Sunday, November 08, 2009

Market Report: 11/07/09

Yes, this Market Report is a day late because yesterday was a very, very long and full adventure, mostly spent at Local Roots on our first market day. Wow!

The Renaissance Man and I arrived around 8 AM to help set up for the indoor farmers' market, and it wasn't long before our first vendors arrived and started to get their tables in place, unpack coolers and crates, and turn the place into a colorful cornucopia of good local foods!

I focused my attention on the information table -- what with working on the marketing subcommittee, it's a natural fit -- finding a good location, putting up signs and flyers for other local organizations, and arranging the table with our membership information along with pamphlets from some of the groups that have expressed support for us.

By 9:30, most of the vendors were in place and customers started trickling in (despite our not officially being open until 10). And from then until around noon, the place was packed. I saw people who had never been to any of the Local Roots meetings or open houses coming through and buying things -- sure sign that the word is spreading around the community!

Of course, they had plenty of incentives to buy. Our refreshment table, facing the front door, welcomed people in to linger, and as they lingered, they discovered samples of honey jams (fruit and honey together), artisan cheeses, meat (cooked on-site... the aroma certainly encouraged more purchases!), and dried apples, as well as all of the good food available for sale.

Many of the vendors, including the couple at the table next to the information booth, proved to be as much of a draw as the food, because they spent plenty of time talking with customers, sharing information about the food (even offering recipes!), and promoting Local Roots even more effectively than we can. I even overheard one farmer explaining our business timeline -- starting with the indoor farmers' market until we have the license to open as a store and use the online order system -- as beneficial to everyone so that shoppers can find out more about the farmers, which will help them make their choices when they shop online.

We also had some superb volunteers helping out, both at the cash register and the information table, as well as filling in behind the scenes or covering tables for farmers who needed to step away for a time. One young man worked with me at the information table and knew the membership spiel so well that I was soon able to leave him on his own while I did my market shopping for the day (no photo, sorry!):

--a rosemary plant from The Salesman Farmer
--kohlrabi from the German Farmer (and, later, beets and lettuce, too)
--three cheeses from the Artisan Cheesemaker
--parsnips and sunchokes from the Sheep Lady
--an aloe plant from the Ecoganic Farmer
--Yukon Gold potatoes and lemon balm tea bread from the Cheerful Lady
--delicious spelt crackers and golden beets from the Spelt Baker

There was so much more I wanted to get, but considering that my refrigerator is still overflowing with good produce from last week, I thought restraint might be the order of the day (well, except for the cheese).

The kohlrabi, one cheese, and some crackers made for a good lunch once I made it back to the table, and the Renaissance Man picked up oatmeal-raisin cookies from the Mennonite Baker to round out the meal.

Things tapered off a bit in the afternoon, though business picked back up again for a while, and the farmers started packing up to head home around 2:30 (despite our being open until 3). We then stuck around to clean up and to move things around for a discussion following the film showing later in the evening.

All in all, I think we had a terrific turnout for week 1, and I hope that this will continue to draw more people in, now that they know we're here. Even I was impressed with how much was on offer!

And next week, we might see even more!

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At 11/09/2009 1:01 PM, Blogger Phoenix said...

Congratulations, all! I'm incredibly happy about all this, and I don't even live in the area anymore. :-)

At 11/09/2009 2:44 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Should give you an excellent reason to visit, though, Phoenix... hint hint... ;-)

At 11/11/2009 3:31 PM, Blogger Tina said...

Congratulations, looks like the market is off to a great start!

At 11/11/2009 3:47 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Thanks, Tina -- so far, so good!


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