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Trouble at Farmer's Market - Need your Input/insight

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
So trying to get my name out there I tried Farmer's Market with a friend. I learned the following:

1) Don't try to sell cupcakes in the a.m. bc no many want sweets before lunch.
2) Don't make an all butter frosting in the heat... duh, but of course I thought "I" would be different... NOT! Haha
3) If you are marketing your decorative cakes, pics are nice but dummies are better

So to better update my table I made popcorn cupcakes and ice cream cone cake pops.... but now they are walking by because they don't realize they are NOT real popcorn or edible! Ugh!!

Any help?
post #2 of 14
Once you factor in the time and expense involved in a farmer's market, they usually aren't worthwhile for advertising if you are focusing on premium cakes. They are better suited to bakeries who specialize in pastries, breads, cupcakes, and other smaller impulse items.

If people don't realize your items are edible, you need to have samples and regularly announce to passersby what you are offering.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your advice thumbs_up.gif

I stopped doing the Farmer's market on a regular basis and am focusing on 1 day 'Fairs' and events. Also changed from a photo album that only 1 person at a time could look at, if they wanted to take the time, and put together a large collage. Still - premium markets, I'm finding, are harder to break into...

Thanks again for your insight icon_biggrin.gif

I couldn't get the pic to load. It is in my profile and here is a link to my Pinterest account http://pinterest.com/cakethatforme/
post #4 of 14
Do you have a web site? If not that's probably the most important thing to focus on, since it will be the primary face of your business to potential customers.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Not yet just a facebook page but am working on a website for the near future icon_redface.gif
post #6 of 14
I've been doing my local farmer's market for a few years. I have a vendor booth 2-3 times per month and have had success. While I focus much of my business on celebration and wedding cakes, I also bake pies (vegan) and sell items like scones and cookies and cupcakes. These are items in high demand with the farmers market crowd. I have simple brochures and biz cards displayed and I always have a large dummy cake on display. I frequently offer samples (mini cupcakes or pieces of cake) in order to entice customers to come to the booth and chat. I have booked numerous special occasion cakes and weddings, many pies at holiday time, etc as a result of the contacts I have made at my market. I view my market days as opportunities to market my business not just sell stuff.
Life is unpredictable so let's eat dessert first!
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Life is unpredictable so let's eat dessert first!
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you elliespartycake. Marketing was my objective and it's working... slowly. I got a call today for 1/2 dozen cupcakes - didn't expect that icon_lol.gif

Another truth was it was too expensive and I didn't know what I was doing so I showed up with all-buttercream that was melting right off of the cupcakes - pthhh! haha!

I don't have pies and don't like my cookie recipes enough to sell. I am able to sell with my partner who holds the permits and she is a baker. So I don't mind if she does the cookies and pies. Besides I told her and others this way... I'm not a baker - I'm a Caker! icon_wink.gif

I will continue to experiment and work on marketing myself with a future website. I saw yours - very nice! And you are in MA like me icon_biggrin.gif
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moniquea

Thank you elliespartycake. Marketing was my objective and it's working... slowly. I got a call today for 1/2 dozen cupcakes - didn't expect that icon_lol.gif

icon_biggrin.gif



How cute! icon_lol.gif
post #9 of 14
I tried a Farmers' Market too and it did not work for me either. With the amount of time spent on baking, decorating and then sitting there all day waiting for people to buy. It simply wasn't worth the time and money spent.
post #10 of 14
I have the same feelings about Farmers Markets too. I did one two years ago and never got any business from it. I got the impression that the clients who came to that market were coming to buy things on discounts or cheap stuff rather than customized, quality and expensive cakes.

I was next to people who owned a bakery and they sold out all their breads in no time and they came with crates. All the other cake and cupcake people were struggling for sales. One ended up giving away her cupcakes close to the end just to leave.
post #11 of 14
Can you all look for an upscale farmers market? Several of our markets are upscale and only offer gourmet type products. It might be worth checking.
post #12 of 14
The farmer's market where I have had success is an "upscale" market with many local organic farmers, gourmet food vendors, etc. My success has a direct correlation to the type of customers that attend the market. Folks come for the great food and produce and expect to spend $$$. It's a great venue for fancy cake, pies, cookies, etc and it has been a great way for me to "test" new products and recipes. The folks that attend are the exact type of customer I want for my custom cake business and they have been very responsive,
Life is unpredictable so let's eat dessert first!
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Life is unpredictable so let's eat dessert first!
Reply
post #13 of 14
In the SF Bay area (south bay at least) the farmer's markets in upscale areas like Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Stanford had long waiting lists for non-produce vendors. If you can get into a market that serves your targeted customer segment then you are in better shape.
post #14 of 14

signs, signs, signs, samples

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