Is The Gourmet Cupboard A Scam? Or A Golden Opportunity?

The Gourmet Cupboard

Welcome to my The Gourmet Cupboard review.

Ok, first let me get this out of the way and answer the question. Is The Gourmet Cupboard a scam? No, it is not. They have a real business opportunity.

Now, if you’re here I can only assume that you haven’t found a business opportunity that’s got you excited enough to get started. But The Gourmet Cupboard has you interested.

And that brings us to my review of The Gourmet Cupboard. Today we’re going to see what they have to offer.

Now, will it be the business opportunity for you? I have no idea. But what I do know is after reading my review you’ll be in a much better position to decide if it is or not.

Now before we get into things please understand. I’m simply here to show you the pros and cons of The Gourmet Cupboard and give you my personal opinion. What you decide to do after reading my review is up to you.

Disclaimer: I am not a member or an affiliate of The Gourmet Cupboard. All the information researched for this review is available online within the public domain. This review is my personal opinion and any recommendations/conclusions are my own which you may or may not agree with. What you decide to do after reading my review is up to you. You can see the full disclaimer here for more info.

Alright, let’s see what The Gourmet Cupboard is all about.

Ok, So Who Is The Gourmet Cupboard?

The gourmet cupboard is a multilevel marketing company that is located in Sour Lake, Texas and markets gourmet food mixes.

The evolution of the gourmet cupboard began back in 2001 with Melissa having her own business called Icing On The Cake. Where she would custom decorate cakes, bake cookies, bread, pies etc.

And at the same time Melissa and her mom Judy were making homemade gifts for their friends.

And what they were doing is they were packaging their favorite family recipes and putting them in Ziploc bags than typing up the directions and sending them out as Christmas gifts, wedding gifts and baby gifts.

They got such a great response they started experimenting with different recipes and because of that the popularity began to grow.

And in the summer of 2002 armed with 20 different mixes they headed to their first craft show and the response was amazing.

And over the years as the company grew and became more popular Melissa gave up the cake business and was completely focused on the gourmet cupboard.

After working for 17 years with her mom her mom has retired as co-partner from the gourmet cupboard and Melissa is now working with one of her best friends as co-partner Christy Lee.

Let’s now take a look at the products they have to offer.

The Products

The Gourmet cupboard product line

Each one of their mixes includes all the dry ingredients. You simply have to add 1 or 2 other ingredients and you’re good to go.

They have a pretty extensive catalogue of mixes. So, I’m not going to go through all of them here. If you’d like to see everything, they have to offer you can do so by heading to their website.

Their product line is divided up into the following categories:

  • Beverages – Here you’ll fine coffees, frozen drinks, hot chocolates, lemonade and teas.
  • Breads & Muffins – Here you’ll find pancake mixes, banana bread mixes, biscuit mixes, etc.
  • Desserts – Here you’ll find cookies, candies, dessert dishes as well as diabetic friendly and sugar-free products.
  • Dips – Here you will find both savory and sweet dips and spreads.
  • Meals & Soups – Here you will find complete meals and soups.
  • Salads – Here you’re fine different salad such as cabbage, chicken, pastel, etc.
  • Seasonings & Rubs – Here you’re going to find different seasonings and rubs.
  • Side Dishes – Here you find things like bean soup seasoning mix, sweet potato casserole, bread and butter pickles, etc.
  • Slow Cooker – Here you’ll find French onion seasoning mix, slow cooker barbecue rib mix, beer braised beef, etc.
  • Batches – These are large amounts of a mix that are priced at a discount.
  • Fundraiser Packages – These packages are reserved for fundraiser customers only.

They also have a cookbook and holiday items. As well as specials of the month which include hostess specials, meals of the month and mixes of the month.

Ok, What’s It Cost To Get Started?

According to the information on their join page to get started you will be charged a $25 advance payment. Now they emphasize that this is not a signup fee or startup cost. This is just an advance payment that’s going to be applied to your first order.

And there is no minimum order needed when you first sign up or any order thereafter.

Now they do offer sample kits that you can buy. Here’s a link to the documentation that I found regarding these kits and the pricing.

You can buy a small Starter Kit which allows you to taste test some of their popular items and this kit is only $26 and you get 8 different types of mixes.

They also have several other kits that you can choose from. Such as a Dips Starter Kit for $107.50. A Meals & Soups Starter Kit for $200.

They also have a kit that’s designed for Home Shows, Festivals & Craft Shows. And this kit costs $450.

They also have what’s called an Advertisement Kit which is similar to the sample kit but this is a kit that you would bring to places like schools, businesses, or their places of work to show the samples of the products that you have and then take orders. And this kit cost $29.

They have a Fall Starter Kit and this kit will cost you $354.75. And then finally they have what they call a Party Package which they say is great for baby showers, graduation parties, etc. And the wholesale price for this kit is $27 and it retails for $40.50.

How Do You Make Money With This Business?

There’s two ways you’re going to make money with the gourmet cupboard. The first way simply buying the products at wholesale and then retailing them to friends, family, and the people you meet through doing home shows, being at fairs, craft shows, trade shows etc.

Now according to their FAQ page, the wholesale price is simply $3.00 off what the suggested retail price is.

As for the second way of earning money this will be done through you building your downline.

And order to do that you’re going need to recruit people into your business. And then because this is a multilevel marketing compensation plan, you’re going to earn money from the people that you recruit into your business.

As well as earning additional bonuses as you climb through the ranks of the compensation plan.

And in order to receive the bonuses at the different levels you’re going to have to meet the specific criteria required for that level.

And when it comes to your recruits quickly broken down you can earn up to 12% commission on direct recruits, 7% on second-generation and 5% on third-generation.

Of course, these percentages depend on what level you are within the compensation plan. And there are 8 different levels within their compensation plan.

The Gourmet Cupboard Ranks

You have:

Basic Consultant

Everybody starts as a basic consultant.

Advance Consultant

Once you recruited your first person, you’ll automatically become an advance consultant.

Chef de Partie

With $200 in personal volume and one recruit you can earn a 5% override on your 1st level.

Sous Chef

With $300 in personal volume and one recruit you can earn a 7% override on your 1st level and 3% override on your 2nd level.

Senior Sous Chef

With $400 in personal volume and 2 recruits as well as $1500 in team volume. You can earn a 10% override on your 1st level and a 5% override on your 2nd level.

Top Chef 

With $500 in personal volume and 3 recruits and one sous chef and $3000 in team volume. You can earn a 12% override on your 1st level, a 6% override on your 2nd level, the 3% override on your 3rd level and a 5% from your free recruits.

Master Chef

With $600 in personal volume for recruits and to Senior sous chefs and $5000 in team volume. You can earn a 12% override on your 1st level, a 7% override on your 2nd level, a 4% override on your 3rd level. And 7% from your free recruits.

Kitchen Wizard

With $700 in personal volume and 5 recruits and 2 top chefs and $8000 in team volume. You can earn a 12% override on your 1st level a 7% override in your 2nd level a 5% override on the 3rd level. And 9% from your free recruits.

They also have a couple bonuses built into their compensation plan. They have what’s called a Whip It Up Bonus.

This is a bonus that you can receive if you reach a particular goal within the said months of joining. For each eligible the rank of this is a onetime bonus.

And this bonus is available for Senior sous chef and above ranks.

  • Senior Sous Chef – $40 (3 months)
  • Top Chef – $50 (4 months)
  • MasterChef – $80 (5 months)
  • Kitchen Wizard – $100 (6 months)

The other bonus they have is a Matching Bonus. And again, this bonus is only available to Senior sous chefs and above. In the bonus amounts are the same as the whip it up bonus amounts for each level.

In giving you the overview of the percentages of what you can earn at the different levels I mentioned Free Recruits. Once you reach the level of Top Chef, MasterChef, and Kitchen Wizard you are eligible to receive free recruits.

So, what’s a free recruit? When someone signs up through the company without a sponsor, they assign free recruits to you. And this is done on a rotation basis.

Also, to be eligible for any commissions you need to place an order of $100 worth of mixes by June 30th and again by December 31st. And when you break that down that’s only $16.66 a month so that’s really not a huge requirement to stay eligible for commissions.

You can review their compensation plan by clicking here. And you can review the compensation chart by clicking here.

What’s The Marketing Strategy?

According to the information on their website they recommend selling their mixes at arts and craft shows, festivals, tradeshows, craft malls. All of which are places that vendors have designated booths.

You could also set up at a farmers’ market. They also recommend contacting schools and seeing if they allow you to set up during conference times as well as before and after a lunch break. Of course, not all schools are going to allow you to do that.

In fact, I think most schools are going reject that idea. Simply because safety and security is a high priority in schools nowadays.

You’re also assigned a free affiliate website. So if you’re skilled with online marketing you could drive traffic to your affiliate site and generate sales that way.

It’s not mentioned in their literature but you could also use social media which in turn you can use to drive to your affiliate website.

You can also set up home parties and sell your products in that fashion as well too.

So, Can You Make Money With The Gourmet Cupboard?

Of course, you can make money with the gourmet cupboard. But it’s all going to come down to your work ethic and what you’re willing to put into growing your business.

But keep in mind multilevel marketing has a notoriously high failure rate. Because quite simply the business model is designed to be advantageous for the company not the distributor.

Now I have several resources that you should really check out before you make the final decision of getting involved with this or any other MLM company.

And one of the points that I want to highlight that’s mentioned in these reports is that 99% of people that get involved with multilevel marketing companies lose money.

Another thing to be aware of. Because you need to recruit people to build your business. You’ll find that 50% of the people that you recruit will quit within the first year.

And because of that, this puts you on this merry-go-round of constantly having to recruit people.

Belwo are links to those resources that I just mentioned which will give you more insight in regards to the success rate of a multilevel marketing business.

Now, I’m giving you these links because you need to fully educate yourself in regards to what you’re getting involved with when building a business using the multilevel marketing business model.

Is There Any Training?

When you join the person that sponsored you is going to be the person that’s going to train you within this business.

Now if this person that recruited you is not what they call a “top team leader”. You will be assigned to one of their top team leaders to ensure you get the proper training.

As soon as you sign up, you’re also going receive 22 days of training emails.

Additionally, to those training emails and the training that you receive from the person that sponsored you, they also have a monthly newsletter. You also have access to your own back office which provides you a lot of information.

There’s also a distributor Facebook page where you can interact with other distributors.

What I Like About The Gourmet Cupboard

#1) Very Low Startup Cost

It’s only going to cost you $25 to get started with this business. And the ongoing cost to stay eligible to earn commissions is very low as well to.

You only have to spend $100 every 6 months in order to stay eligible. And that breaks down to $16.66 a month.

#2) No Minimum Order Required

You do not have to purchase a monthly minimum order like other multilevel marketing companies force you to do.

#3) Good Side Hustle

This is a business that you can easily work as a part-time side hustle to earn extra money every month.

#4) Repeat Sales

I have to go on the assumption that these products are really good because I’ve not purchased them. And if they are and this being a consumable product you can easily build a recurring customer base.

#5) You Can Adjust The Retail Prices

The company does have a suggested retail price for each product. But they do allow you to set your own retail prices. Which is good for you because now you can test the market and see where the price point for your products is best set at for your area.

What I Didn’t Like About The Gourmet Cupboard

#1) Low Profit Margin

With the wholesale pricing only being $3 below the retail price. You’re going to have to sell a lot of product in order to make any significant money.

Let’s do some simple math. If you want to earn $300 per week. You’re going to have to sell 100 mixes every week That’s 400 mixes in a month to earn $1200 per month with this business. That’s a lot of mixes.

#2) MLM Business Model

Sure, you have the opportunity to earn money through retail sales. But from what I can see simply relying on retail sales is not can earn you a significant amount of money.

And when I say significant amount of money, I mean a full-time income that satisfies all your financial needs.

And if that’s what you’re shooting for that means you’re going to have to start recruiting people into your business so you can work your way up through the compensation plan and become eligible for those percentage bonuses from your downline.

However, with that said. The problem is the MLM business model has a notoriously high failure rate. Only 1% of people that get involved with multilevel marketing make any money.

#3) Must Love Being A Salesperson

From their suggestions the way they recommend you sell these products is through direct sales.

Which means face-to-face sales. And if you don’t have the skill set nor the confidence to do face-to-face sales you’re not going succeed at this business.

#4) Added Business Expenses

If you do get involved with this business you must realize there are going to be added business expenses beyond the cost of just buying the products.

Because they recommend direct sales through farmers markets, festivals, tradeshows, and such. These marketing channels come with expenses.

Any one of these venues where you want to sell your product is going to cost you money. Each place is going to charge you a fee to have a booth within their venue.

And depending on the venue that can vary from under $100 to several thousand dollars.

Also, you have to consider the cost for your time, the cost for your fuel to get to the venue. Also, because you’re selling foodstuffs. As a smart marketer you’re going to have free samples for people because they will want to taste the product.

So, there also the cost that you have to incur for those free samples as well. So, as you can see because of this marketing style that they recommend there’s going to be considerable additional costs for you to market these products.

#5) Outdated Marketing Strategy

Their focus is having you build your business through old school and what I feel are outdated marketing tactics.

There’s only so many flea markets, tradeshows, annual fairs available where you live and within the surrounding area. And of course, I don’t know where you live but I just don’t see how these limited number of venues are going to allow you to make any significant income.

And yes, you could start doing in-home presentations. But again, with only a $3 mark up on your product you’re going to have to do a lot of home in presentations.

And when you consider what’s involved when going to these different venues including the cost. The energy and expense expended compared to the income that you may make just doesn’t make sense to me.

My Final Opinion Of The Gourmet Cupboard

So, after taking a look at the gourmet cupboard and its business opportunity. While their products may be good, I just don’t see this as an exceptional opportunity to make any significant money.

You can definitely do this as a fun side hustle and make some extra cash every month but as a full-time business I just don’t see it.

I want you to step back and look at the big picture. Sure, they may have great products but in the way they want you to market these products just defeats the purpose.

They want you to do this in the old school way. So, they want you to go to flea markets, fairs, tradeshows, and such. And doing that limits your marketing. Simply because you can only go to these venues when the venues are available.

So, when these venues are not available, now what? If you’re going by their suggestions you’ll need start doing in-home presentations.

So now you have to start to hustle and find people willing to allow you do a in-home presentation. Friends and family is the best place to start.

And to incentive people to allow you into their homes. You’re going to have to either offer them free product, a discount, or a share of the profits.

And when it comes to the venues, you’re going to have to spend money on a booth, on sample products and don’t forget to add the cost of your time spent doing this type of marketing.

All of which is going to dig into what little profit margin you have to work with. Bottom line, all of these methods for marketing these products are going to cost you a lot of time and money to get it in front of potential buyers.

Now they do say they give you an affiliate website. Which is great because it does give you the opportunity to bring your marketing online.

But you’re going to need to either know how or be willing to learn how to drive traffic to your affiliate website so you can generate those sales.

Now I don’t know if they provide that type of training because I don’t have access to the back office that they provide their distributors.

But if they don’t provide that training, you’re going to have to get that training from an outside source.

Now I don’t want to sound all doom and gloom I just want you to see the big picture because in my opinion this is not a great opportunity for the average person.

Because if you really want to succeed at this business you have to have exceptional networking (recruiting) and sales skills.

And if you don’t have these skills in your toolbox. This is definitely not a business you want to get involved with because you’re not going see any real success.

Now On The Flip Side

If you do have exceptional networking (recruiting) and sales skills and you think this is something you would do well at. The first thing to do would be to buy some of the products and test them out yourself.

And if they passed your taste tests and you want to move forward with this business, I wish you nothing but an abundance of success.

However, if you’re like me and you just don’t see the business opportunity you do have other options available to you for building a thriving home-based business.

One of the options that I would recommend would be affiliate marketing. This is how I’ve been making a full-time living online since 2005.

And as affiliate marketer I’ve never had to set up at a tradeshow, fair, flea market or do an in-home presentation. And nor will you.

In other words, I’ve didn’t have to become a salesperson in order to build my business. In fact, I’ve never sold a single thing to a single person. Which I know sounds weird but it’s true. And I built my business completely online from the comfort of my home.

If you’d like to explore the opportunity of affiliate marketing and how you can build a thriving online affiliate marketing business around one of your interests, passions, or hobby.

Then the best recommendation that I can give to you would be checking out wealthy affiliate.

They have everything you need from A to Z to help you build your business. And this includes step-by-step training, tools, resources, and personal one-on-one support while building your business.

Now, I have no idea if affiliate marketing is the business model that you’re going to follow for building your home-based business.

But at least by checking out wealthy affiliate you can see what’s involved with building an affiliate marketing business.

And then you can decide if affiliate marketing is for you, or if you need to continue searching for another way of building a home-based business.

I hope you found this review helpful and I hope I answered any questions you may have had about The Gourmet Cupboard and its business opportunity.

Of course, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you right away.

And if you did find this review helpful and enjoyed it please feel free to share it with your audience. And as always anytime you need a hand don’t hesitate Emailing Me anytime.

I believe in you!!
Leo

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