Friday, June 7, 2013

Back For More

Yesterday was the Farmer’s Market in the big city, and as much as we’d sworn we’d never do it again, here we were, doing it again. A couple of years back we had done the market selling fried dumplings, which were a hit, but man was it a lot of work. It literally ruined our summers, for me because I basically made all the dumplings, and for R and the kids because they had to put up with me. It was not pretty.

Despite the pain and suffering, however, we did make a fair amount of money, enough to fun two killer trips to Europe. Plus, there were some good lessons for all of us about hard work and getting to know new people, not to mention understanding what some people have to go through to make a living. It wasn’t all bad.

The idea of doing the market again came up because we love to travel, and as anyone who’s traveled anywhere outside of their hometown knows, it costs money. We ruminated on this for awhile, and finally decided that maybe we could do the market one more time if we had something easier. It had to affordable, appealing, and easy enough to prepare so as to not drive us over the edge of insanity. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

We thought long and hard about it. At first we thought french fries, but somewhat beat us to the punch. Then we thought tempura, but then decided that falafels would be good, even though almost everyone we spoke with didn’t even know what they were. How could that be, and in light of this, would they sell? We realized that falafels were really a big city thing because they are in essence an ethnic food, and only in moderate sized cities would you find them. They are big in college towns, as well. In rural areas, not only have people never heard of them, but you couldn’t pay them to eat one.

With this in mind, we were a little pensive about our chances. Add to this the fact that there was still a fair amount of work involved in making them, and I did not have the best POV going into it. In fact, I was downright depressed, mainly because I figured most of the work would fall on my shoulders. I decided that the only way to address this concern was to make sure that we all pitched in to help, and that’s exactly how it worked out. You can’t do it alone.

The fact that we weren’t that thrilled going into it combined with being out of practice meant that we were not as well prepared as we could have been. We also weren’t sure how many we’d sell, and didn’t want to have too many leftovers that would go to waste, so we held back. We ended up procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to prepare, and that’s never a good thing. We were scrambling a bit to get it together, and I was late arriving. A had a track meet, and her friend came over beforehand, so there was that issue, but it worked out fine.

All in all, I thought the market went well. We sold out of falafels with about an hour to go in the market, so we could have sold more because the last hour is when the evening/supper rush arrives. Also, it was nice seeing the other vendors, many of whom welcomed us back. Best of all, the market was much less stressful making falafels. With no cooking in hot oil involved, we simply had to make the sandwiches and hand them over. We cooked the falafels at home and kept them warm on chafing dishes. It worked out beautifully, and N was a great helper with the money.

The weather was beautiful, to boot, and I have to say, we had a rather nice time of it. It’s good to get out and interact with people. Things will change in the coming weeks because the school is letting out and the students will leave, but there’s always the summer crew that will arrive in about a week or two. Plus, we’re thinking of expanding our operation, which could be the end of us, but at least we’ll go out with a bang.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Dilapa for the pic.

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