Originally Posted by Apti
mimifix--Have you sold GB houses? Any ideas on pricing?
I started selling gingerbread houses in the early 1980's. Ingredient costs were small compared with our time so I aimed for the assembly line method. I used a very large cookie cutter and skipped a few details such as chimney and stained glass windows. While those are nice details, customers were looking for affordable holiday theme decorations more than prize-winning artistic pieces. The selling point for these houses was our own hand-rolled colored cookies in holiday shapes that we used for decorating.
We rolled out and cut, baked, and put together as many houses as we had room for. Then added icing, candy and cookies. I had to keep reminding everyone that we were not creating works of art. At the end we went back and added a few details. Once the houses were finished and wrapped, they were placed all around the shop and looked gorgeous as holiday decorations.
I always heard customers saying that they wished they had time to make their own so in the late 1980's I began selling houses that were already constructed but not decorated. Customers got a tub of icing, a box of assorted little holiday-shaped cookies, and candy. These houses were "under construction" so they weren't real attractive, but customers loved having the choice. Here's a photo of the do-it-yourself GB. The second photo a customer sent us. http://bakingfix.com/thefix/?p=3074
Pricing? Remember this was thirty years ago. Fully decorated and filled with candy $75. Decorated $50. Under construction $20.
At some point the larger food manufacturing companies began selling real cheap "kits" so it might be hard to sell those now. The small cookies were sweet shortbread that I sold year round. For additional visual we made some without color but used poppy seeds. Recipe is in my cookbook Home Baking for Profit
. During the rest of the year, one of our best-selling cookies was large Poppy People. I sure miss my beloved bakery...