Noob At The Farmers Market-- Need Advice!

Baking By WiseBaker Updated 12 Sep 2013 , 2:00pm by tolegirl

DebJ812 Posted 4 May 2013 , 5:13pm
post #31 of 50

AI just visited the one I'm going to do this season and I'm pretty confident that it's going to go well. Thanks so much for all the great advice so far!

BakerMom52 Posted 5 May 2013 , 1:31pm
post #32 of 50

Are you selling gourmet cupcakes? How do you determine if they are gourmet? size?flavor?toppings? I will be selling at a local FM this year also. I am going to keep my Frostings/Toppings in a cooler and frost them on demand...not before (except on samples). This is my first step out of the house also...I thinks we're going to have fun and make some bank, but I'm still curious as to how and why you would label something gourmet. Thank You

jason_kraft Posted 5 May 2013 , 2:11pm
post #33 of 50

A

Original message sent by BakerMom52

I'm still curious as to how and why you would label something gourmet.

The term "gourmet" has no legal restrictions so anyone can call anything "gourmet". It's basically a marketing tactic.

WiseBaker Posted 6 May 2013 , 7:47pm
post #34 of 50

It's me, the OP again!

 

My market hasn't started yet (begins May 17) so I don't have any updates, just a quick question:

 

I can't decide between pricing cupcakes individual at $2 or $2.50. I am asking because 1) the "nobody likes change" thing about the extra $0.50, and 2) I mentioned charging $2.50 each to a coworker at my day job and he made a face like that's way too much.

 

Here's the background info:

I am planning on making two dozen cupcakes each of four flavors, and selling them individually and in 4-packs of one of each flavor. Ohio food code says they must be packaged and labelled before leaving my kitchen, so I can't really rearrange and package a variety on demand at the market. I am making relatively fancy flavors of cupcakes (not just plan ol' white cake, etc) but I'm not doing any crazy fondant flowers or anything over the top. One example: a pink lemonade cupcake with yellow sprinkles on a pink lemon-buttercream swirl of icing, and a trimmed off top of a bendy straw stuck in for effect. Things like that.

 

Average price of a cupcake at nearby bakeries is about $2.50 or $3, BUT we have a Gigi's in town, which if you're not familiar is a chain of little cupcake shops that is known for having giant frosting mountains on top of each cupcake that are over twice the size of the cake part itself. They charge $3 each, and they are usually filled (most of mine are not) and my customers are probably familiar with Gigi's as a standard for "gourmet cupcakes".

 

Lastly, my market is in a high traffic shopping center area of a neighborhood that is much more high-income/upscale than the surrounding neighborhoods.

 

Sorry for the massive post, but please help me decide, o all-knowing cupcake forum!

jason_kraft Posted 6 May 2013 , 9:23pm
post #35 of 50

A$3 each and 4 for $10 might work. Packaging is a killer on individual cupcakes.

MKBeck27 Posted 8 May 2013 , 7:52pm
post #36 of 50

Packaging can be a killer but I found a relatively inexpensive way to do individual cupcakes. I use 9oz clear cups (100 for $5 and change at Costco) and drop each one into a clear treat bag (1000 for $15 at wesellcoffee.com.) It's about 6-7 cents a cupcake and they look cute. Plus you can get some forks and people will buy "one for now and one for later."

Annie70 Posted 9 May 2013 , 3:24pm
post #37 of 50

MKbeck27 that is a greaat idea.  Do you have any pictures of them??  Would love to see what they look like.

DebJ812 Posted 9 May 2013 , 4:10pm
post #38 of 50

AMKBeck27, thanks for the info on where to get treat bags cheaper. I package my individuals the same way and have been looking around for better treat bag prices. I also found that if you get them in the party section they are 12 more/pkg for same price as in bakery section. Sneaky, sneaky!

WiseBaker Posted 9 May 2013 , 5:08pm
post #39 of 50

I bought my containers in bulk at cuptainers.com and they were pretty affordable. I got 400 individual cupcake containers for like $50 and then 350 4-pack containers for around $40. I could've probably found a cheaper way to package them, but these containers are stackable, good sized, and flat on top so I can stick my required-by-state ingredient labels on them easily (I'm printing them myself on address label stickies).

Annie70 Posted 9 May 2013 , 8:49pm
post #40 of 50

I found this thread and thought it had some good information.

 

http://cakecentral.com/t/636522/my-day-at-the-farmers-market

BakerMom52 Posted 11 May 2013 , 11:32am
post #41 of 50

Finally added up the costs of doing business at the local FM and have decided that I will opt out this year, so I wish all of you the best of luck and will buy CC when I see them. I still have a home business and for now...that is enough work.

BakerMom52 Posted 11 May 2013 , 11:41am
post #42 of 50

I suggest differentiating yourself from Gigi's. Are your products made from scratch? Are the frostings special? When I compete locally, I give customers something they cannot get somewhere else....like, a red velvet cake made the traditional old southern way with beet juice....not red food coloring. It is a huge success and we eat a lot of beets that week - which is no big deal. First we eat with our eyes, then our minds and finally our mouth.....tantilize them exery step of the way!

There is a big box, 2 little boxes, 8 chain grocery stores and 7 local bakeries within 20 miles of me and none of them market the way I do. None of them have what I have...nor the prices I have. My products are not cheap - an ice based 9X13 cake will cost your $50. Be proud of what you do and do it well. 

WiseBaker Posted 11 May 2013 , 2:03pm
post #43 of 50

I've actually put a lot of thought into how I can differentiate myself from Gigi's, since they're the most popular cupcake place in my area. I'm going to try and market my cupcakes as "made from scratch from simple ingredients", so sort of the opposite of how Gigi's makes their's from mixes that are mass-produced for their chain. In Ohio, the cottage food guidelines say that I'm required to label my products with a list of all ingredients and the phrase "this product was home produced". So, since I legally HAVE to do that anyway, I'm going to spin it to be like "yup, here's all my ingredients! No preservatives or additives or sketchy junk here! Just home-made goods!"

Kellig Posted 31 Aug 2013 , 5:48am
post #44 of 50

Woops, lost interest in this thread and didn't read the questions and comments directed towards me. I doubt anybody will see this but I decided to answer anyway. My post wasn't really about how much you should charge for your goods, it was because it offended me when Lea S. (sp?) made the remark to "Noob"

 

 "Undercutting the local bakeries in price is really, really, bad form. MATCH their prices."

 

PAAAAALLLLLLEEEAASE!!! It annoys me when some try to intimidate people because they think they are the "authority" It isn't "really, really, bad form, in America it's her perogative.

AZCouture Posted 31 Aug 2013 , 8:07am
post #45 of 50

ARight, cause the word "noob" over shadows the really good information being discussed here. Well, I guess it's only good if you're interested in running a successful business. Yeesh.

AZCouture Posted 31 Aug 2013 , 8:08am
post #46 of 50

AShe's taking the advice well, yet you're offended and annoyed. Why is that?

jason_kraft Posted 31 Aug 2013 , 3:35pm
post #47 of 50

A

Original message sent by Kellig

 "Undercutting the local bakeries in price is really, really, bad form. MATCH their prices."

PAAAAALLLLLLEEEAASE!!! It annoys me when some try to intimidate people because they think they are the "authority" It isn't "really, really, bad form, in America it's her perogative.

You are correct that here in America business owners have the prerogative to charge below market value so they are not compensated for their time and end up damaging their local market. (Of course people also have the freedom to offer business advice, and I'm not sure I see the "intimidation" you are referring to.)

However, the US has a capitalist economy which works best when goods and services are produced on a for-profit basis, so if a business owner does not want to participate in this type of economy they might be more comfortable in a country that uses a socialist economic system.

Kellig Posted 10 Sep 2013 , 5:33am
post #48 of 50

I didn't say it was bad information. I didn't like it when a business tries to intimidate new competition (I have said this more than once and nobody wants to address this). I did not object to any of the informational comments. It was the remark "Undercutting the local bakeries in price is really, really, bad form. MATCH their prices."  Do you think that comment was a nice thing to say? Would you like somebody to talk to you like that... Especially the "MATCH" all in caps... There are nicer ways of addressing questions from people who are new and trying to start a new business than that!

 

Maybe the person who wrote that ("Undercutting the local bakeries in price is really, really, bad form. MATCH their prices.") had some bad experiences from new bakers undercutting her prices, but no need to take it out on poor "Noob" who seemed to be quite a nice person.

jason_kraft Posted 10 Sep 2013 , 10:52am
post #49 of 50

A

Original message sent by Kellig

I didn't like it when a business tries to intimidate new competition (I have said this more than once and nobody wants to address this).

No one is addressing the point because you are confusing information sharing with intimidation.

It was the remark [I]"Undercutting the local bakeries in price is really, really, bad form. MATCH their prices."[/I]  Do you think that comment was a nice thing to say?

When discussing business topics, being "nice" typically takes a back seat to honest and frank advice. If you are offended by advice like this then you may want to avoid participating in business-related discussions.

tolegirl Posted 12 Sep 2013 , 2:00pm
post #50 of 50

AThis is a great thread and makes me realize that i can do this at farmers markets. I need to do more research, and I really appreciate the comments.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%