From selling cakes to teaching meal planning and bread baking, these foodies found creative ways to make money. Read on so you can too!
“I earn up to $1,200 for each cake I sell!
Linda Cloutier, 58, Colorado Springs, CO
“I work full-time, but I’ve been baking my entire life, and I’ve always loved watching cake decorating shows on the Food Network. So when my daughter got engaged, I decided to take a cake-decorating class and make her a wedding cake.
“After that, I baked for friends, entered competitions and made cakes for volunteers in my community. Then in 2012, the cottage food law was enacted in my state, allowing me to sell wedding cakes from my home, so I launched my business, Iced and Dazzle (IcedAndDazzle.com).
“To get the business started, I learned my state’s rules for selling food out of my home and got a food-handler’s certification. I found a mentor, Mimi Fix (BakingFix.com), to show me the ropes, and I bought equipment like cutters, molds, pans and icing tips.
“I bake everything from scratch and make all types of wedding cakes including traditional, rustic and whimsical. I also make cookies, treats and create dessert tables for birthdays, engagement parties and bridal and baby showers. I do all of the work myself, but my husband helps with deliveries.
“To market the business, I network with local vendors and post on social media, but a lot of my business comes from word of mouth. I usually have two clients a month and make between $600 and $1,200 per wedding cake, less for smaller desserts. The money I make goes back into the business and pays for things like trips and entertainment. I also donate my time to Icing Smiles, a nonprofit organization that works with ‘sugar angels’ who make custom cakes for kids who are critically ill. The business really encompasses all of my passions!”
“I make up to $12,000 a month teaching bread baking!”
Teresa Greenway, 61, Westport, WA
“Ten years ago, I left a 30-year marriage, had two of my 10 children at home (one of whom was disabled) and was caring for my mother. I didn’t go to college, I had no job experience and I needed to find a way to make money. I had a website where I taught people how to bake sourdough bread, and a bit of a following on a Yahoo group, but I never made any money from it. Then I discovered Udemy.com, a platform that offers online courses. I took a few courses on making videos and making money on YouTube and then realized I could use the platform to sell my courses on bread baking. In 2015, I launched my first course and made $1,000 in the first month!
“Udemy makes it easy to get started with free classes on how to build your courses. I developed a course outline, a curriculum, quizzes, worksheets, PDF downloads and recipes. I used an older video camera that I had on hand, but you can use a smartphone or an iPad. With each new course I created, I purchased more tools like video editing software and a better microphone. I now have 13 different courses on sourdough bread baking. To market them, I use my website (NorthwestSourdough.com), YouTube and Facebook, where I post coupons for the courses.
“Sourdough baking is seeing a renaissance. It’s my passion, and I love teaching people about it. My courses cost between $29 and $99, and I’ve made up to $12,000 a month — money that helped me purchase and pay off my first home!”
“I turned my passion for cooking into a full-time salary!”
Jessica Fisher, 47, San Diego, CA
“More than 10 years ago, my husband and I started to experience financial difficulties. I was a homeschooling mom of six and a freelance writer, but I needed another way to earn cash. Since I was passionate about food and savvy about ways to save money in the kitchen, I decided to share what I knew by starting a blog, Good Cheap Eats (GoodCheapEats.com).
“I joined some online forums and attended a blogging conference where I met others who were making money blogging and told me how I could too. I came up with blog post ideas and started to develop recipes. Most of the time, I would multitask by making dinner for my family with the recipe I created and then take photos of the meals before they ate them! I now also write about family meal planning and money-saving grocery shopping strategies. Every year, I run a monthlong pantry challenge for people to learn how to use what they have instead of buying more. This year, I showed readers how I shaved $600 off my grocery bill.
“As a result of the blog, I got a book deal and have written four cookbooks. I monetize the blog with ads, affiliate marketing through Amazon and my own products, from cookbooks to a membership program, which includes a meal plan subscription and monthly master classes. I make money doing what I love, I can be available for my kids and they get to be a part of the business by testing recipes and helping with video and photo shoots. I work about 20 hours a week and make a full-time income which pays my kids’ college tuition, goes toward trips to Europe and gets saved for retirement!”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.