The Gourmet Cupboard MLM Review: Is The Gourmet Cupboard A Scam?

Welcome to my The Gourmet Cupboard MLM review

You probably came to this page because you wonder if The Gourmet Cupboard is a scam or legit?

No need to worry you’re in the right place for the answers to these questions.

Over the last few years, I’ve been busy creating reviews about all kinds of online products.

Some turned out to be fake others were legit ways to make money online but in the process, I learned how to spot scams.

In this post, I’ll show you absolutely everything you need to know about The Gourmet Cupboard and after reading it you’ll know exactly if you should give it a chance.

Is The Gourmet Cupboard A Scam?

The Gourmet Cupboard Review Overview

Name: The Gourmet Cupboard
Website: thegourmetcupboard.com/
Founder: Melissa Holmes, Judy Baker
Product Type: Cooking MLM Company
Earning Potential: Low
Price: $126

The Gourmet Cupboard l
  • A proven brand that’s been around for +7 years.
  • The company delivers quality products.
  • Product pricing is reasonable compared to the market.
  • There’s a legitimate focus on selling products.
  • Reasonable startup and maintenance costs.
  • A good compensation plan.

Summary:
The gourmet Cupboard manufactures and distributes gourmet mixes. The Gourmet Cupboard is a legitimate MLM company but the earning potential is low unless you start recruiting which requires you to invest a lot of money monthly. 

I could only see expert salesmen and recruiters succeeding with this MLM company and even for them, the chances are low.
Similar to:
Younique MLM programYoung Living essential oils MLM programMaryKay MLM programAmsoil MLM programSavvi MLM ProgramTrades of Hope MLM program
Recommended: No

What is The Gourmet Cupboard?

The Gourmet Cupboard is a company founded in 2001 by Melissa Holmes and her mother Judy Baker. The company manufactures and distributes Gourmet Mixes with the help of multi-level marketing.

The Gourmet Cupboard is located at 18003 Hwy 105, Sour Lake, Texas 77659 and is now being run by Melissa and her friend Christy Lee.

How does The Gourmet Cupboard work?

In short, The gourmet Cupboard manufactures and distributes gourmet mixes. Instead of directly selling it to consumers they have chosen to use the MLM model which gives you the choice to earn money by:

  • Selling the products for a commission
  • Recruiting people to earn bonuses.

What is MLM?

MLM (a.k.a network marketing or direct selling) stands for multi-level marketing.

According to Wikipedia, multi-level marketing is a marketing strategy for the sale of products or services where the revenue is derived from a non-salaried workforce.

As a part of this workforce, you sell the products from the company, and/or you recruit people to do the same thing. This group of people you recruit will work under you and is referred to as your downline.

The bigger your downline is the more money you can earn passively (technically speaking) because you’re getting paid a percentage based on the performance of your downline.

This also means the person that recruited you which is called your upline is making money based on your performance.

The act of recruiting turns an MLM company into a pyramid-shaped organization where the first people to join make the most and are on the top of the pyramid and those last to join are at the bottom.

Multi-level_marketing structure

Source: Wikipedia

MLMs have been around for a long time. There are Multi-level marketing companies active today that was founded in the 1950s. MLM has a lot in common with pyramid schemes which is why scammers often use MLM to disguise their pyramid scheme.

Is it absolutely necessary to recruit people? No.

You can also stick to just selling products that you can order and re-sell to make a profit. This is easier said than done for multiple reasons which are why most members try to recruit others so they can earn more money.

How to join The Gourmet Cupboard MLM

You have to be introduced by a member or you can sign-up through the website. After that, you have to purchase a starter kit. You need to at least purchase 1 of 8 starter kits.

Sample Starter Kit, $26.00
Dips Package Starter Kit,  $117.50
Meals and Soups Package Starter Kit, $200.00
Slow Cookers and Soup/Meals, $113.75
Home Show/Festivals/Arts and Craft Show Kit, $450
Advertisement Kit, $29
Fall Starter Kit, $354,75
Party Package, $40,50

You’ll get training and after that, you’re ready to start earning money.

Is The Gourmet Cupboard a pyramid scheme?

To answer this question we need to know what a pyramid scheme is.

What is a pyramid scheme?

A pyramid scheme is a type of scam where people are promised money for joining the scheme and recruiting other people. No selling of a product or service is involved whatsoever.

So you might be wondering where the money comes from?

The people that join are expected to pay a one-time fee and in exchange for that, they get a percentage of the fee of everyone they recruit after that.

The problem is from a mathematical standpoint it’s impossible for everyone to make money because you simply run out of people.

Take a look at this picture below showing how it’s impossible for everyone to earn money.

A Pyramid_scheme

Source: Wikipedia

As you can see, in this pyramid model it’s required to recruit 6 people. You’ll notice from the 12th level and further, it’s not possible anymore for everyone to earn money.

The 2.2 Billion people on the 12th level need 13.1 billion recruits in total for them all to make money which is more people than there are currently on Earth.

Looking at the description of what a pyramid scheme is, The Gourmet Cupboard can’t be classified as a pyramid scheme from a legal perspective. The Gourmet Cupboard sells products and has given people a method to make money without recruiting people.

That being said, there definitely is something that worries me about earning money with The Gourmet Cupboard. Read below to find out what I mean.

Who can benefit from The Gourmet Cupboard?

Who would benefit from joining The Gourmet Cupboard MLM:

  • Expert salesmen
  • Expert recruiters

Who shouldn’t join The Gourmet Cupboard MLM:

  • People that hate sales jobs.
  • People that hate recruiting
  • People that don’t have the budget for it
  • People that expect to earn passive income
  • People outside of the United States 
  • People younger than 18

The Gourmet Cupboard products

The Gourmet Cupboard manufactures gourmet mixes that exist out of all the dry ingredients you need to make the suggested meals. All you need to do is add one or two other ingredients such as sour cream, water, cream cheese, ground meat, etc. 

Here are the categories in which The Gourmet Cupboard offers products:

  • Beverages.
  • Bread & Muffins.
  • Desserts.
  • Dips.
  • Meals & Soups.
  • Salads.
  • Seasonings & Rubs.
  • Side Dishes.
The Gourmet Cupboard Meals


The quality of the Gourmet Cupboard products

Most reviews I found of the mixes are old but they all seem to be very positive about the mixes. Most of them mention that meals are easy to prepare and they taste good. 

The Gourmet Cupboard facebook reviews

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High Commissions
    You start at a commission rate of 20% which is high compared to a lot of other companies.
  • It’s a stable MLM company
    The Gourmet Cupboard has been around since 2001 a time when most companies close their doors within 5 years. They have also survived that last financial crisis which means the chance of them going bankrupt is very small.
  • The products have tangible benefits
    Some of these MLM companies sell products of which you don’t know if they’ll benefit you until you use them. An example of this is essential oils. Its never been concluded from a scientific perspective that they work which limits you in promoting their benefits. The Gourmet Cupboard has the advantage with their products that what you see is what you get. People know exactly what they’re buying.

Cons

  • Low earning potential
    The difference between retail and wholesale prices is $3 which is much lower than most MLM companies. This means you’re going to have to sell an almost impossible number of products to earn decent money. As a result, you’re basically being pushed into recruiting people to earn money.
  • You have to pay to play
    You have to purchase at least $100 worth of products to stay eligible for earning commissions and bonuses. This only gets more expensive, the more you rise the ranks.
  • You’re only trained for face-to-face interaction
    The training at The Gourmet Cupboard is based on face-to-face interaction. In the times we living in with Corona and everything it’s hard to succeed that way.

The Gourmet Cupboard Compensation Plan

The Gourmet Cupboard can be considered a traditional MLM when you look at their compensation plan. You either re-sell their products for a commission or you can recruit people and receive residual income, climb up the ranks, and earn bonuses.

In total there are 10 ranks that all come with their benefits such as getting a higher commission percentage of all your sales starting at 15% to a max of 25%%

  • Basic Consultant
  • Advanced Consultant
  • Chef de Partie
  • Sous Chef
  • Senior Sous Chef
  • Top Chef
  • Master Chef
  • Kitchen Wizard

Here’s a screenshot of the Peach compensation plan with all the commission rates for every rank.

The Gourmet Cupboard compensation plan

How much does it cost to start a Gourmet Cupboard “business”?

This question can be answered by looking at the compensation plan.

Like a lot of MLM compensation plans, the Gourmet Cupboard compensation plan is confusing at first sight. This is why I’m going to only share with you the most important aspects.

The initial cost for starting a Gourmet Cupboard business is a minimum of $26 by purchasing a starter kit.

By paying the initial costs you get the rank of Basic.

To be eligible to earn commission you must place a minimum of $100 during a sales period (which is 6 months) in orders.

The Gourmet Cupboard Quota

source: The Gourmet Cupboard FAQ

In summary, to start your business (and start earning) it’ll cost you a minimum of $126 and after that, you’ll have to spend money on products that you’ll have to sell for a commission.

This only applies to remaining in the lowest rank. The higher ranks will require you to sell an even higher minimum PCV.

The Gourmet Cupboard rank qualifications

How much can you earn with The Gourmet Cupboard?

Technically, the sky is the limit but in reality, we know because of factors such as your ability to recruit, your competition, and the performance of your downlines there’s is often a limit. 

Unfortunately, The Gourmet Cupboard hasn’t published an income disclosure to see what current members are earning but I do see it shares the same “handicaps” most MLM companies have which prevents members from earning decent money.

Why aren’t people earning decent money with MLM companies like The Gourmet Cupboard?

I have summed up the reasons why it’s hard to make money with The Gourmet Cupboard and MLM companies in general into 3 points.

1. MLM’s are often associated with pyramid schemes
MLM’s have a pyramid recruiting structure that you often have to join to be able to make decent money or at the very least not lose money. The problem is a lot of pyramid schemes disguise themselves as MLM programs making it difficult to differentiate the two.

This is the biggest problem why most distributors have a difficult time recruiting people. The moment people hear about how you can make money by recruiting people red flags appear in most people’s minds.

2. You have to consistently invest your money to earn commissions
You’re only eligible for meaningful bonuses and commissions if you buy their products. The bigger the bonuses the more product you have to buy. You do get discounts but if you can’t sell the products I can see you easily fall into a financial deficit (which happens to the majority of MLMs).

3. The price of the product often isn’t aligned with the market

It’s hard for a multi-level marketer to sell products because most MLM products tend to be a lot more expensive than similar products sold by non-MLM companies. This means even if you’re really good at recruiting your downline still needs to sell those same expensive products for you to make decent money.

You can see that translate in these statistics I found about Multi-level Marketing.

  • Nearly half (47%) of MLM participants reported that they lost money.
  • One in four (27%) MLM participants reported that they broke even (made no money).
  • MLM participants are 7% more likely to declare bankruptcy during their lifetime.
  • Direct sales have risen 79% in the last decade, but MLM participants continue to lose money.
  • 90 – 99% of distributors in multilevel marketing only receive a couple of hundred dollars commission per year.
  • Out of 33,000 interviewed, 90 people made enough money to cover costs in building their business.
  • 50% of the people who start a network marketing enterprise abandoned it in the first year.

Sources:
FTC

AARP
Jobsinmarketing.io

The Gourmet Cupboard Reviews, Opinions, and Ratings

To keep this as objective as possible I looked at what other people had to say about The Gourmet Cupboard MLM program. Most websites on Google that reviewed it said that they don’t believe it’s a pyramid scheme but they wouldn’t recommend it.

The majority of the reviewers on Google are of the opinion that the mixes are of good quality but hard to sell. I tend to agree with this sentiment.

My Personal Take

The Gourmet Cupboard isn’t a pyramid scheme or some other kind of scam. It’s a legitimate MLM company but making money with this MLM is going to be incredibly hard without recruiting.

The reason for that is unless you’re selling entire kits the commission rate will only have you earning pocket money. The problem with recruiting is that every month you have to purchase at least $100 worth of products and this increases with every rank.

This is where the chances of losing money increase considerably because there’s no guarantee that you can sell the mixes your purchase.

I wouldn’t recommend The Gourmet Cupboard when there are other money-making methods with higher earning potential that doesn’t have any financial risk.

Verdict

Is The Gourmet Cupboard A Scam? No. The Gourmet Cupboard is not a scam but that doesn’t mean it’s a great opportunity either. While the commission rate is decent the price of the products is low which is why it requires you to sell an almost impossible number of products to earn decent money. 

The only way to make decent money is to get residual incomes based on recruiting. The problem with this is the financial risk becomes exponentially higher because of the monthly purchases you need to make to qualify for ranks.

The Gourmet Cupboard Alternative

Let’s be honest unless you’re very skilled at selling and recruiting, MLM’s seem like a bad deal.

What if I said to you there’s a method to make money online that doesn’t require you to recruit people or resell products?

Sound like a better option for most right?!

If you want to make money online from anywhere including your own home I recommend looking into affiliate marketing.

I think this method is a better option for most people because you can earn just as much as with multi-level marketing but you don’t have to bother people to join your downline.

There is no need to dig yourself into a financial hole without knowing if you can succeed and you aren’t required to sell a minimum of products to stay eligible for commissions.

I learned how to do affiliate marketing with the help of a step-by-step beginners course on an affiliate marketing training platform called Wealthy Affiliate.

about Wealthy Affiliate

Interested in doing the same? Learn more about the training platform and try out their FREE starters course.

If you have experience with MLM companies like Peach leave a comment.

I’d love to hear what you think about it.

That’s all for today.

See you at my next post!

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