Storm this morning resulted in the Schenectady Green Market being canceled for the day, which poses a serious problem for me, as I’m trying to buy as much fresh and local as I can, and without that market, I’m stuck. I was still able to get fresh local eggs and zucchini, but had to go supermarket for my pie fillings. I am not a happy baker.
My mother-in-law helped me open the booth, and she was more interested in setting the scene than in my food pictures. A couple of kids enjoying my cupcakes (everyone who gave me feedback on food was well satisfied, except one person who found something too sweet - which I can’t really argue with, it was damn sweet).
Top shot is me speaking with a customer, and bottom shot is my booth - with the blue tent - along the line of other booths. The woman next to me had very tasty home made crackers.
Farmer’s Market Pictures!!
How is it Saturday already?? So, the Farmer’s Market was Thursday, and it went very well. Pretty much everything went smoothly in the preparation (well, there was one total disaster, but I was able to work around it surprisingly easily). It turns out that I made more than was needed, which is the kind of lesson that can only be learned through experience, but it was a lovely day, there was a decent amount of traffic, and I earned more than I spent on ingredients even taking into account that I over prepared.
Top picture is my booth!
Pictures of what I had for sale:
1. Pulla braided white loaf and a honey whole wheat loaf
2. bagels in five flavors - plain, sesame, poppy seed, onion and everything
3. vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting and chocolate cake with caramel frosting
4. chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies
5. almond blueberry bar
6. everything staged in my car trunk :)
7. peach-blueberry pie
Overall, I learned a ton just by doing it once, and I’m already well into planning next week - I’ve got the menu set and the shopping lists ready to go. :)
In the busy-ness caused by the Farmer’s Market, I didn’t get to post these. A friend’s mother called me out of the blue and asked for four dozen cupcakes. She was celebrating (?) the retirement of a coworker, and because she works third shift, she wanted the cupcakes to be extra cheerful, and at least some of them to be light. She asked for four comboes:
1. the top image is a “strawberry short cake” cupcake - angel food cake base, stabilized whip cream topping, and a strawberry on top.
2. chocolate cake with whipped cream and grated chocolate on top.
3. lemon cupcakes with vanilla frosting (dyed yellow) and a candied lemon peel.
4. vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting (dyed purple).
Everything on track so far! I had a to-do list for the weekend and today that has been completed, which is good cause I leave for work in an hour and won’t be home til late. Just about all the not-food prep parts are done (with an assist from my wife who will be finishing my tablecloth tonight) and some of the food stuff is done, too (two cookie doughs made and chilled and ready to bake, and the dry components of granola have been mise en placed).
My menu selection for Thursday are:
- Honey Whole Wheat Bread (in 1 lb. and 1.5 lb. loaves)
- Pulla Braided Loaves (in 1 lb. and 1.5 lb. loaves)
- Bagels (plain, poppy, sesame, onion, and yes please)
- Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream
- Vanilla Cupcakes with Mixed Berry Buttercream
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Sugar Cookies (decorated with royal icing, if all goes as planned)
- Honey Nut Granola (in 1 lb. bags)
- Peach-Blueberry Pie
- Almond Blueberry Bars
I’m simultaneously worried that it’ll be too much food or too little (it’ll be 2 dozen loaves of bread, 3 dozen bagels, 2 dozen cupcakes total, 6 bags of granola, 4 pies and somewhere around 60 cookies). I won’t know til I do it, I guess.
I don’t even know where to start talking about all the work I’ve done the last two days in preparation. Wednesday, when I filled an order for four dozen cupcakes, feels like it was a lifetime ago.
In super short order, then, since Thursday, I’ve:
- worked 20 hours at my regular job.
- researched lists of suggested things to pack as a vendor at a sale.
- put together extensive lists of everything that I needed.
- bought allllllll those things (primarily: things related to displays; things related to transportation; and things related to packaging).
- decided on recipes.
- compiled all the recipes.
- figured out weights and quantities to make and how many recipes that would require.
- checked if I had enough ingredients and assembled shopping lists.
- decided on a schedule for getting everything made.
- costed everything.
- priced everything.
- assembled organization lists and figured out how to store everything for transport.
- cleaned up the whole office, which I’ve horribly neglected, so that the space is usable.
- visited the farmer’s market and took a look around, introduced myself to some of the other vendors, all that jazz.
- started to put everything together so that it can be ready to go.
- planned out how I would package and display all my goods so that people can try them and see them but most won’t be exposed to the elements.
There’s probably more, but I’m too tired now to even think of them. I’m ready to fall on my face, so I can work again tomorrow, and then work on all of this more tomorrow.
Do ya’ll want more extensive blog posts about this kind of stuff? Do you have questions about running a booth, planning menus, pricing, etc.?
Sooo…remember when I was counting on opening up my booth in farmer’s markets as the way to get this little business going, and then I didn’t get accepted for any, and I kind of jumped the rails on getting things done, and this blog go really quiet?
Yesterday, I got an e-mail that one of the markets would like me after all! I now have a week to do all the planning and preparation that I would have had months to do had they just accepted me in the first place. I’m excited and nervous and freaked out. But I also had done the majority of the ground work, so I CAN get it all done in the week, it’s just gonna be tiring on top of everything else I’ve got going on.
I’d say ya’ll can expect a resurrection on here, cause I’m BACK! And I have motivation again! Cause starting next week I’ll have a booth through October at the Clifton Park Farmer’s Market!
Then come join the network that I made to feature as many food blogs as possible. This has been something that I made actually three years ago, but hasn’t fully grown into fruition. So I want to change that. Please read the FAQs here. Also, you may reblog this to spread the word.
Reminder to self: do this when not on iPad. :)
Here’s the order I filled today!
Top is lemon cake with strawberry buttercream, garnished with a candied lemon peel.
Bottom is spice cake with caramel buttercream, garnished with brown sugar crumble.
There were also a dozen chocolate chip cookies, but they weren’t much to look at.
It’s been ages since I made buttercream, and since I did fun creative stuff like make garnishes, and it was really nice to get the chance to do so again. Those little touches make a big difference in the overall presentation. They certainly look nice, and everything tasted good on it’s own, so hopefully they taste good as a full package. :)