7 min 44 sec

Blogger Turns Leftover Cherries Into $5,000/Month Income

After being diagnosed with diabetes, a food blogger creates a sugar-free line of ketchup alternatives.
Co-Packing Food International Product Unique Ideas

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What It's About

A unique condiment line featuring ketchup like sauces made out of fruit.

Business Model
Skills Required
Culinary & Resourcefulness
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

In November of 2016, Erika put the new flavors up on Amazon, but this time she specifically focused her marketing efforts on Paleo, Whole30, low-carb, and diabetic customers through content marketing, social media and Amazon pay-per-click advertising. Through all her efforts, December 2016 was her biggest month of sales yet.

People with restricted diets are always looking for ways to liven up their day to day menu, so find ways to be inclusive of their needs. Create a product that nobody can say no to!

Fun Fact

Erika’s side hustle started because her kids didn’t like jam but she had a ton of leftover cherries from a family u-pick outing. Not wanting to waste the perfectly good cherries, she came up with her line of condiments that she had to name “Not Ketchup” because turns out, there are very specific regulations on what can and can’t be called “ketchup.”

Notes from Chris

Episode 241

Yesterday we looked at distributing one food item through Amazon… here’s a different one. This story has a fun twist when our featured side hustler uses a medical diagnosis to further develop and grow her project.

In June 2013 Erika Kerekes, a writer for a nonprofit, took her kids to a u-pick cherry orchard. They had so many cherries they couldn’t eat them all fresh, and it turns out that her kids don’t like jam pie, but they do eat a lot of burgers. So she turned some of the leftovers into a sort of cherry “ketchup.”

Based on everyone’s feedback, by August she decided to turn her recipes into a side hustle.

But then, life threw her a curveball. Erika was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and realized she needed to make some lifestyle changes, including cutting all added sugar.

During this time, Erika realized that if she was trying to cut out sugar, other people probably were too. So, she made a HUGE pivot by shifting from traditionally made fruit sauces (which means full of sugar) to condiments sweetened only by the fruit itself. As Erika shared, “That was almost a complete relaunch and took a tremendous effort, but I knew it was the right direction to take.”

In April 2017, Erika released an actual ketchup with no-added-sugar. This addition tripled her sales to $5k/month. Since it’s release, she’s completely sold out twice and earned the “Amazon Choice” award for a month at the beginning of the summer.


  • Not Ketchup: Why don't you 'ketchup' with Erika and her non-conforming line of fruit based condiments on her website?
  • PieShell: A crowdfunding platform specifically for food based products and ideas

  • U.S. Co-Paker Directory: Are you reaching a point where you're outgrowing your own kitchen? Here's a directory containing co-packing companies in each state!
  • Working With Co-Packers: Part 1 & Part 2: This two part series goes into what you should look for when selecting a co-packer and best practices for working with a co-packer once you've found one
  • Full-Time Mom Ships $35,000/Month in Frozen Bread on Amazon: The busy mother of a child on a specialized diet decides to take action and ‘liberate’ parents like her with her allergen-free food side hustle
Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"I focus on my day job when I’m at work, but in between things—when I'm doing dishes, folding laundry, brushing my teeth, packing my lunch, working out—I’m always thinking about my business."
—Erika Kerekes #SideHustleSchool

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