Whew! I’m tired! We went to our first farmer’s market today! We brought only 1 out of 4 kids, since we weren’t sure what the market would be like. The others were watched by my friend & hung out with her kids. This is us with our son Noah at our booth. Noah was our little helper & he really seemed to enjoy his special time with Mommy & Daddy. 🙂
We wanted to get into a big market. We started applying in January. We are on the waiting list for some of the big markets. We got into a smaller, weekday afternoon/evening market instead. The Saturday market version of this particular market is, I think, the largest/most profitable market in the state. If a Saturday vendor drops out, they fill in that slot with weekday people….So it’s good to be at the weekday market, for that reason. Lesson learned: it is not easy to get into big markets!
It was windy, a little chilly, and it rained for a tiny bit. I silently prayed for the rain to stop and it did. Thank you, God! We were thankful for the sand-filled weights that we set up for our awning. We were thankful for clipboards and a brochure holder for all of our paperwork.
It was a slow day. It was the first day of the market for the year, and the weather certainly did not help. Supposedly this market typically gets around 2,000 people at it. (The Saturday market gets 20,000!!!). There were nowhere near 2,000 people there today.
Today we had pork cuts, whole chicken and a full cooler of eggs at the market with us. We were also taking pre-orders for ducks, geese, turkeys and beef. We are the only meat vendor at the weekday market, and we were the only people selling eggs.
We did not do as well as we hoped. 🙁 We sold 5 dozen eggs, some bacon and pork chops. A little disappointing, to say the least. After paying the market fee for having a booth there ($20 per week), the young man who milks our cow 1 night per week so that we can go to market, the babysitter (who we trade milk for babysitting, but still, that’s a product that’s worth $), and the gas (not to mention all of the supplies we bought to set up), we are in the hole, big time…So sad! We are hoping that the market picks up momentum…and that more people will buy our stuff! My hubby said he was disappointed, because we could’ve sent out an e-mail promotion to our customers & had just as many sales–without the expense of the market.
2 people asked about the ingredients in our feed. Note to self: print a copy of the feed label to bring to the next market!
2 people said they were interested in chicken but didn’t want a whole chicken. Another note to self: have some chicken cut into parts to sell at market….(will it cost way too much per pound? Will people buy it?)….and maybe make a flyer to teach people how to cook a whole chicken. Is cooking whole chicken really that intimidating????
A couple of people were interested in our duck meat, and one hopes we will have some next week (we might…or it will be the next week!).
People wanted beef, but we didn’t have any for sale today, and it won’t be ready until September or October.
Lots of people liked the idea of meats without soy or corn, but few people voted with their dollars and supported us in this endeavor. 🙁
The booths with samples had all of the people. The booths on either side of us had lots of people stopping at them. One had a “tomato jam” (kind of like ketchup ;)) and another had berries. People were stopping in for the samples. Next week we’re going to have little cubes of ham…and an electric skillet (with an extension cord) so that we can fry it up there so that everyone smells it. Maybe they can dip our ham in the tomato jam. 🙂
We found that we sold more eggs when we set a dozen out in plain sight. If people don’t have to read what we have, they’re more likely to buy. If only we could display our frozen chicken and pork nicely!! We found that more people came to our table when it was pushed out towards the front of the tent. At first we had it set back, so that in case it rained, people could come under it. Nobody did. I think it feels like you’re stepping into someone’s personal space when you walk into their tent like that. So we moved the table out & that’s when we started getting customers.
Several people took our fliers. People asked if we’d be back the next week. People asked if they could come to our farm to buy stuff, too. Some people signed up for our e-mail list. At the very least, we made some good contacts. And I got a free iced coffee. And discounted gluten free cookies, since we are vendors…And it was a fun experience.
Overall, we liked it….we just hope to make some actual income there in the future. If not, we’ll have to re-think Farmer’s Market.
Have you sold your products at Farmer’s Market before? What was your experience like?