Friday, 12 October 2012

Not to market...anymore

So my heart is a little heavy, yet in some way excited and relieved?

It is a strange combination.

After 5 months of going to my monthly market at Bowral public school markets, we have decided to stop.

At the moment it is not a viable option for my family. And they come first.

We have decided that my time and our resources will be better spent via other options, like etsy, madeit, this blog, and finally a facebook business page!(like me, please like me!!!) ... and maybe twitter ( I had a few people ask if I twittered-is that the right word (I am such an IT virgin)? So that may be another option, but let's just take it one step at a time.

Do I regret doing the market? In a word- No.

If anything I have slight regret for stopping so soon. In saying that I do not regret the extra time it will give me for my family.

I did the market for, well, market research in a way.

It was great to actually see what people were really wanting. I know it is a different environment, with people wanting a treat to eat at the market, rather than something to take home.
Dark and milk chocolate join forces with caramel sauce and walnuts in this brownie.

So doing the market helped develop different product lines, and helped me gain a better understanding of what people expect and want from my product.
I don't know if Blondies have more fun, maybe the caramel and walnut help with that.

I started out with one brownie, and now from selling out in the first market, I have three types of brownies and two blondies. All of which I sold out of most every month there.

This is the 'healthy' brownie, please meet Lady Vegan Dark Chocolate and Real raspberry.
I also found that people love the mini cupcakes I had, and so from starting with just the one flavour again, each month I developed and introduced a new flavour to get more feedback.
Yummy red velvets, just look how light and moist they are, mmm....

I was quite lucky to have return customers who were happy to give honest feedback, so I knew what was working and what did not.
Oh, cookies and cream, why won't you stand up? everyone is looking now. (I'm never gunna figure this thing out)

I will miss seeing the forlorn look turning to delight on peoples faces when they realised it was all gluten free, or hearing someone call out to their partner or friend "Hey this chick does all gluten free, quick- have a look". It was like... I don't actually know how to describe it, but for me, it's like someone telling you that the only cake you'll ever eat again is made of almond meal. at first it is lovely, and you are just happy to be eating cake, but then years of the same birthday cake becomes like porridge in your mouth. Soooo when you are expecting only to ever have 'porridge' and someone says you can have anything and everything... it's like that elation you thought would never come!

I'll also miss having the opportunity to just take two steps to buy some lovely organic veg, I'll miss the most delicious hot lemon drink (a lot), and I'll miss the excitement of the market itself, not my excitement, but the atmosphere.

Also, almost every month I would have someone say 'Oh, I'd love this, but I have to have gluten free:( -frowny face- Which was almost my favourite phrases to reply to with 'It's all gluten free'. Then it would be either one of two responses.
1- 'OOOooooOOOooooohhhhhh.....well I'll have.......' or
2- 'I better not, I'm trying to loose weight'.
Well even if this is Gluten, Dairy and egg free... a mud cake ain't gunna help you lose weight!

Some really good things happened too. I mean on top of making other gluten free-ks feel good.
-I had my first wholesale enquiry and order!!!
-I was pushed to develop new recipes for various needs (like fructose malabsorbtion- on top of being dairy and gluten free)
-I found the market stall holder community was very welcoming, supportive and cheerful.
-I found that there were people all around me who wanted to support me, something I did not expect.
-My babies got to have some real one on one time with dada.
-People are interested in giving their coeliac friends something nice when they come over for a cuppa
-People definitely cannot tell that my goodies are gluten free! Actually most of my customers were confused as to why I was asking them if they needed gluten free! It was a bit funny actually.

There were also a few things that caught me off guard, or that confused me a little.
-questions like "how do you do this... I want to make some for..."
-comments such as "don't you have anything that cost less than $3?"
-very windy days! Even though I had weights and pegs in, I still found there were moments where I had to grab onto the tent as it lifted up!
-whether or not I should have been charging the market director for her purchases?
-if other stallholders expected a discount or special offer? Which I always gave, if I knew they were stallholders.
I think some of these things will leave me  pondering for a while.

I do want to say that without the support of my gorgeous husband, I would not have been able to get out there even one time. He came through for me (as he always does) in so many do I count the ways.. I cannot, there are simply too many.

So Imma finish up now so I can go help him in the shed, cos that's where he is, and I want to be with him!

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