Setting Up Your Seller’s Profile
Congratulations on your decision to become a seller on Cottage Nosh. We know that you’ll love our platform and that it will help take your home food business to the next level. This series of articles will take you step by step through the Seller’s Profile setup process. Most of the process is pretty straightforward so feel free to jump right in. If you prefer to study some before you get going…. read on!
Part 1: the basics
Register as a Seller:
To become a seller the very first step is to submit our “Become a Seller” form which you can find here. Once you’ve submitted that form you will receive an email inviting you to set up your Seller’s Profile. Clicking the “Create Account” button in the body of the email will direct you to the sign-in page shown below.
Step 1: Build Your Profile
Once you click the Create Account button you will be directed to the first page of the Profile builder.
This page collects basic information about you and your shop. Let’s take a look at each field:
Profile Picture: Click the upload button and either drag-and-drop or use the file explorer to add a photo. Use the tool bar on the upper right-hand corner of your picture to adjust picture sizing and position. Click the green check mark when the picture is sized and positioned how you want it.
Note that in order to save your photo you have to click the checkmark in the bottom LEFT corner AFTER you have sized and positioned your photo.
Add Your Store Name: Use this field to give your Cottage Nosh store a name. Select a name that is easy to remember and one that gives some information about any specialities you have. For example “Maria’s Organic Cakes” or “Annie’s Ancient Grain Breads.”
Permalink: The Permalink field will be your own custom web address for your store. You’ll use this custom web address to direct people to your store. Try to pick something short and easy to remember. For example, entering “mariascakes” into the Permalink field will result in a custom web address of: “shop.cottagenosh.com/mariascakes”
Store Description: This field is your opportunity to tell customers about you, your story, and your products.
First Name: Enter your real first name. Your first name must match the name on your Cottage Food License.
Last Name: Enter your real last name. Your last name must match the name on your Cottage Food License.
Notification Email: Enter the notification email that you want associated with your account. Note that the email you use here will be the designated email for you to receive important messages about your shop.
Store Tags: Our store tags feature allows you to select attributes that will be displayed on your public facing pages (Profile, Baker’s Shop, and Nosh Day). Use these tags to give customers additional information about how you operate your kitchen and your affiliations. Store Tags are optional.
When you’re done filling out the information on this page, click the “Next” button at the bottom of the page to move onto verifying your mobile phone number.
Step 2: Validate Your Mobile Phone Number:
In order to ensure proper communication between you and your customers, as well as between you and Cottage Nosh, we require that you provide and validate your mobile phone number as part of the shop setup process.
Mobile Number: enter your mobile phone number and click the “validate” button.
You will receive a text message with a 6 digit validation code that you should then input into the “cellphone code” pop up window.
Once you have verified your mobile phone number click the “Next” button to move on to adding the addresses you want associated with your store.
Step 3: Add Your Address
You need to list the address associated with your License to your profile. This will not be shown publicly unless you use this address as a Pickup Location. You may want to add additional addresses to use as pickup locations in order to facilitate pickups in public places.
Location Name: enter the name of the location you are adding. This could be something like “Home Address” or a public location that you are going to use for pickups like “Brooklyn Public Library.”
Address: begin to type out the address and then select the correct address from the drop down options. Click the “Add Address” button when you are done.
The addresses you have entered will appear in the “Your Addresses” window. Repeat this process to add additional addresses.
When you are finished adding addresses, click the “Next” button to add Payment information.
Part 2 – Set Up Your Profile to Accept Payments
The next part of setting up your Seller’s profile is to link your Cottage Nosh profile with Stripe, our payment processor.
To start the process, click the “Link Account” button which will take you to the Stripe Express account setup.
Basic Information and Phone Verification:
The first screen you’ll see will ask for your mobile number and your email address. Please use the same number and email address that you used in setting up your Cottage Nosh profile.
By pressing the “Continue” button you will again be prompted to verify your mobile number. Enter the verification code sent to your mobile phone.
Tell Us About Your Business:
Next you will be asked to enter some information about your business. The first question will ask you to input the “Type of business” you operate. The choices will be 1) Individual, 2) Company, or 3) Nonprofit Organization. Select the option that applies to you. Unless you have gone through the formal process of forming either a corporation or a nonprofit business entity you should select “Individual” from the drop down.
This screen asks for details about you (if operating as an individual) or your organization (if operating as a corporation or nonprofit). It is important to fill out this information truthfully and correctly. NOTE – Stripe requires that you enter your social security number in order to register. This information is required as part of Stripe’s mandatory identity verification requirement: Stripe must collect, verify, and maintain information on the individuals associated with every US Stripe account, as required by various state and federal regulations. This is intended to promote transparency and prevent individuals from using complex company structures to hide terrorist financing, money laundering, tax evasion, and other financial crimes. See their explanation here. Please note that at no time will Cottage Nosh be in possession of your social security or other private financial information and it will never be made public.
Click “Continue” once you have entered all of the required information.
This page asks for some additional information about your business. In particular it asks for you to identify what Industry your business is in. We suggest inputting “Other food and dining” which is under the “Food and Drink” heading.
The next field asks for a web address for your business. If you already have a website you can enter the URL in this field. If you don’t have a separate website, click the link under the “Business website” field that says “…add a product description instead.”
Clicking that link will open a text window asking you to “tell [Stripe] what products or services you provide…]. We recommend entering “I operate a Cottage Food Business from my home. My business is licensed by the state of New York.”
Click “Continue” once you have entered your “Product Description.”
Select Account for Payouts:
On this page you will provide Stripe with the account information of either your bank account or your debit card so that you can receive funds. Use the “Bank Account” and “Debit Card” buttons to select how you’d like to have funds transferred to you. Enter the bank account or debit card information and click “Save” to continue.
This page helps verify your identity by inputting a picture of you. You may upload a file or use your phone or webcam to add a photo. This is an important security feature to prevent financial fraud. Click “Next” when you are done.
Review and Submit:
This is the final step in the Stripe linking process. Please carefully review all of the information you provided and make sure that it is correct. If you spot any errors use the little pencil icons in the upper right corner of the windows to edit your selections / inputs. If everything looks right, click the “Submit” button.
Once you click submit you will be redirected back to the Cottage Nosh profile builder where you will see confirmation that your Stripe account has been linked to your Seller’s Profile. Click “Next” to move onto the last step: Badging.
Part 3: Badging
The Cottage Nosh Badging system is a quick and easy way to show customers your unique qualifications. Available badges are:
Beta Baker: The first 1000 bakers that join the Cottage Nosh community will be rewarded with a Beta Baker badge indicating that they have contributed to the development and improvement of the platform.
State Licensed: This badge indicates that you have an active license to produce food from your home under your state’s Cottage Food Laws.
Food Safety: This badge is awarded to bakers that provide proof of passing a qualifying food safety course.
Culinary Degree: This badge is awarded to bakers that provide proof of formal training in the culinary arts (certificate level or higher).
Junior Baker: This badge indicates that a Junior Baker has played a material part in the production of the items offered for sale under the supervision of the account owner. The account owner must be the parent or legal guardian of the Junior Baker and assumes all responsibility for compliance with applicable cottage food laws.
Since all Sellers on the Cottage Nosh platform need to be Licensed, let’s go through the process of getting the “State Licensed” badge as a way to demonstrate the system and complete your profile. This is the page you’ll see when you’re in the “Badges” tab of the Profile Builder:
Start by clicking on the badge that you want to earn. In this case, click on the badge that says “State Licensed.” When you do a new window will pop up:
Click on the button that says “Upload” and a file uploader will let you upload your Proof of License document. Once you have submitted your Proof of License, Cottage Nosh administrators will review the document and award you the State Licensed badge. It will automatically appear on your profile.
We know that setting up your profile can be a lot of work and it may get confusing. If you need additional help our team is here to assist you. Please email us at [email protected] and we will answer any questions you may have.
Eric is a baker, lawyer, scientist, and gardener. He enjoys developing and training health regulations and operating procedures. His favorite nosh is apple blueberry tart.