Cheese, a major agricultural product worldwide, is one of the biggest selling dairy products with increasing demand every year. A successful cheese store brings massive profits when operated properly, but to start a cheese store and develop it, you'll need to know a few guidelines.
Gain experience by working in cheese shops in your area. Not only will you gain knowledge about the product you plan to sell, but you will also establish contacts with sellers around the world.
Begin to plan your own cheese store by developing a business plan and then applying for a secured loan from a reputable bank. Contact the Small Business Administration for additional loan information (see Resources). You can also use savings to start your cheese store business.
Buy or rent a storefront in a good location for your cheese shop. Make sure that you are choosing a location in a high-traffic area where there is not a great deal of competition. Ensure that you have good visibility from streets and sidewalks.
Purchase the equipment and furniture necessary to run your cheese shop, such as a walk-in freezer and refrigerator, a cash register, and printed price listings. Getting an open-air counter will allow you to advertise your cheese offerings better to the public.
Research vendors who sell cheese in bulk both domestically and internationally. If you want to offer a wide variety of cheese, you will have to work with many vendors at the same time.
File the information required for preparing and storing each cheese for easy access. There are different kinds of cheese available, and each one requires different treatment depending on how it is produced and aged.
Advertise your cheese store business. One of the best ways to spread the word is to give away free samples of cheese from your store through local businesses and newspapers, and to encourage word-of-mouth advertising
Consider adding items that are complementary to your cheese inventory. Wine, crackers, fruit, and spreads are all possible options, and are relatively affordable. Specialising in a certain category of cheese, such as South American or Organic, will allow you to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. This can be advantageous when competing with many cheese shops in your area.
Try not to order cheese in bulk during the first few weeks of business. Once you get a better idea of sales and sales volume, you can gradually increase your investment in your cheese store business.