Seems you are correct, canned tomato based products are no longer allowed.
Checked laws on that in neighboring states to Texas?
I am a bartender, and I've created my own homemade Bloody Mary mix. It's quite unique to what is sold as pre-bottled mix now, and has proven to be preferred to scratch Bloody Mary's in other establishments. I've built quite a following over it, have other bars and restaurants wanting to purchase it, and have decided to start bottling and marketing.
I've been a successful business owner in the past, but never approached anything in the food industry, and am in a position to need to learn EVERYTHING about how to go about this. The furthest I've gotten thus far is browsing state (Texas) laws and regulations and I have learned I cannot produce this at home and will need to rent a commercial kitchen. I have been put in touch with a local bottling company, but don't feel sourcing it out this early on is in my best interest.
My very rough draft of a business plan thus far is:
`1. Fine-tune my recipe to where it can be scaled down and scaled up to meet demand and maintain consistency. (Very important, but a bit of a challenge, as I am a "little bit of this, little bit more of that, pinch here, drop there" kinda cook, and that's how this started). Research ingredient availability and cost.
2. Research and familiarize myself with state laws and regulations; acquire any permits, licenses, patents/copyrights/trademarks, etc.;
3. Determine bottle sizes, shape, design, appearance and cost-analyze options. Design label/logo.
Now, my vision, also incredibly raw and uneducated at this point, is this:
Rather than start "big," I would like to market this myself first, and sell it myself. I picture going into bars and restaurants myself, offering samples to owner/management, and selling either individual bottles, or contracting for long-term. I would like to rent booths in trade shows and market to both general public and commercial buyers. Of course, I would take advantage of online marketing and selling as well, but mostly as an outlet for those who have already tasted and/or purchases the mix to re-buy or buy down the road. If this were to take off, I would need to contract with a bottling company/distributor at that point.
I am seeing the pros and cons to my approach. If I intend to do as I described above, my initial cost is smaller, but my product cost is high.
Any and all advice and input incredibly welcome! Bueller?