What's an effective way to promote a food product in BA?

expat0tree

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Dear expats,

I sold 11 cheesecakes to complete strangers on Instagram since I launched my healthy cheesecake business in December of 2019 and now I need to think hard about how to promote my product. I joined the Buenos Aires Diabetics group on facebook to no avail and wonder if you guys can recommend a better strategy. My product is flour free, sugar free, made from scratch, targeted at health conscious people, who want a healthy, yet delicious and aesthetically pleasing product on their table.

Much appreciated,
Fedor
 

London2Baires

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Hey, I think there are apps for this, see article below.

Though, I'd be very careful of selling food illicitally without registering, paying taxes, and following legal standards etc.

The article talks about this somewhat. Good luck!

“La preparación de comidas para su distribución a domicilio deberá realizarse en estrictas condiciones de higiene y conservación de acuerdo con las Buenas Prácticas de Manufactura, empleando productos alimenticios aptos para el consumo y personal acreditado de acuerdo a lo establecido por el artículo 21. Los recipientes en que se transporten deberán ser de material adecuado y encontrarse en perfectas condiciones de conservación e higiene. Artículo 151 – (Resolución Conjunta SPReI N° 193/2012 y SAGyP N° 826/2012).

La norma agrega que: “La preparación de comidas dietéticas para su distribución a domicilio deberá cumplimentar todos los requisitos del Artículo 151 y contar con la Dirección Técnica de un profesional universitario que por la naturaleza de sus estudios a juicio de la Autoridad Sanitaria Nacional, esté capacitado para dichas funciones, el que además asumirá la responsabilidad ante las autoridades sanitarias de la calidad de los productos”. Artículo 151bis – (Res 1555, 12.09.90)"

 

steveinbsas

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I'd be very careful of selling food illicitally without registering, paying taxes, and following legal standards etc.

This is a very important point, especially if you bought the bodega in Lanus and are making the cheesecake as well as living there.

Hopefully, you already have this covered, but if you get "caught" running any kind of business without the proper permits, at some point you might find your front door taped shut by the authorities.

And you would end up being slapped with an outrageous fine, as well lose business and have to sleep somewhere else until you pay the fine and are in compliance.
.
PS: If I lived close enough, I would definitely try your cheesecake!!!
 

expat0tree

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London2Baires, thanks for the reply and the information provided, I read it very carefully.

In terms of hygiene, I feel like I provide excellent food safety considering my past experience with food prepping in Vancouver while working at various restaurants during college years. My cakes are refrigerated and always meant to be eaten cold (dairy), I remind my customers to follow the same practice and to never consume them beyond their expiry date, which is within the first 5-7 days from the moment of pick up, even though technically the cream cheese in the cake holds well up to 14 days. I also do not carry stock so the cheesecakes are made from scratch 24 hours before the pick up using only fresh ingredients. I don't buy cream cheese because I make my own from whole milk, nor do I use commercial fruit jams, mine are made on the spot for each order from freshly-bought fruit.

The thing about registered vs not registered when it comes to legitimacy is a bit laughable in this case, because every time I go for a walk I keep seeing month old cheesecakes baking on the sun through the store-front glass in most bakeries who use questionable ingredients and never dare tell you what these ingredients are. In fact this morning, I asked one bakery employee on Ave. Juan Bautista Alberdi what ingredients they used and why were they selling the window cakes that were meant solely for display purposes, the lady there told me while smiling arrogantly that their cheesecakes contained "regular ingredients" and didn't have to be refrigerated. Where are the inspectors? So of course, if the law was to be fully implemented, the way it is in Canada, 50% + of the BA bakeries would have been shut down, so ultimately it's a matter of trust in Argentina, nothing else. So if a potential customer can believe me and trust me, that I truly care, which I do, for their safety then they would order my cake much in the same they would order one from their own family member.
 

expat0tree

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This is a very important point, especially if you bought the bodega in Lanus and are making the cheesecake as well as living there.

Hopefully, you already have this covered, but if you get "caught" running any kind of business without the proper permits, at some point you might find your front door taped shut by the authorities.

And you would end up being slapped with an outrageous fine, as well lose business and have to sleep somewhere else until you pay the fine and are in compliance.
.
PS: If I lived close enough, I would definitely try your cheesecake!!!

Again, I don't carry stock. My product is made from scratch every time. Highest quality is pretty much guaranteed.
 

steveinbsas

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Again, I don't carry stock. My product is made from scratch every time. Highest quality is pretty much guaranteed.
That's not what London2Baires or I are concerned about.

We're concerned abut where you are making and selling it and if you have the legal permits to do so.
 

expat0tree

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That's not what London2Baires or I are concerned about.

We're concerned abut where you are making and selling it and if you have the legal permits to do so.

As a foreigner working from home (no shop), I wonder what do I need a legal permit for? So that someone would sue me on false accusations? This is not Canada. Argentina is a country where the law is too relative depending on luck. There are people in cahoots with well-trained lawyers who go around suing small business for a profit.

I believe I provided the reasons why my customers would trust me to make their cakes and not worry about hygiene.
 

London2Baires

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As a foreigner working from home (no shop), I wonder what do I need a legal permit for? So that someone would sue me on false accusations? This is not Canada. Argentina is a country where the law is too relative depending on luck. There are people in cahoots with well-trained lawyers who go around suing small business for a profit.

I believe I provided the reasons why my customers would trust me to make their cakes and not worry about hygiene.

Hey,

Yep, that's kinda what I was getting at. I'm sure your hygiene is defacto top knotch compared to most local bakeries. My worry is more about someone sueing you for not being registered/following regulations etc.

The government/inspectors may also try to strongarm you if you go 'above board', another thing to consider.

Could all be fine and not worth worrying about, though the risk is that you could very quickly end up in deep cheesecake, so to speak...

Good luck in any case, I hope to try one of your cakes sometime , when im next in caba I'll order one :)
 

expat0tree

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Hey,

Yep, that's kinda what I was getting at. I'm sure your hygiene is defacto top knotch compared to most local bakeries. My worry is more about someone sueing you for not being registered/following regulations etc.

The government/inspectors may also try to strongarm you if you go 'above board', another thing to consider.

Could all be fine and not worth worrying about, though the risk is that you could very quickly end up in deep cheesecake, so to speak...

Good luck in any case, I hope to try one of your cakes sometime , when im next in caba I'll order one :)


I appreciate your responses, this is interesting, I wonder why would anyone sue me specifically for not being registered? And what does "above board" mean?

Don't get me wrong, I wish I could feel comfortable and safe enough to operate legally, I just don't. I'm scared.
 

London2Baires

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I appreciate your responses, this is interesting, I wonder why would anyone sue me specifically for not being registered? And what does "above board" mean?

Don't get me wrong, I wish I could feel comfortable and safe enough to operate legally, I just don't. I'm scared.

I mean; someone could order from you, say they found a tooth in it, or some other made up bs, and then sue, for example.

If you have followed all the food safety regulations, insurances, etc, then I'd think you would be better placed to weather that sort of a storm.

As Steve pointed out, it could similarly be risky to prepare the food in the same place you live for the reasons he gave above.

I really don't mean to scare you or put you off, maybe all these scenarios have a mega low chance of materialising , and maybe registering as a food production and delivery business (if I understand correctly that's your business model?) could create a whole host of other risks and problems in any case.

I don't know enough to advise you of specifics, but as someone who has run a small business before, I can see the contours of what you are aiming at and can't in good faith not raise a word of warning.

If I were in your position I'd be mega careful and speak to experts first (someone who currently knows the landscape).

Again, don't give up or be scared , but go in with your eyes open.

Cheers!

Ps: by above board I mean registering as a sole trader, carrying out all the due diligence on the legal and tax, and insurance implications, and being 'en regla' with the above.
 
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