I just started my home baking business and have been working hard on leaving business cards at various businesses and finding all the "free" vendor listings for parties and weddings. I am on my local craigslist and bring "samples" whenever there is a get together.
So I was contemplating going to local craft shows to sell cookies, cupcakes, etc, as well as promote the business. So in hunting online I found a local charity is have a "tasting" benefit where 25 caterers/bakers get to showcase their food. It's everything from soup to dessert. Well I inquired about getting involved and although it is not yet confirmed, the woman I spoke to seemed confident I would be able to get a spot. Yippee right? Well I found out a max of 350 people will be there... and I am only one person with a standard home oven!! So I am crazy! I do have a question though... how many items should I make?
I've done a wine/food sample event for a fundraiser where about 400 people attend. I am the only one without a retail location/commercial oven. You can do it, just plan ahead and get help!
there are been some good advise given on this kind of thing when bakers do wedding shows. Some have had their samples prepacked in small cups and kept in ice chests under their tables. You just keep restocking the table as needed. You could try the mini cupcake route too but I think the other way may be simpler...easier to stack them.
Maybe bring a smallish two tiered cake to decorate your table and draw interest in your decorating skills. And if you run out of samples...hack that baby up.
Good luck this sounds like a whole lot of exposure.
I was definately thinking mini cupcakes... I should be able to get at least 72 per recipe. Some cookies and mini pies... possibly some fudge and peanut brittle. So I was thinking of bringing 700-900 pieces of food. Is that too much? Not enough?
I think mini cupcakes are a major pain in the butt to make. I'd rather make an 11X15X2 and cut it into about 330 square inch cubes. (I think I did that math correctly).
I agree- you will regret mini cupcakes! Do a sheet cake or two and cut into small pieces. I did put them into the Solo cups with lids, which was awesome. For 350 people, I would do 100-200 of each kind of sample. It sounds like there will be other vendors there and you don't want to kill yourself and then have leftovers. Don't give them too many choices, and remember that samples are supposed to be small. Bring plenty of cards and maybe coupons with you, and be prepared to book some work- these shows are worth the effort by a mile!
I never really thought of sheet cakes, but that does seem a lot faster. I guess I will bring 3 different cakes with different icings, some cookies, and something else... I would really like to do pie or cheesecake, but I don't really have a good and fast way to make samples of those... any ideas?
I've done cheesecake samples in sheet cake pans, and they worked really well. You just have to keep your knife clean and hot when slicing them up. I used those shallow cookie pans with the lip on the side for sample sizes b/c it made cutting it up easier. I also lined the pan with parchment paper, froze it a little and then flipped it out to slice. That worked well too.
That's a great idea! Thanks jentreu!