A simple way to create a small business is by making connections with local cafés to sell them food and/ or drinks that you produce for them. All it takes is a bit of inspiration (and some skill!) to use recipes for things that are different to what you normally get in cafés, but tasty products that are naturally made. It also gives a link to the locally grown food project to implement it in more ways than just selling it raw.
The objective would be to get cafés to sell your products instead of mass-produced ones to make the community more resilient. You could produce things by yourself, in a small group at one of your homes or, if your business is becoming successful, you could invest in bigger equipment that makes your products on a greater scale.
An alternative is to get more people to join the team to share the wealth. I would prefer to see more people becoming comfortably-off than a couple of people becoming rich. It creates brotherhood rather than division.
As there are thousands of recipes that are freely available online, it’s not difficult to decide on a product range and by offering a greater range of flavours to the community, you could help to move your town away from being a ‘clone town’ that has all the same cafés as every other town. So, to summarise, buy locally grown products cheaply, use them to make products that give something different to the standard products, sell them to local cafés to deliver to the customers. Practically everything is done locally and people will have created their own jobs.
Another project could be to produce things like cooking sauces, jams, etc. from local foods to be sold in small shops. It can be done in the same way as above but there is one other idea I would like to propose. There is the potential cost problem of buying packaging. but to overcome this, you can ask the public to give you their empty glass jars to use, instead of throwing them out or even being one step ahead of recycling – re-using. You could set up a drop-off point or a few to encourage people to help out (like in a local shop or the homes of a few volunteer collectors).
It doesn’t really matter if they are different sizes, you could always sell them at different prices to match the volume! You might want to use your own labels, too.