A novice at Farmer's Market... Please, help!
I am a new member on the forum. I have read so much interesting stuff on this incredible website! Thank you everyone who shares their knowledge with new kids on the block just like myself!
I have been baking for a long time. I really want to start selling my goodies at local farmer's markets as a side source of income to raise my kids (a new school year starts soon, and it is always lots of money to spend!). I have contacted a couple of farmer's markets and got their guidelines. I am in Alabama which is a "cottage law" state. My questions would probably seem odd to many experienced bakers/sellers, but still... What do I need to begin with even before I come to the farmer's market and pay for selling my stuff?
I am not sure I am able to buy a tent and table right now, and I also cannot afford paying membership fee for the whole summer season. I plan to rent a canopy tent and table from the market and pay for a vending spot on a daily basis. That's to get my feet wet, so to say. If my goodies sell, I will buy a tent and everything else I might need...
Here's my check list. Please, if you have some comments about it, let me know.
My recipes for breads. Ingredients (bought at Sam's club mostly). Plastic containers to store ingredients and dough. Electronic scales. Plastic wrap and ties. Labels.
I am going to post news about my sales on Facebook to let people know where I'm going to sell my stuff and when.
Do I need any license to sell my goodies if I am going to do it not in a commercial kitchen but my own one? How do vendors calculate their taxes? I heard one could claim their business as "hobby" and avoid paying taxes for a while (until the amount of profits exceeds some numbers)... I am not sure about that. I want to do everything legally correct, but I also want to save where it is possible.
I guess what I am trying to say is I am fairly new to this kind of venture. I realize I can make mistakes because I don't know yet how things work in this business. That is why I want to learn some tricks from experienced people that I overlook otherwise. I would really appreciate if someone told me what I should/shouldn't do while just beginning...
Thank you everyone for reading my post!