operation–and its products–shine. Carly is thrilled with their Good Food Award, which is a nod to all of their hard work.  And other, much larger, businesses are starting to pay attention. As Carly explains, “We are powerful players. We’re in the boardrooms. I grew up on an organic farm and saw the transition in the 90s.  If the millennials weren’t so in tune to their food, the farms around me might be out of business. We need to recognize this food culture as contributing to our success, and not only be a part of it, but also do what we can to boost it.”

Photo credit – Liz Pickard, Good Food Award photo