Reaching Out to the SBDC and a Beef and Shrimp Candle Inspired by Panda Express

Although I’m a chef, I haven’t prepared a made from scratch meal in several days. My kitchen has been completely taken over by candle production. My personal meals currently consist of cheese or lettuce wraps which I use in lieu of bread since I’m on a keto (low carb) diet. I have also been ordering meals through Door Dash. Having recently ordered a delivery from Panda Express, I was inspired by this take out’s production of beef and shrimp to produce a beef and shrimp candle.

Pictured below is an advertisement of this dish from Panda Express.

This dish features stir fried beef with shrimp, bell peppers, and onions.

Pictured below is my version of this dish as a candle. My candle includes mushrooms, baby carrots, and Chinese cabbage which are not part of the Panda Express dish.

I kept the red peppers but omitted the green peppers in favor of the Chinese cabbage.

As with my beef and broccoli candle, this candle was scented with a stir-fry fragrance that I made by blending other candle oil aromas.

As I write this post, I’ve realized that as an artist, I don’t want to be tied down with an inventory of burger and hot dog candles. Although this might make sense from a business perspective, I prefer the challenge and the creativity of continuing to produce unique fake food candles that no one else appears to be making.

If I continue to do what I’m doing, my inventory will be constantly changing with completely different products replacing other candles as they’re sold out.

In terms of moving this proposed business along, I’ve reached out to the Nevada SBDC (Small Business Development Center) for advice regarding taxes and licensure. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there are currently 62 Small Business Development Centers with at least one in every state and one in each of our U.S. territories. Nevada currently has three with centers in Reno, Henderson (Las Vegas area), and Boulder City. Each center oversees a network of satellite service locations. There are currently over 900 locations that have been distributed throughout the United States. These satellite locations and subcenters may often be found at colleges, universities, community colleges, vocational schools, chambers of commerce, and economic development corporations.

Although SBDCs are supported in part by the Federal Small Business Administration, 50% of their funding comes from state and corporate sponsors. According to the SBA, each SBDC district office has a core staff of Federal civil servants who are augmented by volunteers who have been recruited from professional and trade associations, academia, chambers of commerce, and SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives).

It was really easy getting in touch with the nearest SBDC. I simply googled “Nevada SBDC” to get a link to their website. I then chose the nearest office and submitted some basic information via an electronic form.

Once the SBDC has processed my request, I will likely get a call or email from a business mentor with SCORE who should be able to answer all of my questions regarding initial licensure and taxes. I will post an update once I’ve heard back from the SBDC.

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