I've come home from a bake sale today, very discouraged. My mom and I had a table at a church "flea market", 9 feet of space. We spent a good 2 weeks preparing goodies -- every night this week I came home from work and made icing, since Mom had baked all day and was tiring herself out. We lugged it down there in 2 lots on Friday night and Saturday morning: 3 bundle buggies and 2 large shopping bags, on the bus and subway.
Now for the "disaster" part: The amount of money we brought in, I make more in one day at the office.
The church has a popular flea market once a month and rents tables to outsdiers. They have nice things, good second hand china, handicrafts, jewellery, not shabby stuff. We had been assured by parishioners that home baking would be a huge hit, and we would also sell the night before to the workers setting up. We knew there was another lady who did a small amount of baking and all her profits went to breast cancer, as well as another table of chocolate and fudge. So we endeavored to have different items so as not to compete directly.
Mom is a cookie person so she had tins of cookies (assorted and solid flavors) as well as packets of 6-8. I am a cake person and we had 5 flavors of cupcakes, plus one small cake and one Thanksgiving theme cake. Plus other items like butter tarts, sweet loaves, white chocolate fudge, 3 kinds of muffins, and sweet red pepper relish. A very colorful spread, with something we thought would please everyone. And everything was wrapped for hygiene reasons.
We've done bake tables before, but this was the first time at this particular church. yes you find a way to get used to the people going "I don' eat sweets, I'm diabetic, I have stomach problems etc etc etc". Everyone who passed by today went "oooh everything is sooooo beautiful" but it was very difficult to motivate people to buy.
We had hoped this would be a monthly thing so I wrote down what people were requesting: Plain food. No mixing flavors: e.g. have chocolate cupcakes, or raspberry cupcakes, but no chocolate raspberry cupcakes. (never mind that the raspberries are fresh from our garden and the chocolate was Lindt) No cherries! No cranberries! (so much for that great special on Craisins at the drugstore)
I can count on one hand how many cupcakes we sold. And the other hand for the muffins. Of course it didn't help that the lady selling for breast cancer had muffins at 50 cents and ours were $1.50. And our chocolate cupcakes got squished. The only reason the small maple almond cake sold is because someone bought it for a potluck dinner -- otherwise you tell people about the real maple syrup, ground almonds, and 35% cream in the icing and it freaks them out, instead of making their mouths water. The Thanksgiving pumpkin cake is going to be "recycled" as my birthday cake. (insert smiley of choice here)
So the verdict is No for November (particularly as no one would want halloween stuff on Nov 1) and a maybe for December.
Has anyone has as bad a time at a bake sale as us? it's terribly perplexing for me.