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.