Thursday, June 27, 2013

Reflections On Our Third Market

We did our third market last week, and we are on the cusp of expanding our operation, if you can believe that. We had originally thought of many different ideas to return to the market, and our first choice was french fries. Everyone loves french fries, and they’re much easier to make and process than falafels.

As it turns out, the market manager told us that someone else had claimed fries, so we were out of luck. We decided on falafels because we love them and they are hard to find. Our favorite restaurant, Stella’s, served a killer falafel, but they closed, so we weren’t sure where to even get one.

Either way, it has been going okay, not as good as with dumplings, but not bad. Timing is everything, because the crowds are largely dependent on the school year. When the Dartmouth kids leave, the crowds drop, but then the summer kids arrive, and things pick up. I think it’s hard to sustain a farmer’s market on local clientele. People who live up here permanently tend to embrace habits and routines more, and who can blame them? They don’t eat out as much and don’t want to spend a lot of cash at the market, except perhaps for the Hanover crowd, but they’re jet-set, hip, and loaded.

Hanover also has the transitory young demographic who not only want food to eat, but want to spend money. Also, they’re more apt to have tried falafels since they’re a cosmopolitan bunch, or they’re more willing to at least give it a try, though in all fairness, there are a fair number of older adults who are adventurous enough to try falafels for the first time with us. I admire and respect that.

Part of the reason to do the market is also to test your mojo and see how well you can learn and adapt, and that is where you can derive a lot of satisfaction from the market, especially when the changes are successful, or at least satisfying. We are definitely adapting our model on the fly, and things are working out. People are eating our product, and we are even getting repeat customers. There is also the added fun of getting to know our neighbors, who are all good people.

So all in all, things are good, if not a little crazy. There are days where I question why we are doing this, but it’s a good lesson for all of us, parents and kids alike. We all get in the act, and at the end of the day, the A&N even say that even though it’s stressful, there is a certain amount of fun and satisfaction to it. I have to say, they are extremely helpful, with A helping to make the sandwiches and N handling the money. They do a great job, and it’s nice to have them helping us. Talk about a family affair. Now we are toying with the idea of doing french fries, which should completely drive us over the edge. Then again, we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to William Jones for the pic.

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