Friday, September 2

What I Did This Summer or My Farmer's Market Adventures

Like I said in my previous post, there isn't really an instruction book on how to open a food business. So I started vending and I learned a lot. Yes, mistakes were made. Of course they were not devastating or I wouldn't be here blogging. I'd probably would be crying in my car with the lights off.

The Positives:

The Upper Merion Farmers Market - During my search of vending options, I came across this weekly market. Many other markets I searched in my area were booked it seemed 6 months prior. UMFM welcomes both weekly, bi-weekly, and occasional vendors.

I made way too much for the Memorial Day weekend. I thought this was a "light" selection

My fellow vendors were all from the 100 mile radius of the area. I saw what they were selling and how they marketed their product. I realized I had to packaging my items to catch the eye of my customers.

The first day was the Saturday of the Memorial Day Weekend. I thought I was making the minimum. Oh heavens was I wrong. The one thing I did learn is to listen to my customers. The patrons included a good number of senior citizens. They would look and say they could not eat sugar because of diabetes or other health issues. So guess what I placed on the menu next time?

Sugar-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
Made with stiva.

The extremely helpful managers and volunteers answered every one of my stupid questions and helping me setup my tent. Also the other vendors sold some great stuff!

Coffee. My lifeblood.

Also dogs are welcomed.


The Cons:

I decided rather quickly that I wanted to participate in a farmers' market. Much like my standard, I decided that I was going to do this and I'm doing it now! In some cases, I don't like researching too much or else I get a case of the nerves.

I've previously shopped in other markets so I kind of knew what to expect, but I've never attended this one in particular. The only research available was the listing on the website. I did not want to sell anything that conflicted with my neighboring vendors.

At my first market day I brought a big selection - regular items (baked goods made with eggs and butter), gluten free, and vegan. Now my menu has regular items, fewer vegan, no gluten free, and child-friendly sweets.

At this point my season is nearly over and I am finally getting the handle of what to make, how much to make, and other factors such as how temperature affects shopping attendance. One big revelation is that kid-friendly items attract children and it makes parents hard to say no.

Cue evil laughter.

It's the end of the summer and it's time to consider the fall menu. Oh the ideas that I have.

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