4.6.11

My First Day at the Farmer's Market

First of all, I must tell you that this is a very modest Farmer's Market.  Even in high season, there are a limited number of stalls.  So, considering our very late start to the growing season, there are no fresh vegetables yet.

I took my baking.  I had homemade graham crackers and homemade vanilla marshmallows.  I made granola and granola bars.  There was a Hummingbird layer cake, oatmeal haskap squares, rhubarb muffins, Cape Breton style oatcakes and onion & poppyseed savoury crackers.

I was so nervous.  I had the alarm set for 4:30am but barely slept all night in fear I would sleep in.  My plan was to work my No Knead Bread and set it for the final rising by 5am, roll out the cinnamon buns next, bake the haskap squares, bake the rhubarb muffins and ice the Hummingbird cake.  Then it would be time to bake the buns and bread.  No problem.

I did not factor in the fact that I could not complete the making of the cinnamon dough last night.  I forgot how long it takes to heat my steam assist oven to 450F.  And then the jitters of feeling like I might be judged by peers on this, my first time, at a Farmer's Market.

Long story short, I put the cinnamon bun dough in the fridge.  Too much work, too little time.  I felt I was running late on baking my bread so enlisted two round heavy duty cake pans as bread pans.  Thus I baked all 4 loaves at the same time.  I decided that the two round cake pans were better than using my Le Creuset pots!  Who would have thought?

My colleagues at the Market were wonderful!  So supportive and helpful.  I felt right at ease and welcome.  It was a slow day but the afternoon picked up.  I had so many positive comments from clients because I was trying to offer some new-to-them items.  Gluten-free is a definite market that I will explore further.

I was literally giving away my Hummingbird Cake.  But, hey, do I want to eat an entire layer cake?  Students from my substitute classes and friends came by so I rewarded them with some cake.  Anyone who bought a piece could decide the size of their piece of cake.  They were happy, I was happy!

Being the analyst that I am, I kept detailed notes on the weather, the time of day that every item was purchased, male or female choices, the hourly buying patterns and more.

I am now another day smarter!  Thank you to all who stopped by, whether you purchased or not.  I enjoyed your comments and input.  It all helps me to better serve you.  I am even more blown away by the advance orders for more bread and cinnamon rolls (which did not even materialize today...but they will in two weeks because I have a pre-paid order!)

Come again!

15 comments:

  1. Well I can say I am one very satisfied customer! Oh that bread ~ yum! It took every ounce of will power to not eat the whole loaf! But I shall savour every morsel. I am thinking that I look forward to your cinnamon rolls. I might even share them with may boys... maybe... ;) I will watch for you to be at the market again. I can hardly wait until all the fresh veggies start showing up as well!

    I hope the rest of your weekend is wonderful Sarah ~ let us hope for a sunny day all day tomorrow!
    xo Catherine

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  2. Hello from SPAIN VIGO, I like to find your recipes and blog, beautiful photos, TE SIGO and invite you to share my recipes and blog greetings MARIMI

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  3. Good for you -- you did it! And now that you have the experience, you can only have a smoother go at it next time, right?

    You should be pleased as punch!

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  4. Yeah... first day over!!! So much to learn about audience and their tastes. In NY they charge $3 for a cinnamon roll... I hope you can charge what you are worth!!

    Slowly but surely, with teases of the new... they will come in droves!!

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  5. There is nothing like the relief that is felt after completing a first time experience! I am glad that it was successful!!

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  6. I think you are very brave, I would never try to take on something like that. Well done, Diane

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  7. Everything looks beautiful! I'm sure you'll have many repeat customers! And with the "first time" jitters over, it will go better in succeeding weeks.

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  8. Thank you Sarah, for the delicious hascap berry jam that you sent to me. It is simply wonderful! I am trying my hand at canning jams and jellies this summer. It's a new challenge for me that I'm anxious to learn! Once again, thank you so much!

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  9. Not easy to please every customer, but I'm sure you're doing so well, you're my hero, you're so brave!
    Cheers

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  10. Congrats on your first day, Sarah! How nice that the others were kind and helpful. You were really ambitious and I know everything tasted great so how can you miss?

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  11. Thank you for your visite and your nice comment. The translation button is up right in my blog.
    Kouky

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  12. Congrats on a successful first day with some pre-sales, Sarah! Good luck with this weekend too.

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  13. It sounds like such a fun interprise!!!!!

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  14. Congratulations! What a wonderful new project you have. I confess (and I was probably not alone) that I read the first part of your post like this: "I took my baking. I had homemade graham crackers and homemade vanilla marshmallows. I made granola and granola bars." That is what I understood you had prepared for sale - and that you were then telling us that there was also: "There was a Hummingbird layer cake, oatmeal haskap squares, rhubarb muffins, Cape Breton style oatcakes and onion & poppyseed savoury crackers." I almost flipped when I read on to find you made ALL of this. WOW! The hummingbird cake I will look for on your site in a minute. I hope you posted making it. The same with the oatmeal haskap squares; I call them honeyberries. Did you freeze them last year? I transplanted mine this year, so they are not as prolific as usual - but I haven't discovered what to do with them, so this is a recipe I want to see.
    I hope you at least, broke even! I am sure you will get repeat customers. Be careful about the giveaways! It is hard not to do it everytime once you start! We home cooks are so used to giving away that it is really hard to stop when starting a food related business.
    :)
    Valerie

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  15. I'm going to our local farmers' market tomorrow to check out what's fresh and growing for other gardeners and farmers. Lookin' forward to it!

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