Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mount Joy Farm Market

We decided to have a little fun on Saturday mornings, and signed up to take a stand at the local farm market. It is a small-ish market with about a dozen vendors, and it is a very friendly group! Almost everyone sells produce, although there is local honey, fresh baked goods, plants, jars of preserves and pickles, and home made dog treats. My sister's soaps and my books and magazines were a welcome addition. We also took along some herbal products that we make jointly.

I've always enjoyed retail. It's a little more difficult to enjoy it when the products are of your own hands because there is the whole aspect of ego, putting a value on your product, and having to stand behind what you make, but after the initial shock, it is more satisfying to sell our own things than those just bought for resale.

Of course retail has it's down side. After selling our shop years ago, it became clear that being tied to the unending hours of owning a shop is only for the most committed. It was a dream job, but there were always those small irritants of difficult customers, delayed shipments, overhead, and time, time, time.

We found the farm market to be perfect! 4 short hours of face-to-face interaction. The best part is that we can take what we have and not sweat what we don't. No pressure. We pulled stock on Friday, threw a table and stools in the car, and off we went the next morning. It's a great way to test out new products, sell off discontinued fragrances, and make new contacts.

The market itself is in a covered breezeway of a local bank that is closed on Saturdays and allows the market to use the space. Everyone is under roof, and there is a nice bit of air flowing. There is just the right lighting, and since it's a small town there is a feeling of talking to neighbors. We did get to renew some acquaintances both from our old shop customers, and some unexpected friends with whom we'd lost touch. We met a lot of new friends too. People are not in a hurry.
On top of that, we got to buy some goodies to bring home. The woman next to us had some incredible cabbages, and across the way were whoopie pies and molasses cookies. Local honey came home with us too. Oh, and some big sandwich tomatoes! The men across the way were selling glads, zinnias, and sunflowers, and gave us each a bouquet when the morning was done.

Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days of the year thus far. See how happy Maryanne looks? It was sunny and cool with almost no humidity. I'm hoping the market will continue to be as simple and enjoyable as our first day out. Next time, we'll add a second table so that everything isn't so squished together, and so there will be room for the rest of TEH books. There is a recipe exchange, and I'll harvest bunches of fresh herbs to go along with the recipes that we will submit.

1 comment:

Wild Rose said...

It sounds like a really great market with just the right amount of time for product exposure and meeting customers without the commitment of long hours associated with a more permanent venue.



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