MK Gourmet wants to bring locally sourced organic food products to Houston and the surrounding areas to help inspire and develop the local culinary scene.
MK Gourmet is a Family owned joint venture between the three Keller brothers Matt, Mike and Mark Keller. This Go Fund Me is to raise money to expand this family owned business.
Background on the three Brothers:
We grew up in a family of amazing chefs and cooks. It goes way back to our Great-Great-Great Grandparents who owned a bakery and that knowledge and love for cooking has been passed down for generations. We currently have family in the food business right here in Houston which we draw experience and knowledge from. We grew up living with a passion for the culinary arts. Food is in our blood.
Matt Keller – Partner – Executive Chef. Matt is married with an almost 2 year old son. He is a loving husband and father. Matt is the creative genius behind our recipes and products. Matt studied culinary arts here in Houston and has a culinary arts degree and is certified in baking and pastry. Matt has worked every position in the kitchen for many restaurants all the way up to General Manager. He has many years of sourcing local ingredients, goods and supply chain management. He also knows every aspect of running a restaurant including food costs, customer service, health code compliance, and employee management. He is very well connected into the local organic food scene here in Houston. If you know Matt not only is he a great friend, his personality is the best, and his food is even better. He truly loves his craft and wants to share it with the world.
Mike Keller – Partner. Mike is married and the father of two young daughters. One 3 year old and a 10 month old baby – whew! Mike has a background in sales and business with 18 Years in retail management experience. He currently works for a fortune 500 company as a General Manager of a retail location here in Houston. Specialty is business acumen, organization, and administration. Mike has many years of experience with running every part of a retail business including sales, hiring, finances, distribution, marketing, training, customer service and employee management. Mike loves to BBQ and use his smoker every chance he can get.
Mark Keller – Partner. Mark is our sales and marketing expert. He has over 10 years of sales experience and helps with building our brand. He is always thinking of creative ways for us to brand, sell, display and market our ideas. He loves to travel the world researching and trying new cuisines, loves to skydive, and is an expert at networking and relationship building. He will continue to build our distribution channels with local partners using his outside sales experience. Mark also has many years of experience as a business manager in charge of multiple employees and accounts. By the way he is a great cook himself.
Business History – MK Gourmet
MK Gourmet is a food business we have been running for the past three years on the side from our normal jobs. We have been using this time for networking, product research and market analysis to really find out what our strengths and opportunities were. What we learned from this experience over the past few years is that our most popular foods were sauces, spice mixes and pickled items. This is why our strategy is to start with the most popular items and build from there.
Our goal is to increase our level of production from handmade items to professional manufacturing and distribution. This includes better packaging, labeling and marketing online. Our plan is to start with two or three flavors of sauces - then move to some spice mixes, pickled items and jarred products. We will be working with a local bottling and manufacturing service to create our products and prepare them in case form for distribution. We already have commitments from a few local grocers and businesses to display and sell our first products.
Some of the steps we will use the initial funding for include:
Our goal is to have a professional trademarked logo created for our business. We want it to be unique and represent not only our family but the local Houston organic food scene. We will be looking for a local designer to help change from homemade labels and packaging to create the look and feel we are after. This will help us with marketing, web design, product labeling, and inspiration for new creations. This will be one of our early costs.
One of our first objectives with the money we raise is to build out our website to be more professional and include an online sales portal for our products. We plan on hiring a web designer locally and having them create a custom site for our business. We have the domain site and email backbones already set up we just need graphic and web design work to finish it off. We also have payment systems set up to accept all forms of credit cards via web, phone or at local events.
Sales and Marketing
The plan is to sell and market four ways. Website/Social Media, local business partners, grassroots/word of mouth and through events/demo days. We want to set up a network of local business partners who will help distribute our products such as grocers, markets and food related businesses. Our goal is to support these local partners with events and demo days run by us as well as online social media support. We plan on having samples of our product and integrate those with different recipes created by Matt. We don’t just want someone to try our sauces; we want them to experience it as a flavor enhancement for a meal.
Business Infrastructure and Licensing
Most of the basic business licenses, tax forms and registrations have already been completed. We will use a small amount of funds to ensure that we comply with all state and local laws where applicable. This may include additional licenses and permits depending on the product and where it is distributed. We do not have current plans to open a business office or use any funds towards that in the beginning. As we grow we plan to rent a formal place of business and add employees as needed.
We will be renting a climate controlled space to store ready to ship products. This will allow us to maufacture in bulk which will lower our food cost and overhead on a per product basis therefore maximizing profit margins. This will be a monthly cost and our goal is to set up a space for at least the first year of business with the initial funds.
Long Term Goals
Have our products distributed across Texas, nearby states and then nationally. We would love to be carried by a large name like Whole Foods or another major organic grocer. Once we grow over the next few years we would like to do this full time with enough sales and profits to support our young families. Eventually we want to turn our success into a restaurant inspired by our food products. This has been a dream for many years and with our hard work and dedication it can become a reality!
Thank you for reading about our vision and dream. We want our initial investors to get something in return for their pledge to help. See our reward packages below. Please help us out and get a really cool gift in return! Thank you in advance for your contribution. If you have any questions regarding this business venture please feel free to contact us via gofundme email or visit us on www.facebook.com/mkgfood.
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- Christina Simon
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