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Noob at the Farmers Market-- Need Advice! - Page 3

post #31 of 50
I 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!
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

post #33 of 50
Originally Posted by BakerMom52 View Post

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.
post #34 of 50
Thread Starter 

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!

post #35 of 50
$3 each and 4 for $10 might work. Packaging is a killer on individual cupcakes.
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 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."

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.

post #38 of 50
MKBeck27, 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!
post #39 of 50
Thread Starter 

I bought my containers in bulk at 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).

post #40 of 50

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

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.

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, 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. 

post #43 of 50
Thread Starter 

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!"

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.

post #45 of 50
Right, 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.
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