I was debating whether or not to book a table at our local farmer's market.
My plan was to do up a couple large cakes and serve by the slice, then package some mini cupcake bouquets, mini carrot cakes, and some other loaves for purchase. I also want to have a dummy cake decorated on display.
Is this getting in way over my head? How much would somebody have to prepare for this type of event?
I haven't done farmer's markets
but I have done art faires on the street,
it does take a fair amount of prep work, especially the first few times you do it.
Ive been to the local farmer's markets and to be honest was really really dissapointed cause there was only one guy there and he only baked bread (and it wasnt that great).
If your gonna do slices of cake, make sure you get those totally clear plastic contaires- the little square single serving ones.
That way people can take it home if they dont want to eat it right then and there.
Your also gonna have to figure out how to keep everything cool while on display.
I don't believe farmers markets are a good outlet for getting your name out as a quality cake decorator. Here's a thread where it's discussed: http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-585079-farmers.html
Also, find out if there are legal requirements. I can't do our local one because I would have to carry more liability insurance than I can afford right now along with having to join their organization, give them like 15% of my profits from that day, blah, blah, blah. Rediculous.
I guess it depends on what your local farmer's market is like. I'm in Australia and many here are of an excellent quality. One of Australia's biggest cupcake success stories started out at her local market and now she has two bakeries a cookbook and a large following... and she still sells at a few markets too! But really it's all about the type of decorator you want to be and the area you are selling in. I know my local farmer's market doesn't charge high fees or expect any of your takings so they are all different.
I do farmers markets in northern michigan. I have not seen a high end bakery there at all. Most of the people that go to the markets with baked goods sell sweet breads, drop cookies, yeast bread, coffe cakes, jams & jellies, pies, etc. If you want to be known for those types of food have at it.
I do very well at them, and I am on my second year, but I also have an orchard. We project within 3 years that we will only have to work during the warm months. Now on the other hand, I have a friend who on her fourth year she was able to take the winter off, and all she sells is quick breads and jam & jellies.
I keep very busy during the summer with my like of baked goods doing markets 4 days a week. That is all I can handle. It makes for long days and short nights.
But you have to decide what you want, and find out how your local farmer's market works. Mine I can choose to pay a daily fee, or a discounted yearly fee and have a set booth for the season. I don't have to give them a commision. You should call your local market master if it is something that you really want to persue, and they will be able to give you all the details about the market that you are looking at.
Best of luck.