The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Arts and Crafts Market # 2

  • Pin It
Mebake's picture
Mebake

Arts and Crafts Market # 2

After labor intensive days of dough and bread, preparations, and final touches, it was time.

On Friday, the 14 of February, the day started at 7:00 am when i woke up,  had my breakfast, and made the last minute arrangements . Everything was in order: the bread, display materials, and business cards. I arrived at the Mall at 11:15 am, registered, and headed to my randomly selected Table. This time, i was placed somewhere adjacent to where i've been last month; slightly less optimal but generally OK (given the fact that i'm still the only bread head in the Market). Anyway, i prepared my table for display, breads and all, and in spare time set the prices of my loaves. To make things worthwhile and avoid being completely sold out by the third hour of the Market, I increased the price of my loaves. Large loves (Panned Rye, and multigrains) were also portioned in half in order to  make them affordable.

As the day unfolded, I realized that the Traffic was less than anticipated. I’ve seen familiar faces, most of whom were other Market Vendors, but many new also. The surprise visit was that of the Market Manager/ founder. She headed straight to my Table, and asked for loaves of Rye, and Whole wheat multigrain. Later on, various visitors passed along with mixed reactions. Some would stare at  vendor tables with little or no interest, and some would walk and then stop at a vendor with interest. Some would move across, look back, then return to me saying” Oh ,Bread!”.  I distributed my business cards to those interested, and offered to bake for them on order. Up until now, however, no one contacted me for any bread. But, my journey into commercial bread baking is still young, and needs plenty of time, and patience.

I noticed that the bread as displayed did not gather as much attention as I thought. Turns out I had to slice some bread for sampling as I did the first time. However, I’ve had a some regular clients (A vendor)and new one too who wanted bread; so it wasn't a dud after all. As the Market day drew to an end, I picked up some loaves and sliced them for sampling. This brought attention! Clients started to flock in, interested to get a taste, and many could not resist a slice with butter. Eventually, I sold a few additional loaves and by the end of the market, I sold 70% of my breads and broke even for the first time. In hindsight, I should have sliced the darn breads earlier!

Finally, as the day ended, I packed my stuff and went home with a sense of achievement. I was weary, and doubtful that I could replicate the effort I made to bake 11 Kg. worth of dough in 3 days. I will have to find a bigger mixer , and a helping hand soon.

Khalid

 

 

Comments

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

satisfaction you must feel..as well as tired !  What an achievement for only a second market . You are certainly opening the eyes of the public to your craft and with promising results. Kudos to you and I hope it continues to grow. You learned that the tasting is a big selling point so going forward with that will likely bring you even more response. Good Luck !  c

Mebake's picture
Mebake

It was made possible by the sturdy mixer i borrowed from my mom; mine is too small to handle the capacity needed. 

A toaster would be great to have along in such Markets, as power supply was available in certain parts of the Market. 

Thanks again, Caroline, and best of luck to you with your travels.

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Khalid,

Love your set up and use of colorful baskets.  Breads look very inviting :)

Thank you for sharing your day here.  I love reading what you are up to and it sounds like you learned a lot again this time.  Those free give aways do indeed bring in customers:)

I look forward to reading about your 3rd market day.

Take Care,

Janet

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks Janet!  That is so kind of you.

all the best,

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is pretty good Khalid for an expanded more to buy week two.  On the bright side, you will have altus for week 3.  I would have thought with all the expats there, they would be fighting over your bread causing a riot :-)  Well maybe the 3rd week, with tasting from the get go will be the cat's meow ....I'm guessing it only gets better from here on.  Well done and

Happy baking Khalid

Mebake's picture
Mebake

The bread sure has created a following among old clients of mine. Apparently , word spread that a bread Nut exists somewhere in the market.However, i felt that there wasn't as many visitors to the Market as last month. 

Thanks for the nice compliments, DA!

CeciC's picture
CeciC

Congrats Khalid~~ 

This is a very successful market experience, have 70% of your bread sold is a very very good to a new market comer!! Congratulation!! Baking 11Kg of bread over 3 days in a home environment must be hectic for ya. Great job 

Actually if u could set up a toaster oven in your counter, with the smell of freshly baked bread to complement your fantastic bake. I believe you will be out of bread in half days. Ive read a article somewhere saying fresh bread aroma is one of the most recognizable smell that attracts customer attention, which also explain why supermarket always put their bakery section up front. 

Congrats again!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Ceci!

Oven toaster might be an overkill, but a toaster will do the job just fine. you are right, the aroma of freshly baked bread is very attractive, and may guarantee a full sell out in a matter of hours. Maybe, i'll start toasting in the middle of the Market day. Great Idea!

All the best,

holds99's picture
holds99

Khalid,

Nice write up and photos.  Your display setup and loaves look beautiful.  I think your approach to offering samples early on is the right way to sell your loaves. One taste and they're hooked.  I wish you every success in your bread baking business.  If I had been there I would have purchased one of each.

Best Wishes,

Howard

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks for the generous words, Howard! 

all the best,

 

MarieH's picture
MarieH

Hi Khalid,

i hope you don't mind a constructive comment. I think your beautiful baskets detract from your bread. The bread is hidden and doesn't showcase it's full appeal. Large, shallow baskets or even a large wooden board (doesn't have to be a cutting board) would allow the bread to be the star. Part of selling your bread is marketing. Look around at other vendor tables and see what is appealing visually. Once you draw people in, the bread quality will sell itself. Best wishes.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

You hope i don't what?  :)

 

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

You'd better not.

Good go at market. Once you're established and learn the market, you'll be selling your last product as you pack the baskets.

cheers,

gary

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Gary! I'll try my best. :)

 

isand66's picture
isand66

Your spread looks great Khalid.  I agree if you had sampled your bread earlier I bet you would have sold out.  You may want to see if you can source some flavored olive oils and vinegars and try sampling those with the breads.  This way you may be able to even make a little extra as well.  Look forward to hear how the next one goes.  I'm sure it will only get better and better.

Best,
Ian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Ian!

Yep, olive oil and some balsamic would be a good idea. We have no flavored olive oil here in Dubai, just plain oils.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

 

isand66's picture
isand66

The flavored oils and vinegars are becoming very popular by me and as you've read in some of posts I have used many of them in my baking.  Since I know you have so much spare time on your hands you can easily make some of your own flavored oils :).

Look forward to your next post.

Ian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

! Ha, so much so, i don't know what to start with first :)

Thanks, Ian!