Our Farmers Market Biz

My Grandma would recognize our food...We started our farmers market season and now with a couple of weeks under our belts, we are feeling like we’ve hit our stride. The produce at our market consists mostly of early season crops like lettuces, rhubarb, asparagus, radishes and the like but we’re seeing a lot of canned goods, jams and jellies, baked goods, pastured meats and handcrafted items to start the season and draw customers before the produce starts to really kick in high gear here in the upper Midwest.

We, of course, are selling our baked goods, finishing salts and spice rubs. We sell on Wednesday, Thursdays and Saturdays and are looking to potentially add a new market that sells on Tuesdays, as well. That makes most of the entire week filled with “baking days” (and nights).

The addition of catering services is coming along nicely and within a few weeks, we’ll be able to offer that to all area customers. Stay tuned for news on that front.

We’ve kept many of our customer’s favorite items, but I’m always looking for something new, and seasonal, to add each week. We introduced a couple of new items early this season, one was a huge hit — Mocha Bars — and two others “failed”. One failed miserably, as in not a single sale in two outings, and one failed because it didn’t live up to my expectations. We may try the second — Chocolate Cake of the Day — again later in the season, but for now, we’ve shelved it.

Our perennial favorite item, scones, is doing well and we’re producing around 12-15 varieties each market day. This time of year Strawberry Rhubarb is a good choice — local rhubarb (from the garden of friends) and local strawberries make this choice a great one while the season lasts. We try hard to introduce our little town to the idea of the savory scone and we almost always make three to four flavors each market day, but the sweet scones always outsell the savory. Either way, sweet, or savory, Chris and I enjoy coming up with new flavor combos and watching our customers taste them for the first time.

This week, we introduced Vanilla Orange. Our basic cream scone with flecks of vanilla bean and orange zest, glazed with a orange-vanilla glaze. We sampled it a couple of days ago and sold out even before we ran out of samples. We’ll be sampling all season (weather permitting) so be sure to stop by for a taste.