89 Food Business Ideas

Food is one of the few resources available to people that harbors the potential to generate truly visceral emotional responses to a product. The food industry is one that seamlessly blends elements of art, cultural expression, personal passion, and the provision of a necessity that everyone also enjoys. Entering the food industry is your opportunity to create and/or sell food and drinks that people enjoy that are also direct representations of yourself in a personal and authentic fashion.

Nestled among chain-restaurants and an overwhelming amount of choices is your opportunity to fill the dining from a myriad of options. The culture of food is one that is rapidly becoming associated with a standard of quality, nuance, and originality that can be presented by multiple ventures. As “foodies” (those who consider themselves connoisseurs of high quality goods) continue to saturate this industry, your determination to share your passion is more likely to be rewarded than has been the case historically.

However your passion for food and beverages takes shape, you can readily access a market ripe with opportunities that celebrate passion, authenticity, and a standard of excellence distilled from those characteristics. If you are a someone with drive, determination, and commitment to sharing your interpretation of food and beverages, this industry may be just right for you.

Whatever your goals, motivation, or source of interest in this industry, we have an excellent list of options to help you get started.

1. Asian Grocery Store

An Asian grocery store offers customers groceries that are typically used in creating traditional and authentic Asian dishes. This includes canned goods, sauces, produce, spices, and meats.

If you are familiar with Asian dishes and have a passion for helping consumers create these authentic flavors, an Asian grocery store may be the perfect endeavor. Since interacting with the public will be critical to your business’ success, a passion for helping others would also prove beneficial.

2. Baby Food Business

Babies need specialized food when they first begin eating. The food must be mushy yet nutritious, and it’s preferable if the food is conveniently packaged. Baby food businesses make this type of food. They create the food itself, package the food, and then sell it directly to customers or through retailers.

Many parents want to give their children the most delicious and nutritious baby food possible. This impulse has led to significant growth in the industry in recent years. According to Zion Market Research, the global baby food market is on course to be a $76.48 billion industry by 2021.

Anyone who enjoys young children and isn’t afraid to experiment in the kitchen may like running a baby food business. Coming up with unique recipes requires creativity. Being fond of babies helps business owners connect with parents they hope to sell baby food to.

A baby food business can be started as a part-time endeavor. Baby food can be made during weekday evenings and then sold on weekends. This is what Jennifer Carlson did when she opened a baby food business. She made baby food during the week and froze it. On the weekends, she sold it at a local farmer’s market.

Image of Bagel Shop

Bagels are a classic breakfast food that became famous in New York City but are now enjoyed throughout the country. A bagel shop business provides bagels, which are a convenient, tasty and filling meal, to patrons for breakfast and lunch. In addition to bagels, most bagel shops also have beverages and sides, so customers can get a complete meal quickly.

Anyone who is passionate about food and enjoys serving other people may be well-suited for opening a bagel shop business. The business involves lots of hands-on work making bagels and brewing coffee, and business owners are regularly serving and interacting with customers.

Because bagels are mainly eaten for breakfast and lunch, bagel shops are open during the morning and, sometimes, early afternoon. Owners should be prepared to work almost every morning, although they may close one day a week so they can have a day off. Additionally, many owners close their businesses for holidays.

Why we like this business:

If you’re a morning person who loves baking, opening a bagel shop may just be the right business for you. Selling delicious bagels is a great way to share your baking talent and brighten the morning of customers who come to your shop. Bagel shops can also be run out of a small kitchen, so overhead costs can be low to start, but this business also has the potential to be scaled up into multiple locations, making it a very versatile business.

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4. Bakery

Baked treats are a specialty of cultural cuisine throughout the world. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh-baked bread? A bakery business typically operates out of a storefront in the commercial section of a city or town. However, many entrepreneurs have successfully run bakeries out of their homes, attracting customers via word of mouth and small-scale advertising. Still others rent space in a commercial kitchen and distribute their baked goods wholesale to local cafes, restaurants, and convenience stores.

Retail bakeries prepare their items in-house and sell their baked goods directly to customers, with some locations offering seating for their clientele.

Commercial bakeries operate without a physical storefront, acting as suppliers for businesses that wish to sell baked goods, but don’t have the capacity to produce them in-house.

A good baker has mastered the art of baking. It takes dedication over a long period of time to become successful in this business, as there is a lot of competition. As such, the baking business is ideal for people who love baking, who don’t mind working odd hours (for example, early mornings), and who have an artistic side. The best-selling bakeries not only have items that taste great, but also look so appealing that customers simply cannot resist buying them.

5. Bar

Bars make for a good business idea in part because they are a staple of just about every community. Obviously, bars primarily focus on serving alcohol, but the rise of America's fascination with “pub grub” means there may be an opportunity to provide delicious food to patrons as well. Finally, bars provide an opportunity to show off your creativity by creating a unique theme and atmosphere that helps your business stand out from the rest.

This business is a good fit for entrepreneurs who are passionate about their work. Those who love interacting with people will thrive on a business that revolves around customer interaction, and those who are good at networking will be able to more quickly jump-start their businesses. Finally, those with previous management experience will have an easier time with the day-to-day activities of a bar owner.

6. Bed and Breakfast

A bed and breakfast business offers travelers an alternative to hotels and motels, by combining sleeping quarters with a full breakfast. Most bed and breakfasts also promise more unique, intimate settings than other lodging options.

Anyone who enjoys hosting others may be well-suited for owning a bed and breakfast business, because guests come to B&Bs for a level of hospitality that hotels and motels don’t provide. Business owners should like talking with people, cooking meals, and making guests feel comfortable.

Business owners should have a flexible schedule, so they can meet guests during the day, and take care of any issues that arise at night. Additionally, they should plan on working anytime the bed and breakfast is open, which for a typical B&B is every day. They don’t usually close down for holidays because these are busy travel times, but some bed and breakfast owners take several weeks, sometimes even a month or more, off during the slow season.

7. Berry Picking Farm

A berry farm can operate in one or both of the following ways: it can sell its berries to a distributor, such as a farmers market, or it can let customers into the field to pick the berries themselves, charging by the weight of the berries that the customers picked.

Individuals with farming experience and the acreage to grow berry bushes and plants will be some of the best fits. Having experience or training in agricultural management and business is also a desired skill set. If you choose to open a pick your own (PYO) farm, experience in customer service and public speaking can also prove beneficial.

8. Bottled Water Business

Bottled water businesses deal in the bottling and distributing of drinking water to consumers. Whether purified, distilled, or natural spring water, your bottled water business will supply your customers with ample hydration. Taking the steps to start your own bottled water business can be a satisfying experience that allows you to make money while also helping your customers achieve a healthy lifestyle. 

This business is perfect for individuals who are passionate about their health or are health conscious and want to run a business that promotes a healthy lifestyle.

9. Bread Bakery

Bread is an affordable and convenient food that will always be in demand. It’s been a dietary staple for millennia, and it continues to be consumed by most people today. On average, the typical U.S. resident consumes 37.4 pounds of bread annually.

Bread bakery businesses are bakeries that specialize in making and selling different breads. Most offer a variety of artisanal and/or sandwich breads, which respectively account for 30.2 and 17.8 percent of bread sales in the country.

Anyone who enjoys baking bread may like running a bread bakery business. 

This is a business that can be started as a part-time endeavor. Bread ought to be delivered soon after baking to ensure maximum freshness, so business owners shouldn’t plan on baking one day and delivering three days later. Business owners can, however, limit their deliveries to one or two days of the week.

For example, a bread bakery might start out only delivering on Saturdays. That would allow the business owner to bake on Friday nights.

Image of Bubble Tea Business

In operating a bubble tea business, you’ll bring the Taiwanese drink to the attention of customers in a retail environment. The drink is incredibly popular throughout much of Asia, but still in the introductory stage in America. Here, it’s finding increasing acceptance with a trend-seeking millennial audience, particularly in university settings. Among its many other names, bubble tea is sometimes called boba tea or boba juice, pearl milk, or bobi.

If you have retail or food service experience, you might be a natural for this business. You should also have the ability to creatively market a new concept, since many of your prospective customers will be unaware of what bubble tea is. 

Why we like this business:

Bubble tea has been ballooning in popularity over the past few years. Most popular in big cities and college campuses, where businesses can potentially attract a lot of customers, bubble tea is a trendy business idea that would be great to start.

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11. Buffet Restaurant

A buffet restaurant is one where customers can fill their plates with a variety of food for a set price. Normally buffet restaurants pick a particular theme, such as Mexican or Chinese, and then choose different variations of standard dishes to offer. Buffets help communities by exposing them to different types of food without making them buy a full plate of something they may not like.

This business is good for someone who loves giving customers a unique experience at a restaurant and wants to open up people's eyes to new forms of cuisine. Owners should also have an interest in food patterns, and how to get the best seasonal ingredients for the cheapest prices.

12. Cake Business

From birthday parties to weddings and other special occasions, cakes are an integral part of many celebrations. Industry innovations have made it possible for consumers to turn their confectioner’s dream into a reality and allow bakers to become more imaginative with their creations. Depending upon the business plan and overall goals of the entrepreneur, a cake business can be structured several different ways. Many business owners service the entire community, while targeting a specific niche market, based on their baking strengths and public need.

Some of the most skilled chefs claim to fall short when it comes to baking. Are you one of the fortunate few who are skilled at baking? Are you passionate about the art of cake decorating and enhancing someone’s life celebration? Have you often pondered the benefits of being your own boss? If your answers were “yes,” opening your own cake business could be the perfect opportunity to realize your professional and personal goals.

13. Candy Store

Anyone who’s ever watched Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory has probably daydreamed about owning their own candy store. What a wonderful way to spend your day - bringing smiles to people’s faces as they pick out their favorite treats. There are no rules regarding the selection of products you can sell or how your business is designed. It’s all up to your imagination. And with the candy manufacturing industry generating $20 billion annually, many entrepreneurs have found “sweet” success.

Individuals who are passionate about becoming confectioners or chocolatiers and enjoy sharing their decadent creations with others would be an ideal fit for this business venture. With so many specialty candy options available, long-term success is reliant on your ability to determine what sweet treats are valued most in your community and creating a business plan around those desires.

Image of Carryout Restaurant

With modern busy lifestyles, it's hard to cook every night. Carry out/takeout restaurants offer an easy solution to this problem. A carryout/takeout restaurant is a food place where you can order food over the phone or in person and then take it with you. It's convenient for people who don’t have time to sit down and eat at the restaurant, or for those who want to eat at home, but don’t feel like cooking for themselves.

Delivery-only restaurants are also growing in popularity. Opening a carryout restaurant is a great way to enter the restaurant business with low overhead, as carry out places only need space for a kitchen and greeting area, and can forgo paying for a dining area.

This business is right for an individual who wants to open a restaurant but doesn't want the additional stress of managing a dining area. Since the focus is on cooking and delivery or take-out, there's less overhead and less to worry about. At the same time, the business owner needs to have a flexible work schedule and ability to adapt to stress. Just because there is no dining area doesn't mean it's a stress-free environment.

Why we like this business:

Carryout restaurants are great to start if you are looking to start a business with relatively low overhead. Because your customers will be taking the food the order back home, there is no need to pay for a place large enough to seat guests. Therefore, you can afford to start your business in a space with room for a kitchen, cash register, and standing room for people waiting to pick up their food. With low overhead costs and delicious food, you’re likely to find great success.

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15. Cat Cafe

Animal cafes have been popular in Asia for several years, and now they’re starting to appear in other parts of the world in the form of cat cafes. There are several cat cafes in New Zealand and Canada, and a few are beginning to appear in the United States.

Cat cafe businesses offer people a place to relax with friends and felines, while they also enjoy a beverage or meal. In addition to serving human customers, many cafes also help the cats they house by making the cats available for adoption.

People who are outgoing and have a passion for cats may enjoy running a cat cafe business. Business owners regularly interact with customers, and most of their interactions will focus on a cafe’s cats. Additionally, business owners also spend a lot of time caring for the cats their cafe houses.

16. Catering Business

Depending upon the way it’s structured, a catering company either delivers the requested food or takes part in its presentation, staying throughout the course of an event to ensure quality service. Some caterers forego private events altogether, opting to take part in seasonal, public events such as sporting games and festivals.

If you’re a self-starter who is passionate about cooking and entertaining, owning your own catering business might be the ideal career for you. Due to the nature of the industry, you’ll need to live, eat, and breathe catering for the first few years, but the rewards far outweigh the risks.

17. Cheese Shop

There’s something invigorating about walking into a market and being surrounded by all your favorite things. This is particularly true for the foodies of the world. Opening a cheese shop offers many rewards. After all, how can you go wrong surrounding yourself with your passion and sharing the experience with fellow cheese lovers?

The cheese business is right for foodies who are particularly passionate about cheese and everything that goes with it. The food industry requires hard work and dedication, so you must also be open-minded, willing to take risks, and continuously evolving and growing your business.

18. Chocolate Business

Crafting fine chocolate is a true art that takes mastery of candy making to the next level. Develop treats that your customers will go out of their way to purchase at a small shop or seek out for online delivery. You will be involved in packaging and marketing your sweets, and possibly running your neighborhood candy store along with the candy kitchen. Franchises for candy stores often feature products made at a distant factory, but are profitable in high foot-traffic areas and do not require candy making knowledge to operate.

If you love creating new and original chocolate treats, and enjoy spending hours every day crafting fine candies, opening your own chocolate making business might be right for you. The successful candidate will also enjoy teaching others to duplicate their recipes, manage portion control, market their products, and balance the books.

19. Cigar Shop

Despite public health campaigns and legislation against tobacco products, the demand for cigars remains strong. In fact, the limits placed on where people can smoke may actually be helping cigar shops. Where allowed, cigar shops sometimes double as smoking lounges and are one of the few places at which people can still enjoy a smoking product.

According to IBISWorld, cigar lounges in the United States have grown at 2.7 percent annually in recent years and have an annual revenue of $903 million. With just 930 businesses in the industry, there’s lots of opportunity for newcomers to open cigar shops.

Anyone who enjoys cigars may like running a cigar shop business. Having a passion for the product helps business owners connect with and give advice to customers.

Image of Coffee Roasting Business

Coffee beans are actually the pit of coffee cherries. They’re green, hard and un-brewable in their raw state. A coffee roasting business roasts green coffee beans to light (city), medium (full city) and dark (full city+) roast levels so that they can be brewed. Roasters may sell their roasted coffee directly to individuals, or through coffee shops, grocers and other retailers.

People who are considering opening a coffee roasting business should be creative, and also passionate about coffee. Creativity helps when coming up with new blends, which requires combining different coffees in unique ways and also inventing blend names.

Why we like this business:

If you’re a coffee enthusiast, starting your own coffee roasting business can be a great business venture. Roasting coffee allows you to be creative by imparting your own combinations of flavors in the beans you roast. Some people live for coffee, and many feel they can’t live without it, so making delicious coffee to sell to this worldwide market is a great way to make money.

 

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21. Coffee Shop

Many people drink coffee on a daily basis, often having multiple cups per day. A coffee shop offers both convenience, as people can quickly get a cup of coffee rather than making it themselves, and a place to enjoy coffee. Although coffee is usually the main product sold, most shops have offerings for people who don’t drink coffee.

People who love coffee, food and other people are well-suited for working in or owning a coffee shop. The business involves plenty of hands-on work making beverages, and business owners regularly interact with both employees and customers. Most people drink coffee in the morning, so most coffee shops are open during morning hours. Shops can also be open the afternoon or evening, but owners should at least expect to be working almost all mornings. Some owners close their shop one day a week so they can have a day off, and many either close their shops or have limited hours on holidays.

22. Cupcake Business

Cupcake shops can be structured in a number of different ways, depending upon the goals and business plan of the entrepreneur. They may involve a brick-and-mortar storefront, a delivery service, selling directly to other businesses like restaurants and shops, or a combination of all three. Retail and delivery businesses are currently leading the cupcake trend. What they all have in common, is the ability to bring a smile to their customer’s faces by way of the delectable baked treats they provide.

Are you consistently assigned the task of bringing cupcakes to every family and friends event? Does everyone praise your baking skills? Have you ever thought about how wonderful it would be to be your own boss? If you answered “yes” to these questions, and genuinely enjoy the art of baking, starting a cupcake business might be your path to personal and professional freedom.

23. Deli

Delicatessen, better known as delis, were brought to the US during the 1800's by German Jews. Traditional delis sell Kosher sandwiches and snacks such as knishes, but these days many small grocery stores which also offer a variety of ready-to-eat food items may call themselves delis. All delis offer extremely casual, if not friendly, quick service.

Owning a deli is often more of a lifestyle than just operating a business. Depending on the size of the business, owners can find themselves working 12 or more hours a day, five or more days a week. People considering opening a deli should not only have a background in the restaurant business but more importantly, a passion for the industry. Since owning a deli can take up so much time, it essential the owner's family is supportive of the business from the beginning.

24. Delivery Service

While there are national delivery services, such as USPS, FedEx and UPS, people often need packages delivered to nearby locations in a shorter timeframe than these services are able to provide. A delivery service provides fast, often same-day delivery, within a particular area. A service may specialize in a specific type of delivery, such as delivering food, or it might deliver all kinds of packages.

A delivery service business may be a good choice for someone who is physically fit and has reliable transportation. Physical fitness is necessary because couriers sometimes have to deliver heavy or oversized packages. A larger vehicle, such as a van or SUV, is less fuel-efficient, but it ensures that a courier service can accept all kinds products.

Because deliveries may be scheduled for almost any time of day, it’s difficult to start this business while working a full-time job.

25. Diner

Diners are general watering holes for locals, so they have the potential to become mainstays in any given town. Restaurant owners can distinguish themselves by a variety of factors: speed, quality of service, price, restaurant theme and menu items. Successful diners are known for giving fast, friendly service.

Owners should have some experience in the food industry. The more positions a person has held in the restaurant world, the more likely it is they will be able to oversee, delegate and perform the many tasks on a to-do list. Owners may not perform a lot of customer service — they may leave the bulk of this to their staff. However, they will need people skills when handling their employees and for any interactions they may have with customers.

26. Dinner Theatre

Bring all your talents together as the host of a quality restaurant while putting on a fun musical, drama, or dazzling circus show with your own dinner theatre business. Whether you are targeting tourists or neighbors, it's a challenging undertaking that blends business, theater, and food service all under one roof.

For the multi-talented entrepreneur, a dinner theater business feeds your desire to work in a constantly changing landscape as you swap out menus and productions every few months. Your business will serve customers from every walk of life even as you work to bring together stage talent and service staff equally motivated to excel in this unique workplace. However, you should expect to keep a hectic schedule. If you value your nights, weekends, and holidays, this may not be the job for you.

27. Distillery

Most people in this business sell the liquor created from their distillery through various vendors. Additionally, some people sell their liquor directly to customers via an attached store or restaurant. Certain distilleries also offer features such as tours or tastings in order to build community engagement and brand awareness.

Obviously, this business is great for those who love alcohol. It is also good for those who are patient, as the process of making liquor can be lengthy. It is also good for those who like to work alone or in small groups, as most small distilleries start with the owner as one of the handful of workers.

Image of Edible Cookie Dough Cafe

An edible cookie dough cafe serves cookie dough, usually without eggs and other pathogen-carrying ingredients. Many edible cookie dough businesses serve their dough in cartons or on cones in a similar way to ice cream cone. It's sweet tooth heaven. Bakers or baking enthusiasts who open edible cookie dough shops help their customers relive their childhood memories—eating cookie dough off the beaters or licking the bowl and spatula clean. They help them escape the hustle and bustle of life and relax in a fun environment.

This business is perfect for professional bakers or baking enthusiasts, stay-at-home moms who are looking to transition back into the workforce, or anyone who is passionate about cooking or baking and has a basic understanding of how a business is run.

Why we like this business:

In much the same way as bubble tea, edible cookie dough businesses have been increasing in popularity recently. Though many of the existing businesses are located in big cities, a cookie dough business is likely to find success anywhere. C’mon, who doesn’t love cookie dough!? The trendiness of this business idea will likely bring many customers and much financial success to your business.

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29. Energy Drink Business

You may sell your energy drinks through vending machines, restaurants, grocery stores, and even bars. Branding it in such a way as to emphasize your home town or state can help foster community spirit (similar to how the name of Gatorade helps honor the University of Florida where it was developed), and your choice of ingredients may allow you to emphasize the healthy effects this drink has on its consumers.

If you have a background (or outright skill) in fields such as chemistry or health, it may help you to develop an energy drink that is tasty, safe, and helpful for consumers needing extra energy. Any past sales experience may also help you sell your new product to the various distributors in your region and, eventually, at an international level.

30. Family Style Restaurant

Family style restaurants are those that design their menus and decor to attract families. Restaurants like Olive Garden, TGI Fridays, and Chili’s all fall into into this category. Meal portions are typically on the larger side so everyone can share and taste a variety of flavors. Family restaurants are likely to become community gathering places where people can take their children and meet other families who are looking for some wholesome fun.

Owners should have a deep understanding and respect for what American families want today. They should also have a knack for bringing people together, and a desire to create a strong sense of community in the restaurant.

Image of Farmers Market

As the creator and manager of a farmers market, you’ll create an environment where you bring the growers and producers of local farm-related food and non-food products to the food- and health-conscious public. You will need to find sellers, rent stalls and deliver a customer base in a convenient location for buyer traffic.   

You should understand the appeal of locally grown food, have the mindset to be able to deal with local bureaucracy, and possess the marketing knowledge required to bring buyers and sellers together.

Why we like this business:

As people are beginning to become more conscious of their diets, searching for healthy, delicious foods, the demand for fresh produce is also on the rise. Starting a farmers market is a great way to capitalize on this rising demand. Organizing the gathering of local farmers and growers, and giving them a place to sell their produce allows you to make money while also facilitating interactions in the local economy.

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32. Fast Food Restaurant

A fast food business sells affordable food to customers in as little time as possible. These restaurants provide service by way of drive-thrus as well as traditional sit-down meals. Some customers opt to bring their order with them in a “to go” fashion. This business is quite popular as it provides tasty food in a quick, low-cost manner. Open a fast food business and you will provide people with an affordable means of eating, staying energized, and feeling fulfilled.

If you are looking for a way to make people happy, satisfy cravings and provide people with the sustenance they need to work hard, you should consider opening a fast food business. Fast food restaurants are ideal for those who enjoy making and serving delicious food that people of all income levels can enjoy. This business is your chance to improve the mood, satisfaction and energy levels of those in your community as well as those passing through town.

33. Fine Dining Restaurant

Serve the movers and shakers in your neighborhood at your very own upscale eatery. Fine dining often incorporates the very best in cuisine, superlative customer service, and a unique ambiance that encourages patrons to pay extra for the opportunity to share a meal at your location. This is not a business where cutting corners and bargain shopping will serve you well.

The owner of a fine dining restaurant will have a passion for exquisite food, love to network with customers and local celebrities, and be able to clearly define the line between work and social hour.

34. Fish Farm

Fish farms operate for the purpose of raising fish for commercial and residential sales. Many different kinds of fish can be raised in controlled environments, from table fare to exotic tropical species. In addition to growing fish for the purpose of harvesting and selling them to restaurants, many fish farms also serve as fun places where families and individuals can go to fish in the ponds and catch their own supper. 

Fish farm entrepreneurs should have a background in farming and have familiarity with basic biology of fish. This job will also involve some manual labor from time to time. In addition, since you’re running your own farm, knowledge of the economics and business of farming is also helpful.

35. Flea Market

A flea market, sometimes known as a swap meet, rents space to individual vendors who then can use the space to sell anything from vintage furniture to pre-owned video games to customers. There are many types of flea markets. Some offer general merchandise while others specialize in one kind of product, like antiques or collectible.

People able to operate flea markets successfully usually have experience as flea market or craft show vendors or have extensive retail management experience. While most flea markets are only open for a few days per week, owners of a large flea market need to be able to devote enough time to operating the business, at least during the months the market is running.

36. Food Kiosk Business

Does serving lots of customers their favorite treats sound like a fabulous day to you? A food kiosk business may be right up your alley. Generally situated in high traffic locations like malls, amusement parks or office towers, you may be selling exquisite chocolate bon bons, freshly squeezed juice and smoothies, or perhaps a little bit of everything. This venture requires a low capital investment with the possibility of rapid growth built right in.

Many food kiosks are owned and operated by individuals who loves providing a delicious treat to a wide variety of customers. You will likely need to work long hours on your feet and will be materially involved in every aspect of the business.

37. Food Truck Business

A food truck business is a restaurant on wheels. The owner prepares meals or snacks and serves customers from a truck, van or trailer. The business owner should have culinary talents and the ability to quickly and efficiently serve tasty meals from a contained space, attract hungry customers and to deal with the business obligations of obtaining all necessary licenses and permits.

You should love food service and customer relations. It’s also a business that requires careful attention to details. It’s advantageous if you have work experience in food preparation in a commercial kitchen and know how to safely store ingredients and prepare tantalizing menu items. You’ll have to research business licenses and permits in the city and state in which you’ll do business and create a brand image that encourages first-time diners to try your offerings. The successful business owner in this category must know how to pick out where to park, the type of food that’s appropriate to that location and clientele and the prices you must charge to be competitive.

Image of Frozen Yogurt Business

Frozen yogurt businesses can offer anything from smoothies to parfaits with an infinite amount of toppings and flavor combinations. A frozen yogurt business may also offer specialty drinks, such as gourmet coffee or Italian sodas.

Owners should have experience both with making and selling frozen yogurt. A specialty recipe and production methods ensure customers get a quality product. Owners should also have a good idea of the specialty flavors and toppings customers want. One neighborhood may want the classics, such as strawberry, cherry, and chocolate. Other neighborhoods may want to see more inventive flavors, such as bacon or churro.

Why we like this business:

Froyo has been all the rave these past couple of years. Offering the opportunity to mix and match flavors and toppings as desired is a great feature of frozen yogurt businesses that attracts a ton of sweet-toothed customers. Placing a frozen yogurt business in a well-populated area is a great way to ensure your business gains customers and finds success.

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39. Fusion Restaurant

A fusion restaurant combines two distinct types of cuisines to create a new style. For example, a Korean-Mexican restaurant may serve barbeque tacos dressed up with kimchi and jalapenos. Fusion restaurants serve to expand the culinary tastes of those in a community and can inspire everyday cooks to take more creative license with their own culinary approach.

This business is excellent for a foodie who enjoys introducing new flavors to people’s palates. The ideal owner should be obsessed with different combinations of foods, and familiar with how different foods, textures, and spices pair together. Owners also need to be passionate and persistent. The restaurant industry is incredibly competitive and has a low profit margin, so a solid attitude will go a long way toward succeeding at the beginning.

40. Gelato Business

Gelato started getting more attention in the late 1990s and really started to pick up steam in the early 2000s. It falls under the $14.3 billion a year ice cream industry, and recently experienced an uptick in sales. There is a distinct market trend showing customers want to pay more for premium ice cream treats like gelato.

Gelato started getting more attention in the late 1990s and really started to pick up steam in the early 2000s. It falls under the $14.3 billion a year ice cream industry, and recently experienced an uptick in sales. There is a distinct market trend showing customers want to pay more for premium ice cream treats like gelato.

41. Gourmet Popcorn Shop

People in the United States eat a lot of popcorn -- 14 billion quarts of popped kernels annually. Gourmet popcorn shop businesses make popcorn in many different flavors, ranging from common flavors (e.g. chocolate, caramel, cheddar, etc.) to obscure ones (e.g. Oreo, Buffalo wing, etc.). These flavored popcorns are sold for immediate enjoyment and as packages that customers can gift to others.

Anyone who is passionate about popcorn and creative in the kitchen might enjoy running a gourmet popcorn shop business. While making popcorn is a fairly straightforward process, coming up with delicious and original flavors requires creativity.

42. Grocery Store

Grocery stores sell food and other household items. Often called supermarkets, grocery stores are go-to sources for a home’s food needs. They similarly sell important kitchen utensils, disposable items, cleaning materials, candy, alcohol, soft drinks, and self-care items. Today’s grocery stores are great resources for many products, making them important local resources.

Any individual who enjoys point-of-sale work, food, management, or finance can open a grocery store. The grocery business is competitive, but those who have a knack for making strong selling plans, capital-intensive business plans, or retail plans definitely have a shot. A grocery store owner should understand food very well, and they should have a passion for providing the best food around town.

43. Health Food Store

Health food stores offer a selection of nutritional supplements, vitamins/minerals, homeopathic products, healthy snacks, and organic and non-GMO fresh fruits and vegetables.

This question should be carefully examined prior to becoming involved in the industry as a store owner. A health food shop can be perfect for someone with firm beliefs in developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and helping others do the same. For an entrepreneurial individual who is willing to take risks if needed, the retail health food industry can be ideal. It's important for the owner or owners and the employees to be committed to a customer centric atmosphere. In many instances, owners and managers form very personal relationships with customers in need of recommendations for health issues that were unsuccessfully treated with traditional medicine for months.

44. Healthy Fast Food Restaurant

A healthy fast food restaurant serves nutritious food and beverages in a timely manner. This type of business is quickly gaining market share from traditional fast food restaurants as the healthy variety improves consumer well-being. Such nutritious food is offered at low prices, served rapidly and satiates cravings without compromising physical health.

If you are looking for a way to improve the eating habits and consequently, the health of those in your community, start a healthy fast food restaurant. This is your chance to alter the way people eat, reduce sickness, combat cancer and generally improve the human condition. A healthy fast food restaurant is also ideal for those who have culinary skills, an interest in human health and a passion for delicious but nutritious food.

45. Herb Farm

In 2016, for the first time, Americans spent more money eating out than on groceries. During the same year, we paid more than a staggering 110 billion dollars for food in this country. Whether we are cooking at home or going out to eat, it is clear we love to eat and we are willing to pay for it. Entrepreneurs who are interested in farming can earn a good living by supplying fresh culinary herbs to restaurants, retail stores, and directly to consumers.

Starting an herb farm is a great business for anyone who is interested in farming. One of the great things about herb farming is owners do not need acres and acres of land or even operate their herb farm full-time to be profitable. A small herb farm makes a wonderful part-time business for stay-at-home persons, a retired couple, or even a dedicated high-school student.

46. Hookah Lounge

Also called a hookah café, a shisha bar, or a hookah den, a hookah lounge is a place where customers go to smoke shisha. This flavored tobacco is smoked through a pipe, and it can be shared by multiple people. Hookah lounges can charge by time, by pipe, or by tobacco amount.

Anyone who’s interested in shisha, hookah, or the hookah culture should open a lounge. A hookah lounge is a good business for entrepreneur types, diner lovers, and tobacco connoisseurs.

47. Hot Sauce Business

Ever since the Chile Pepper magazine was founded in 1990, the hot sauce niche has enjoyed a loyal and growing following. Hot sauce businesses make hot sauces for people who like their food with extra heat.

Since 2000, the hot sauce industry has grown by 150 percent. In 2017, the industry is forecast to bring in $1.3 billion. With the major players (i.e. Tabasco, Frank’s Red Hot and Huy Fong’s Sriracha) only accounting for one-third of the industry, there’s plenty of opportunity for smaller hot sauce businesses.

Anyone who has a great hot sauce recipe may like running a hot sauce business. People who have good recipes usually are passionate about hot sauce, and a recipe that family and friends rave over might have commercial appeal.

48. Hotel Business

A hotel can be any commercial building that charges money to travelers who need a room to stay. This can be anything from a standard multi-unit building to luxury stand-alone villas. As airline prices drop and the economy improves, corporate and personal travel continues to increase. The hotel industry generated just under $200 billion in revenue in 2016.

This business is good for someone who enjoys the hospitality business. Those who run hotels have to be adept at catering to a number of different needs, so an owner will need to be flexible when it comes to how they respond to different travelers and consistent when it comes to delivering unparalleled customer service. From business travelers to young families, each guest will have their own priorities when it comes to where they stay.

49. Ice Cream Parlor

We’ve all seen the joy on people’s faces as they enter an ice cream shop and peruse the various flavors. There are few who don’t enjoy a scoop of their favorite flavor on a hot summer day. Running your own ice cream parlor is hard work, but is a fulfilling career for the entrepreneur with a sweet tooth.

Whether you decide to serve your own creations in-house or plan to serve a ready-made brand, an ice cream shop offers a great opportunity for those who love to get creative with food. The hours are long, but bringing people together over their love of something sweet makes the work you put in worth it.

50. Ice Cream Truck Business

An ice cream truck business involves driving an ice cream truck around different neighborhoods to sell ice cream. An ice cream truck is like a mobile and specialized food truck. You must be able to prepare and store a variety of ice cream in freezers within your truck and then serve them through a window. You must also experiment with different routes so that you can discover the most profitable ones.

An ice cream truck business is good for those who can handle periods of solitude, as you will likely be the only one working this business. You must also be good with children, who are your primary demographic. Finally (if obviously), you should be someone who loves ice cream, as this will help you sell your wares to customers.

Image of International Food Store

International food stores, also called international grocery stores, are stores which offer imported food. This imported food ranges across many countries, different nationalities, and dish types. International food stores usually stock food, drinks, alcohol, candy, and condiments. Some international food stores also stock international commodities, like toys and kitchen instruments.

The international food business is perfect for any business person who loves exotic foods. The ideal international food store owner has a fine taste for salads, sandwiches, picnic lunches, specialty drinks, desserts, and cooked meals. Normally, an international food store owner is able to pinpoint the nationality of different foods. Deli-lovers, bakers, and café operators normally make good international food operators.

Why we like this business:

Opening an international food store will undoubtedly open the eyes of people in your area to delicious cuisines from around the world. Many people seek out food that has unique flavors and elements that they are not used to, and international food stores are great places for them to find just what they are looking for.

 

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52. Italian Ice Business

Italian ice is also regionally known as water ice and is a favorite summertime treat at fairs and festivals. Customers love to buy scoops from mobile carts, seasonal kiosks, and permanent storefronts.

An Italian ice business is perfect for anyone who is looking for a mostly seasonal or part-time food business. The owner of an Italian ice business should enjoy working outside during hot weather. In addition, any water ice business owners who are planning to travel to fairs or festivals in other locations for work should feel comfortable pulling a trailer on the highway.

53. Jam Business

A jam business makes different flavors of jams and jellies, which are packaged into jars for distribution. Businesses may sell their jams to customers directly, or they might sell to retailers. These spreads are put on toast, used in cookies and cakes, and incorporated into many other foods. Jam businesses make different flavors of jams and jellies, which are sold to customers either directly or through retailers.

According to a report published by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in Canada, the jam and preserve industry in the United States brings in over $1 billion annually. Most impressively, it’s grown steadily -- even through the Great Recession. The market for jams, jellies, and preserves is strong, growing, and has many opportunities for new start-ups.

Anyone who likes canning and jarring may enjoy running a jam business. Jams and jellies are frequently packaged in jars, and mot small jam businesses jar their jams by hand.

It’s also helpful to have good people skills. Being able to connect with people can, of course, help business owners develop relationships with individual customers and wholesale purchasers. It also can help establish relationships with local farmers, which may lead to unique opportunities to purchase local produce.

54. Juice Bar

A juice bar uses fresh ingredients to prepare smoothies and a wide variety of juice drinks. Many juice bars also offer other types of health food products and some provide seating for their customers to enable them to socialize while enjoying their products.

A juice bar is a great business for high-energy, health conscious people who want to contribute to the overall health of their communities.

55. Kitchen Supplies Store

Kitchen supplies stores sell cooking-related items like silverware, dishes, and cookware to everyday people, restaurant owners, culinary institutes, and others.

This business is ideal for people who have a passion for food and cooking. If you have worked in a restaurant, are an excellent cook, or simply desire to be involved in a food-related business, opening a kitchen supplies store is an excellent idea. After all, people will always need to eat, and the vast majority of food requires preparation of some sort. Kitchen supplies are necessary for that preparation.

56. Lemonade Stand

People have long enjoyed cold, refreshing lemonades on hot summer days. Lemonade stand businesses specialize in selling lemonade to hot and thirsty passersby. Some stands have fixed locations, while others are operated as mobile businesses.

Anyone who is looking for a business that’s easy to own may be interested in operating a lemonade stand business. Lemonade stands have low costs and are easy to run, yet they can be quite profitable. For these reasons, they appeal to entrepreneurs of all ages -- from kids to retirees.

It helps to enjoy interacting with people. While business owners don’t spend a lot of time talking to any one customer, they will serve and interact with many customers each day.

57. Liquor Store

Whether for a special event, or just to wind down after a long week, Americans have always enjoyed their wine and spirits. While there are a lot of details that go into owning a liquor store, many find it to be a very rewarding career. You have an opportunity to interact with customers and sales representatives regularly and ensure you’ve made their day a little brighter.

An individual who enjoys the subtle differences from one beverage to the next and is on a continuous quest for more knowledge makes a great candidate. Due to the competitive nature of the liquor industry, owners must possess a deep understanding of the mechanics of running a business and be prepared to be an integral part of the day-to-day activities of running the establishment.

58. Meals To Go Business

Meals-to-go businesses prepare and deliver home-cooked meals to busy customers who prefer to save time on cooking and grocery shopping. They can afford to bring home or have delivered great meals for their family. What they do not have is the time it takes to find and select quality ingredients, spend the time cooking the meal, and then prepare a meal that is hot and fresh for their families.

The most successful meals-to-go organizations provide delicious and nutritious food according to diet planning that moderates the unhealthy choices and leans towards healthier choices. This is where the big successes in this business are now coming from. Companies that provide these great meals are making records profits.

You should really like to cook. You should like to explore the ingredients that go into making a great meal and especially enjoy serving such a meal to others. The state of the art in this business is not based on the fast food model. Instead, in order to be more profitable, it is based on a quality food model that is prepared in advance and is delicious and nutritious.

59. Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Medical marijuana dispensaries legally purchase marijuana from vendors and sell it to physician-approved patients. Dispensaries have a physician on the board of directors to ensure that patient treatment adheres to standard accepted practices. They also have highly trained staff who are continually educated about the many different strains and forms of cannabis and their medicinal purposes. Those forms include vapor, tinctures, balms, oils, juices, and edibles. A medical marijuana dispensary provides patients with an alternative to pain-killers and other drugs that can have harmful side effects when used long-term.

This business is ideal for people who are passionate about alternative medicine and have a strong desire to help others. Those who have worked in the medical field are often drawn to this business, since the goal is to alleviate the severity of symptoms associated with many medical conditions that adversely affect quality of life. People interested in learning more about the practical application of the latest scientific discoveries in the fields of medical science, biology, and horticulture are ideal candidates for this business.

60. Medicinal Herbs Business

A medicinal herbs business may involve the actual growing and selling of herbs used for medicinal use. As an alternative to growing their own, owners of this type of business may purchase medicinal herbs in bulk from a grower and then resell the herbs to individuals or retailers.

The owner of a medicinal herbal business should have a background in using herbs as a medicine, even if they are not a certified herbalist. Owners who plan on growing their own medicinal herbs need a background in gardening and enough land to grow herbs. All owners should be open and care about people, and they should have a desire to give back to their communities, but the industry also requires a shrewd business sense to stay profitable.

61. Mexican Grocery Store

A Mexican grocery store offers customers traditional and authentic Mexican and Hispanic groceries, including vegetables and produce, meats, spices, and canned goods.

If your background includes time spent working for grocery or convenience store, have managerial experience or even extensive retail experience, as well as a shared love for traditional and authentic Mexican flavors, this may be the perfect endeavor.

Image of Microbrewery

A microbrewery is a business that grows along with its community. This is because many brewers start off by using small distributors to sell to local retailers who then sell to customers. Good markets for this business include areas in which restaurants and beer retailers are growing as well as markets near colleges and universities. This is because the average microbrew consumer is more educated than beer drinker and these environments also have Millennial populations that favor experiences (such as exotic local beer) over regular products (standard brands of beer).

This business is perfect for outgoing and creative entrepreneurs who enjoy creating something special and then sharing it with their local community. The nature of a microbrewery lends itself to somewhat flexible hours, though the brewer may often be fermenting at odd hours and will have to liaise with various distributors and managers and accommodate some of their schedule restrictions.

What we like about this business:

In recent years, the popularity of microbreweries that produce small batches of different beers has boomed. Many people seek out different types of craft brews, so nearly anywhere can be a good place to open a microbrewery. In addition to the sale of beer, microbreweries can potentially generate profit from things such as brewery tours, a restaurant in the brewery, and brewery apparel.

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63. Mobile Bartending Service

Mobile bartenders travel to various event locations, setting up wherever the event coordinator or customer needs them. Some bartending services provide everythingincluding alcohol, signature drinks, glassware, and staffwhile others require the client to provide the alcohol and wine.

Entrepreneurs experienced in the restaurant and bar industry who are looking to venture out on their own are best suited for this business endeavor. Mobile bartenders often work nights and weekends. This offers a more flexible work schedule, allowing you more time to focus on building your business during the week, and also spend time with family and friends.

64. Mushroom Farm

Mushroom farm businesses specialize in growing mushrooms. These mushrooms are used by customers for either medicinal or culinary purposes, depending on the type of mushroom grown. Additionally, they may be sold wholesale to clients or at retail prices.

 

Anyone who enjoys working with their hands and interacting with people may be well-suited for running a mushroom farm business. Growing mushrooms is a hands-on task, and having an ability to connect with people can help business owners share their product with potential customers.

A mushroom farm can be started as a part-time business while working another job. Mushrooms require a little attention each day, but they aren’t too demanding, and they can be tended to at any time of the day or night. It’s easy to fit growing mushrooms around other obligations.

65. Nutritionist Business

A nutritionist business helps community members live in the healthiest manner possible. Nutritionist business owners analyze clients' dietary intake and biology in order to determine the types of food and beverages that can improve their physical and mental health. These businesses are vital to the health of the community as they help countless individuals combat obesity, build muscle, and live as healthy a lifestyle as possible.

If you are interested in helping others realize their health potential, owning a nutritionist business is for you. This is your chance to transform bodies, help people combat disease, and get the most out of life. Nutritionist businesses also appeal to those who have an interest in food, human biology, and physical health and wellness.

Image of Olive Oil Store

Olive oil stores stock a wide selection of hard-to-find premium olive oils, olive oil based products, and related gourmet products like spices, bottles of vinegar, and cured meat. Retailers often hold classes and tasting to educate their customers about the different types of olive oil available and how they can use the products at home.

Foremost, an olive oil store is like any other retail store. A potential owner needs to have a background in managing a retail operation. Due to the business' tiny niche, a new owner should also have extensive knowledge about olive oil and olive oil-related products, besides a real passion for the products.

Why we like this business:

Olive oil is a popular cooking oil that adds depth and flavor to many cuisines. Starting your own olive oil store will allow you to gain experience in many different qualities, types, and flavors of olive oils, as well as share this experience with your customers. High-quality olive oil can be sold at a premium price, which means your olive oil store can generate a lot of profits.

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67. Orchard

An orchard may be an extension or addition to an existing farm. It can offer pick-your-own fall family fun or incorporate a cider press and resultant sales of the additional product. It may ship all the fruit wholesale to a food distributor or have a farmer's market on site.

If you have a love of the earth and a love for growing things, you've got the first requirement. You must also be willing to work extensive hours during the growing season and have patience for years when the crops struggle to thrive. A small orchard should only be considered as a sideline business.

68. Personal Chef Business

Personal chefs prepare a wide array of delicious and healthy food for individuals, businesses, and other organizations. Some of these foods are prepared ahead of time for consumption throughout the upcoming week or month. Certain dishes are prepared at the client's home or place of business and consumed right away.

This business is perfect for individuals who have a passion for tasty food and the cooking process. Those who are interested in creating fulfilling meals and healthy dishes that suit the nuanced palates of clients will thrive in this business.

69. Pet Bakery

Many dog and other pet owners are concerned about what’s in the food they feed their pets. Pet bakery businesses cater to these owners by providing specially formulated pet foods. The ingredients that pet bakeries use in their pet foods are usually healthy and natural, and they often come from known sources.

Anyone who is passionate about pets and nutrition may be interested in opening a pet bakery business. Pet bakeries usually start out selling through other retailers or online, rather than their own brick-and-mortar store. Because business owners don’t need to keep specific retail hours for customers, it’s possible to start this business up while maintaining another job.

70. Pet Food Business

Many people take excellent care of their pets, which includes feeding them great foods. Pet food businesses create high-quality pet foods for people’s pets. Most businesses offer a variety of recipes, so pet owners can find one that’s perfect for their pets. According to IBISWorld, the pet food industry brings in $27 billion annually and is growing.

Anyone who is passionate about animals and enjoys coming up with recipes may like running a pet food business. Having a passion for animals helps business owners connect with potential customers, and a love for experimenting with recipes will help a business owner come up with unique foods to sell.

71. Popsicle Business

On hot days, many people enjoy popsicles. They’re cold, delicious and sweet treats. Popsicle businesses specialize in making popsicles. Businesses sell their popsicles to customers out of a storefront, truck or cart.

Anyone who likes popsicles and is creative in the kitchen might enjoy running a popsicle business. Making popsicles isn’t hard, but coming up with flavors requires some ingenuity.

This is a business that can be started part-time while working another job. Business owners can sell popsicles on the weekends or at events in the evenings. Beau Shell even began a business selling popsicles while still going to school.

72. Pop-Up Restaurant Business

Pop-up restaurants are temporary ventures that are opened in the larger cities around the country. They're a good way for chefs to gauge public interest in different dishes and drum up more publicity for their brand. pop-up restaurants began as a way for chefs to test the popularity of their dishes without having to invest in a full restaurant. However, the combination of clever themes and limited supply were so popular that they can be used as a stand-alone business venture.

Pop-ups are generally started by chefs, though it’s also possible for a restaurant manager to assemble the talent and coordinate the schedules. But no matter what, all decision-makers will have to be creative in order to generate enough customer interest in the limited-time only restaurant. For those planning to open in several cities around the world, they'll also need to have a very flexible schedule.

73. Pub

Although they may be British in origin, pubs are now well established in American culture. They typically feature a family-friendly atmosphere, American-style food, televisions airing sports games and a full bar. All of this appeals to many people, which is why pubs have become so popular in the U.S.

For the entrepreneur, the widespread popularity of pubs creates a promising business opportunity.

Anyone who enjoys food, beverages, and other people may be well-suited for owning a pub business. A passion for food and beverages will help when creating and preparing menu offerings. Being a people-person is important because pubs are in the business of serving patrons.

74. Pumpkin Farm

Also called a pumpkin patch, a pumpkin farm is a place to harvest pumpkins. Pumpkins are priced by weight, and a lot of pumpkin farms sell other seasonal products like corn, apples, and Halloween decorations. Other pumpkin patches offer entertainment, like corn mazes and hayrides.

The pumpkin farm business is great for farmers, Halloween-lovers, and those with a “green thumb.” If you like planting and selling crops, a pumpkin patch is a great business to own. Owners should be people-oriented, and they should love bargaining. A good pumpkin patch owner will also have a love for Jack-O-Lanterns and everything else Halloween-oriented.

Growing pumpkins isn’t too hard, and it’s a rewarding career. Even if you don’t have much experience growing or maintaining pumpkins, you can learn quickly.

75. Restaurant

This type of business serves prepared food and drinks and caters to consumers who don’t want to cook or who want the experience of dining out. Some restaurants specialize in one type of cuisine, like Italian or Mexican, while other restaurants serve general “American” fare, like diners. The market depends entirely on the type of restaurant, restaurant concept, and the average price per menu item.

A restaurant is a fast-paced business and very stressful to run. As such, it's best suited to people with excellent organization skills and entrepreneurs who have a passion for food. Restaurateurs often live a modest and hectic lifestyle. Because of this, it’s not a business for those who are easily stressed out or desire a “hands-off” business.

76. Restaurant Delivery Service

As time becomes more and more of a commodity, the general public looks for new ways to streamline daily activities. Food delivery services are, therefore, great opportunities for entrepreneurs and consumers. Approximately 60% of each dollar spent on food consumption will go to businesses outside the household. With a restaurant delivery business, you will be able to fill a need for numerous consumers, offering fresh and unique food options and allowing for gourmet dining, without leaving the house.

Entrepreneurs who wish to position themselves in the food and beverage industry, without all the overhead and grueling hours, will discover fulfillment in this business venture. While this endeavor offers flexibility, it also requires a great deal of dedication and organization.

77. Restaurant Supply Business

From small, local restaurants to five-star establishments, restaurants are in constant need of supplies. Restaurant supply stores cater to the needs of restaurant owners, offering affordable options for food, drinks, and equipment.

Are you passionate and knowledgeable about the food industry, but lack the desire to own your own restaurant? Do you get enjoyment from trying out the latest kitchen “gadget,” often feeling inspired to pass that enthusiasm on to others within the industry? If so, opening a restaurant supply store could be the change you have been seeking in your life.

78. Sea Salt Business

For as long as salt has been used in and on food, people have been sourcing it from the world’s oceans. Today, sea salt businesses use simple (and sometimes ancient) means to mine salt from seawater.

The sea salt industry has grown in recent years as the foodie movement has gained traction. The industry is expected to see sustained growth of 6.1 percent annually over the next five years, with global revenues forecasted to increase from $1.1 billion in 2016 to $1.5 billion by 20122.

Anyone who is self-driven, likes working with their hands and can connect with people may be well-suited to running a sea salt business. The day-to-day work of making sea salt is largely done independently and involves a significant amount of manual labor. To sell their salts, though, business owners need to be able to successfully share their product with customers.

Image of Smoothie Business

Smoothie bars sell blended fruit drinks, health food bowls, and juices to patrons. in busy shopping centers or fitness clubs as a way to introduce fresh options to a fast-food laden culture. Smoothie bars rely on premium ingredients and inventive combinations to appeal to people who don't want to sacrifice taste for health.

A good smoothie bar owner should be interested and up-to-date with the health foods movement. New research comes out every day about how nutrients interact with our bodies, and an owner will need to be able to keep up with the changes to stay in business. Ideally, an owner will have plenty of experience making their own smoothies at home. They should also be able to pick up on the nuances between their direct competitors, so they can determine how to make a superior product.

Why we like this business:

Smoothie businesses offer a comforting atmosphere where customers can hang out, relax, and drink delicious smoothies with their friends. Smoothie businesses are also great for people who are looking for a quick, sweet drink to take on their way to wherever they’re going. Choosing the right location for a smoothie business can attract loads of customers who are dying to taste your tasty drinks.

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80. Spice Business

Spices are extremely popular, especially as the gourmet food trend continues to expand across the nation. The spice market is predicted to reach $16 billion by 2019, so the demand for quality and freshness will only continue to go up.

People who understand how spices flavor food will do well in this business. Each spice has its own characteristics, and reacts differently to storage and the passage of time. Without fully understanding the details, it's easy to make mistakes. But it’s equally important to understand how to work with different types of people. The spice business is largely built on relationships with the growers, distributors, and customers, so entrepreneurs should have a grasp on the art of compromise and negotiation.

Image of Sub Shop

Submarine sandwiches are a go-to food for many people, as they’re inexpensive, quick, tasty, and can even be a healthy meal, depending on the sub. A sub shop serves submarine sandwiches for lunch and dinner. Most also have sides, beverages and other types of sandwiches, and some serve breakfast.

Anyone who likes serving people and is passionate about food might be well-suited for running a sub shop business. There’s lots of hands-on work involved in a sub shop, as sandwiches are typically assembled to order as customers request them.

Because people eat submarine sandwiches for lunch, dinner and at other times, sub shops are usually open during most of the day. Owners ought to expect to work almost every day, although some shops close for one day a week and major holidays.

Why we like this business:

Sub shops are a great business idea and they can be modeled in a variety of ways. Your shop can focus on creating your own sandwiches or sub creations that you and your employees come up with in-house. Sub shops can also focus on carryout orders, dine-in eating, and delivery. Many people look for quick, delicious sandwiches during lunch breaks or when they’re in a hurry, so offering customers a variety of delicious options with great customer service will help your business find great success.

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82. Sushi Restaurant

A sushi restaurant may offer other Japanese or Asian cuisine for its customers. It may also provide a special sushi bar so that interested customers can watch as their sushi is prepared. As a business, a sushi restaurant can scale up or down, serving as a small and modest eatery or as a fancier and more expensive restaurant.

Obviously, this business is perfect for those who love sushi. It is also a good fit for anyone who has had restaurant management experience or other related restaurant experience that may help you in serving customers and otherwise running the shop.

83. Tea Shop

Tea is the second most popular beverage in the world, and it’s quickly growing in popularity within the United States. Tea shops provide people with a place to enjoy tea in a social setting.

Tea shops are opening in both large cities, like San Francisco, Vancouver and New York City, and small towns, and the future looks promising for these shops. According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., the overall tea industry grew an estimated 4 to 5 percent in 2015, and the retail tea sector is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 5 and 6 percent through 2020.

Anyone who loves tea and socializing with others may be well-suited for running a tea shop. The business involves lots of hands-on work, namely brewing tea, as well as regular interaction with employees and customers.

Tea shops are often open during the morning and afternoon, and shop owners should be prepared to work when their shop is open (unless they have employees).

84. Tortilleria Business

As the United States’ Latino population continues to increase, they’re leaving a mark on everyone’s food preferences. Specifically, tortillas are increasingly becoming a staple in many American households. Tortillas were poised to become the most popular bread in the U.S. back in 2003, and today the tortilla industry today is a $4 billion industry that continues to grow.

Tortilleria businesses produce all of these tortillas that people are eating. Most businesses specialize in either corn or flour tortillas, although a few have branched out into non-traditional specialty tortillas. (The information below focuses on corn and flour tortillerias, as these businesses are the most common.)

Anyone who likes Latino food, and especially Mexican food, may enjoy running a tortilleria. Not only do business owners get to make tortillas themselves, but they also meet many other people who like Mexican food through their work.

85. Vending Machine Business

A vending machine business places vending machines in locations where people are likely to want the items these machines sell. According to IBISWorld, the vending machine industry is a $7 billion industry. It’s a large industry that’s not dominated by any one or two companies, which provides a great opportunity for new businesses.

Anyone who enjoys working on their own and is mechanically inclined may like running a vending machine business. Business owners are frequently by themselves when filling and servicing machines, so self-motivation is important. A mechanical inclination is helpful when machines need repairs.

86. Water Delivery Business

Bottled water delivery businesses offer fresh, delicious options for hydration. Whether for residential or commercial use, water is a vital part of good health and will be a bonus for family and employees.


Virtually anyone can break into this industry, as the product almost always sells itself. If you are able to easily talk with customers, have the ability to lift heavy weights and can drive commercial trucks, you are exactly what this industry is looking for. Additionally, having retail or small business experience will give you a leg up on the competition.

87. Water Refilling Business

A water refilling business produces safe, drinkable water for consumers. Normally, a water refilling business’s water is cheaper than retailed bottled water. Buyers can purchase pre-filled two-to-five-gallon water bottles or bring their own jugs.

Typically, a water refilling business has a refilling “station” which uses a kiosk to distribute water. Other water refilling businesses, meanwhile, provide water refilling stations for public spaces like museums, parks and schools. A water refilling business might promote the use of reusable water, as opposed to wasting resources. Similarly, they usually promote the use of reusable bottles, as opposed to disposable plastic bottles.

The water refilling business is great for environmentally-minded individuals. It’s also great for those who have worked in the wastewater industry, handling water to provide clean, drinkable resources.

A good water refilling business owner will be good at making business plans. Additionally, they will be effective at finding suppliers, balancing budgets, and finding cheap equipment. They must also know how to conduct an analysis of the water, in order to determine how sanitary the sourced water is.

88. Wine Shop

Wine shops are usually run as physical retail stores, though some shops operate online. While it’s not impossible to operate a wine shop exclusively online, it can be more difficult due to inconsistent state liquor laws. For example, some states ban the importation of wine and liquor unless it’s done through approved vendors and distribution channels (most of which are not direct to consumers).

This business is perfect for individuals who are wine, craft beer, and liquor enthusiasts and aficionados. Store hours may be dictated by state law and are generally not very flexible. However, store owners generally have flexible hours if they employ a staff.

89. Wine Tour Business

Wine tours educate people about grapes, fermentation, and flavor profiles. From varietals to harvesting techniques to the best way to taste the wine, tours are meant to be as informative as they are fun. These tours can help people appreciate all that goes into a single sip, and promote local businesses by exposing their product to more people.

This business is good for someone who already has a healthy interest in how vineyards work, and who enjoys teaching people in an entertaining way. Ideally, it should be far less about enjoying a good bottle of wine, and far more about being a good (and organized) educator.

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Low-cost Business Ideas

Do you always need to "spend money to make money," as the saying goes? We don't think so. Often a good idea and hard work can get your business up and running with little to no startup costs.

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Side Business
Ideas

Starting a side business while working a full-time job can be a great way to test out a new business idea and gain invaluable experience as an entrepreneur.

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Unique Business Ideas

One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is the sense of adventure in taking a risk for the sake of a great idea. But don't think you'll make it big without working hard to achieve your goals.

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Summer Business Ideas

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, starting your own business can be fun, profitable, and a great learning experience. Being your own boss sure beats working at the local community pool or fast-food joint.

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Teen Business Ideas

Being an entrepreneur can be an incredibly valuable experience, in more ways then one. For teens who have an inclination for it, starting a business might be a great way to spend their time.