The Bacon Jams company began with the challenge of making the best tailgate appetizer. Bruce Kramer, co-founder of Bacon Jams presented bacon jam stuffed jalapeno poppers to his fellow Philadelphia Eagles fans and the crowd went wild. It was clear that the star of the dish was his sweet spreadable bacon. Bruce then presented a sample of bacon jam to co-founder Michael Oraschewsky, who put the product on some menu items at his restaurant. As expected the product was extremely well received by customers. Thus the Bacon Jams company was born. The two partners develop additional flavors and began to scale production. For financing, the team launched a Kickstarter campaign to gauge public demand for a spreadable bacon. This proved to be very successful, raising almost $12,000 from over 275 personal backers. Bacon Jams began selling their products at bacon festivals, farmers markets and outdoor events. They hit a homerun at the
Christmas Village in Philadelphia and were barely able to keep up with production at Oraschewsky’s restaurant.
In 2014 when The Bacon Jams company was approached by QVC. This marketing opportunity created the need for USDA inspection, scaled production and all of the issues that come with growth. Knowing they had only one shot to do it right Kramer and Oraschewsky sought help from SCORE to verify their plans and accelerate the learning process. With a business plan in hand, proven product demand, and an uncertain road to production the pair sat down with SCORE mentors David Houseman and John Nelson. The straight talk and savvy business advice they received was invaluable. Kramer says, “While we still made plenty of mistakes along the way, our SCORE counselors helped to limit those errors and keep us on track to build a business. We were blazing some new territory in government regulations and there was no real source of on point expertise we could find, so working with Dave and John to apply standard good business practices helped us stay on track.”
Co-founder Oraschewsky said, ”We knew we had an exciting opportunity, but making it in a restaurant only allowed us to sell direct to consumer. Scaling up had so many challenges, some unlike most companies face, such as USDA approval. Working with SCORE helped us keep focused on the plan and compare what we were doing to standard business practices. I would certainly recommend anyone facing challenges of a small business avail themselves of SCORE services.”
After meeting with score The Bacon Jams was able to achieve its short term goal of scaling
for QVC resulting in a massive boost in sales. They were also able to define two distinct channels of business which have represented over $1.5 million in revenue to date. The Bacon Jams products are currently in 1,500 retail locations and nearly 1,000 restaurants. The fundamentals learned and pitfalls avoided by working with SCORE made their success possible
SCORE is a non-profit national organization of business volunteers dedicated to providing free counseling and educational service to small businesses. SCORE volunteers are business experts who apply their life experience and business knowledge to mentor entrepreneurs planning to start a small business, or small business owners who seek assistance in solving business issues. To schedule a personal session with a counselor or learn about small business education programs, call Chester and Delaware County SCORE at 610-344-6910 or click here to visit us online https://chescodelcoscore.org/
April 2, 2017