After locking up our co-packer with an agreement not to share our recipe, we began the process of converting our “kitchen size” recipe to a “commercial size” one. But it wasn’t going to be as simple as multiplying.
First, while they were able to use the brands we were used to for some ingredients, for other ingredients they were not. If you’ve done much cooking with spices, you probably know that they differ slightly from brand to brand. Next time you are at the store, compare cinnamon or garlic powder from different brands. You may notice that they have a slightly different shade or a different granular consistency. Using a teaspoon of either in a recipe, you might not notice a difference in taste. But when you multiply that by 30,000, the difference becomes exaggerated and you notice a BIG taste difference.
This meant we would have to alter our kitchen recipe slightly in order to get the taste to match our homemade recipe that all our friends and family have come to know and love. So, we would enlist those same friends and family to help us test each batch that came back from the co-packer.
Hmmm, free teriyaki samples? They were lining up at our door to become part of our taste testing team!
It did take quite a few modifications and, with each iteration, a taste testing with our friends. The formula was tweaked a little bit each time, but we finally got it where we wanted it. It was a product we would be proud to call Truly Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce.
What’s more, it was a product my dad would be proud to serve his family and friends. And that was important to us.
OK, so the formula was ready, we just needed an order to get started. But how much would they order? Would we start with our gallon size for the Meat and Seafood counter or our 12 oz retail bottle? At our next meeting with The Fresh Market, that decision was made for us.