Cottage business taking off in first few months

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Josie and Matt Johnson have added big bursts of flavors to the Frazee food scene with their new business 5-0 Foods.

By Robert Williams


With food businesses multiplying in Frazee monthly in 2024, the latest may be the town’s best-kept secret. Josie and Matt Johnson’s 5-0 Foods provides a unique blend of sweets and freeze-dried snacks that will blow your taste buds away in a good way.

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Josie and Matt Johnson’s 5-0 Foods provides a unique blend of sweets and freeze-dried snacks in Frazee.

Matt is a retired law enforcement officer and runs Johnson Performance Firearms, Sales and Training. Josie is a former correctional officer who works full-time for the Detroit Lakes Police Department. Their combined backgrounds make up the name of their curbside pickup and deliver food business: 5-0 Foods.

The couple was excited to do a web search and find the name available. They took ownership of it and quietly began their business in January of this year.

Josie prefers to let her sweets do the talking and they do. She has her own perfected chemistry in creating her delights.

“She’s got it dialed in,” said Matt. “She has given recipes away to people and they can’t recreate it because they don’t have the technique down.”

Quality ingredients combined with a specific process is what created an incredible finished product.

“It’s just years of experience,” Josie said.

Aside from being the head dishwasher, Matt brings his own specialty of food preservation to the recipes. Utilizing freeze drying, Matt can hand you a jar of dried bananas that will blow you away and Josie has been grinding up those products to use in her recipes. 

Each bite of any of the Johnson’s snacks explodes with unexpected flavor.

“The flavor tends to be a little intense. She’ll use a blueberry powder and you can’t duplicate that with a blueberry, so now she’ll use a whole blueberry plus the powder,” said Matt.

“You get blueberry with every bite,” Josie said.

The Johnsons have friends they use as taste testers and have a growing customer base. They gave community members a first taste at this year’s Taste of the Wild hosted by Harvest Church. Taste of the Wild is an event that caters to both of their businesses, guns and sweets.

“That was the first time we did anything with 5-0 Foods,” said Matt. “When we’re doing an event with firearms, it’s just busy. We did mini-cookies for samples.”

The couple began 5-0 Foods by acquiring a Minnesota Cottage License for the freeze-dried side of the business. The Cottage Food Law allows for individuals to make and sell certain non-potentially hazardous food and canned goods in Minnesota without a license.

Then the youngest of the Johnson’s four kids, Mya, wanted to bring snacks to school and after finding one of her half-eaten apples in her locker after a four-day weekend, dad came up with a better idea.

“Let’s do something that you can take to school and you and your friends can have as a snack and it’s healthy,” said Matt. “You can’t send them with strawberries because they go bad. If we freeze dry them then we have something that can last 15-20 years.”

The freeze-dried strawberries were a big hit at school and with other parents and around Christmas they got the cottage license and began doing direct sales.

“It went over really well,” Matt said. “We sold out of all of our stuff.”

Since then, 5-0 Foods has grown simply by word-of-mouth. As word grew, customers from the Johnson Performance business were beginning to time their visits with Matt to coincide when Josie was making cookies. 

“They wanted the cookies!” said Matt.

The business moved online with a simple Facebook post of Monster Cookie Monday on January 29.

“We made a bunch and sold out,” said Matt.

The problem was now the Johnsons had created a demand for their product and up to this point Josie was baking just for fun.

Matt completed the online portals for 5-0 Foods with Instagram ( and complementing their Facebook page (

The couple began delivering around Frazee, but had to find a way to control demand for their products to avoid giving each other a second full-time job, something Josie definitely wants to stay away from as she is set on her law enforcement career for the time-being.

“I love what I do for work,” said Josie.

Products are prepared fresh to order on designated bake dates or special ordered in advance for events such as parties, weddings and other functions.

“We’ve had to cut back and limit some of what we’re doing on certain days because she does the baking to relax,” said Matt.

“It’s just my way of burning off stress,” said Josie.

The freeze-dried side of the business has become another area of exploration. 50-Foods provides anything from freeze-dried jalapenos to Greek yogurt bites and cheese cake. Not only are they delicious, but they are easy to package, easy to take along while traveling, commuting or camping.

“The freeze dryer pretty much runs non-stop; it’s going constantly,” said Matt.

Currently, having specific bake dates and taking orders ahead of time have allowed the Johnsons to balance the growth of the business while maintaining their own lifestyles, and working their “real” jobs, all while raising four children. 

Managing their supply has also kept demand steady and in check at the same time.

“People don’t get tired of them because you can’t get them every day,” said Matt.

The future of 5-0 Foods is a laissez-faire and organic plan for the Johnsons.

“We’re just going to see how things go,” said Josie.

“Just wait and see what happens; it just took off a little quicker than we were planning,” said Matt.

New customers are best off sending a message through the 5-0 Foods Facebook page to get a timely response. For more product and business information, visit