What to Look for in a Custom Label Printer as a Food Start-up

Printing is a vital service for many food businesses, whether you need a banner for your food truck or market stall, custom labels for your products, or floor decals or safety cards for your shared kitchen.

Finding a printer you can trust that can cater to your unique needs can be a real challenge, especially for growing companies. 

Many food industry startups are trapped in a bind when it comes to printing labels and other collateral. They don’t want to pay huge sums upfront for large minimum orders that a lot of printers require. 

But without professionally printed, high-quality labels, they’ll never grow big enough to be able to make larger orders.


Many of the printers that offer small order sizes at affordable prices are not equipped to deal with the unique challenges of the industry and deliver a cheap product that is not up to the required standards.

On top of that, small food businesses that use shared kitchens often require small runs of a variety of custom labels and may need to change details frequently as they grow, especially in such uncertain times when many small businesses are having to adapt quickly to survive.

You can’t compromise on your labels or logo stickers as they are the first impression many potential customers have of your brand. So cheaping out on your printing is not an option.

What you need as a growing food business, as many that use shared kitchens are, is a printer that gets your situation and provides a service to match your needs rather than their own. 

The good news is that with the huge advances taking place in digital printing today, it’s no longer necessary to pay for a massive print run every time you need a new label. Printers are able to make small changes, print small orders, and adapt as you do to offer a service that is affordable but still of the highest quality.


How Leapin’ Lizard Labels Helps Growing Food Businesses Make It

Leapin’ Lizard Labels is a custom printer based in Fort Collins, Colorado that puts a priority on helping small businesses over the hurdles they face by providing high quality, small-batch, custom printing nationally with impeccable customer service.

Leapin’ Lizard founder Todd Boyt has been printing since 1984 – it’s in his blood. He knows the importance of labels to food businesses, explaining that “the label is the first thing people see of the product. That’s gonna tell part of the dream for the product of the entrepreneur behind the scenes.”

“We’re a family-owned business and a family-run business.” He continues, “Our family includes our clients, our vendors and our team. Our belief is that if our clients are successful, then we’ll be successful and our community will be successful too.”

Marketing and Sales Director for the company Courtney Lewallen explains what makes Leapin’ Lizard different from traditional printers, “We have you covered with the highest quality and ultimate customer experience, with no set-up fees, no minimums, no plate or dye fees and no extra cost for custom shapes and colors.”

“We print labels, stickers, banners, floor decals and window clings.” She continues, “We work in every industry, but the food industry is a big one for us.”


Courtney explains that as a family-owned business they understand the pressures and challenges of running a small business. “We started in our basement. And we know a lot of businesses start in their basement or kitchen until they get big enough to be in a commercial shared kitchen.”

Far from excluding small businesses that don’t always need large, expensive orders, at Leapin’ Lizard, they want to help the little guy.

“We want to work with companies that have the chance to succeed and grow with us.” She continues, “That’s why we try not to discriminate against any business whether it’s small or large. We have some companies we’ve worked with since pretty much day one and watched them grow from a local mom-and-pop selling their product at a farmers’ market to being a national brand. So we try to help break the barrier to entry for these businesses.”

Courtney explains that although Leapin Lizard tends to work more with food businesses that use shared kitchens than the shared kitchen owners themselves, that’s always a possibility too.

She says: “Let’s say there’s a shared kitchen that’s just opening up and they want to get their name out there and they need a grand opening banner, we’ll do that free of charge. If there’s a small business that we’ve never worked with before but they’re getting off the ground, we’ll provide smaller assets like that to give them a jumpstart.”

Even if their service isn’t the right fit for your business, they’ll happily recommend another printer. And if they make a mistake, which Courtney admits does happen, they will do everything in their power to make it right. 

“Our big thing is transparency.” She explains, “We want amazing communication and offer amazing transparency. We understand that we’re not always correct but we always do our best so if there’s anything we can do to make a situation right, or get a partial order out if they need it. We try and do everything we can to help that business succeed. We understand that we’re just one step in the process.”


Why Leapin’ Lizard Labels?

The name Leapin’ Lizard does jump off the page and there happens to be an awesome parallel which Courtney reveals: “One of our lead designers, Kate, is also the head of the Herpetological Society of Northern Colorado.”

For those not in the know, herpetology from the Greek for “creeping animal”  is the study of amphibians, reptiles, and other such creepers.

“Kate lives with the two lizards that are in our videos and headshots,” Courtney explains, “Egwene is the iguana and Montu is the bearded dragon. She takes them to educational events around Colorado and because she works with us, they’ve kind of turned into our mascots.”

The quirky attitude and love of lizards are typical of the ethos at the company. The focus is not solely on profit above everything, it’s on supporting businesses large and small through the good and the bad times and doing whatever they can to help them thrive. They are available to food businesses nationally. 


How Horsetooth Hot Sauce Grew into their Own Space with Leapin’ Lizard’s Help

Horsetooth Hot Sauce is a family-owned and operated hot sauce and condiment producer also based in Fort Collins, Colorado. The brand is the brainchild of dynamic couple John and Michael Ann Comeau, who started it as a tiny operation out of a shared kitchen space. The duo have since developed a fiery reputation for their unique hot sauces, BBQ sauces, and Bloody Mary mixes. 

By its nature, Horsetooth produces small batches of a number of different products, from its range of sauces, and cocktail mixes, to seasonal special batches and collaborations with local food and drinks companies.

The order numbers for labels were small, varied, and changed often from the beginning meaning they needed flexibility, reliability, and quality from a printer that would allow orders small and large.

As another family-run business in the Fort Collins community, Leapin’ Lizard Labels has been the perfect fit, helping the young business grow and thrive while keeping its family spirit and commitment to the local community intact.

Courtney and the team at Leapin’ Lizard are very proud of how they were able to help the company outgrow its shared kitchen space. 

She says: “Horsetooth Hotsauce is one of the many clients of Leapin’ Lizard Labels that started in a shared kitchen and has since grown exponentially and we are thrilled to grow with them.”


Take the Leap Your Business Needs with Leapin’ Lizard Labels

Whether you’re a shared kitchen owner or a food start-up working out of a shared space, when it comes to printing, you can’t compromise. 

Courtney and the Leapin’ Lizard team created this video to educate business owners on the common pitfalls to look out for when choosing a labeling partner. It should help you make the right choice.

If you think Leapin’ Lizard Labels is the right printing partner for you, you might want to take advantage of an excellent deal on offer exclusively to The Food Corridor’s community of shared kitchen owners and users. 

When you mention The Food Corridor to the friendly team, you get this starter package as a welcome gift:

  • 20% off your first label order
  • 4 free floor decals or 50 free logo stickers
  • A 3’x4’ banner for $36
  • Free ground shipping on all orders

Find out more on the website or give the team a call at 970-484-0850 to discuss your printing needs and to see how Leapin’ Lizard Labels can make your brand stick.

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