Sunday, December 18, 2011

Selling Homemade Food at Craft Shows

Whenever I attend craft shows I try to show love and support for my co-crafters and especially food crafters. One because I love food and two because I know how hard it is to break in.

Recently I did a craft show with another newish food crafter. Their food was cake pops and cookies. I could tell they were very new just from the look of their table and display.

Their cakepops were cute but definitely not professional looking. The cookies again were cute but not decorated very well. But all of this can be overcome if the food tastes good.

When I first started with my jam and jelly, a businessman told me "you can get by with hardly any fancy packaging or displays as long as the food is good." I totally agree.

I felt bad for them as they barely had any sales by day 2 of the show. Im sure their display and decorating was a big part of that.

Anyway, to be supportive I bought 2 cakepops, 2 brownie pops and 2 cookies. Later my partner and I unwrapped a cakepop and a brownie pop for a snack. Ughh. Not good. The brownie pops were literally raw inside and doughy. The cakepops were so dry they crumbled off the stick as you tried to eat them. The cookies were stale tasting. What a huge disappointment.

My heart kinda sank as I knew they probably will not be around long. If you are going to sell food number one is it has to be outstanding. It has to be a thousand times better than what someone can easily make at home or buy at the big box grocery store.

Later I got a chance to chat with one of the owners. I asked her if they had to throw out all those cake pops and cookies after the show. She excitedly told me that no they just refreeze them. I couldn't help but think "ewwwwwww!" She then went on to say they can thaw and take them out in public and refreeze them 3 times. Wow. This must be why the cakepops were so dry and crumbly. I have my doubts that this is really how it is supposed to be done but I don't make cake. When I gently told her that this would for sure affect the flavor, she was adamant that it did not.

I feel bad for them because I know in my heart they will fail if they continue on that path. Again if you are going to make food the biggest requirement is IT HAS TO TASTE AWESOME.

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