I was just wondering if anyone has tried to sell their sweets at their local farmers market. If you have I was just wondering how you did. Have any tips or suggestions for me? Thanks
My farmer's market starts next Friday. I've never done one before, so I have no idea what will sell and what won't, so I'm just going to do a selection of cookies (decorated and traditional), plus some cupcakes and squares, and see what sells.
I will be watching the weather forecasts closely, because I'm certain that will make a difference in how many people come out. I have no clue how many to expect, or how much of anything to make. Trial and error, I think. Sorry, absolutely no help to you at all, but know I'm with you in spirit!!!
First check your health code.
Our local farmer's market has cookies made in home kitchens that have been inspected. They are stored loose under a dome, packaged as you buy them in a waxed paper bag.
I've been selling between 2 farmers markets for the past couple of weeks. I find that basic things seem to do the best. Some of the things that have been selling well are cinnamon rolls, apple pie, cookies (chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, peanut butter no bakes), peanut butter fudge, etc. I tried cupcakes the first week but didn't do too well with those, especially since I tried to put 6 on a plate and put a ziploc bag over it. I might not do them again unless I get aluminum or plastic cupcake containers for them. I was surprised that brownies (I packages 4 in a ziploc bag) didn't tend to go over well.
A few suggestions. Make sure you have shade to cover your table to help keep your goodies cool. Also try to avoid anything that will melt or requires refrigeration.
Thank you for all the help you have given me. This will be my first time putting my stuff out for the public. Still not sure what I am going to take but I really appreciate you all taking the time to help me out. Thanks! I will let you know how I do.
I have to agree with 7yyrt. Make sure you are even allowed to sell. You don't want to open yourself up to a visit, call, e-mail from the health inspector!
Welcome to CC!
This is my 2nd year doing the farmers market. I have done several different ones. This year, we're doing 3 markets (2 weekly ones and 1 monthly one).
My advice is this: Do alot of things meant to be like groceries...but also do some individual things.
I make a dozen cookies and put them in a gallon-size freezer bag with a 10" square cake board (from Decopac). People love the packaging because they can fit them in the freezer and they're more visible.
I also do individual cookies...but I do giant ones. They are about 5-6 inches in diameter and I put them in a ziploc sandwich bag. People love them.
Cake only sells in individual little cakes...at least in my area.
muffins...well, the only time I ever sold a good amount of muffins was when I made several kinda and individually wrapped them then separated by baskets and let them choose what kinds they wanted. It was too much of a bother so I only did it once.
If you know how to make bread, it sells like hotcakes at the markets! My mom makes bread and I make pastries so that works well for us.
Pies usually sell pretty well...just start with a few the first week and see how they sell before trying to make too many.
Of course, you'll have to just experiment with what people like because it depends on where you live and really, what market it is. What sells at one market won't sell at another, even if they're very close.
Make it all look abundant! If you don't have much, people won't be interested in looking. The farmers market is about abundance. It's amazing how much more one veggie vendor will sell than another just because he's got alot more things...
Think vertically. Don't just lay it all out on a table. Get some shelves and have some things on the shelves and others on the table. We use white wire shelves and we can take them down as things sell.
Transporting the goods...Have you thought about how you're getting it all there? Boxes are fine for a few things but what I've found to be wonderful are those plastic roll-away bins meant for under the bed. They're not too tall so they don't take up too much space for what you're putting in and they will stack in the back of the van (or truck if that's what you have).
Protect your stuff from the sunlight, especially cakes if you have them. We have these banners that we clip to the canopy tp shade if the sun shines in. Too much sun will make things condense inside and it's gross-looking.
Hope this helps
are you going to do a farmers market or are you just thinking about it?
I did farmer's market the summer we were remodeling the bakery and getting ready to open to get our name out.
Here we have to have everything packaged and stickered with our name address and phone number. Nothing could be refrigeration required.
We made cookies, cupcakes and cinnamon rolls and sticky buns. We would mix it up and make other things too. But I remember cupcakes not selling that well.
Farmer's market now sets up in front of our bakery downtown every Saturday and the people out there mostly have veggies and fruit but one lady does do a little baking and she usually has quick breads, angle food cake and occassionally pie. her quick breads sell pretty well.
I do a market and I sell out every week! In Pennsylvania, I have to have a license, a food safety course certificate, and proof that my kitchen passed an inspection from the department of agriculture. Everything I sell has to be individually wrapped and tagged with it's ingredients and my contact information. I use Avery business cards for that and print them from my computer...the front of the card has my business name and contact info and the back lists the ingredients. Also, according to the department of agriculture regulations, everything MUST be made from scratch. They won't allow anything from a mix on the premises and their way of monitoring this is by making you list the ingredients!
I sell a variety of biscotti, cookies, muffins, scones, pies and bread. The bread is definitely popular because that's something that most people don't bake for themselves. I've found that decorated sugar cookies really don't sell...I take maybe a dozen with me a week if that. I do a heck of a cookie business outside of the market for parties, etc. but for some reason people won't shell out $2-$3 per cookie at the market.
It also helps your business if you have a specialty. I do mostly organic stuff and make a point of letting customers know that I use only unbleached flour, unsalted butter (NO crisco), free-range eggs (I raise chickens!) etc. If you set yourself apart from other vendors selling baked goods you'll have a better chance at doing well. Give yourself a month or two to build up a customer base, too. When I first started the market, business was a little slow. But once word of mouth spread things really took off! You'll eventually have a group of core customers that come back every week and believe me, they're your best advertisement. If there's a crowd around your booth, people will wonder what all the hoopla is about and give you a try.