Market Stall Hints and Tips

Apr
2012
10

posted by on Cakes

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Market Stall Hints and Tips

Summer also marks the beginning of outdoor events, markets and festivals. These fun events can prove to be a perfect platform for a local business. It’s pleasurable for those who visit the markets but can be quiet daunting if you’re behind the table as a seller. I’ve been through it myself with palpitations and a million questions mostly which were naturally answered after I held my first stall so here is my blog for you to read which you’ll hopefully find useful.  

Market Research:

One of the key points is to research the area, browse the net and find a market that is local to you. You can even obtain a list of neighbouring markets from your local body/council. The important questions to ask during your first point of contact are

  • Is it a strictly organic farmers market? Which means you’ll only qualify if you can prove to them that all your ingredients are locally sourced and organic. You might even have to provide them with details of your supplier.
  • Confirm whether Public Liability Insurance is essential which in most cases is.
  • The fee for the stall AND if it includes a table and gazebo or will they incur additional costs.
  • Queries around set up, timings, parking, covered area etc

Visit the Market:

The second step would be to casually visit the market yourself as a buyer to check whether someone else is selling a similar product to yours. If so then make a mental note of their prices so that you know what you’re up against. By visiting you’ll also get an idea of how much public traffic they get. Which in return gives you an idea of how much product to take along for selling.

Time to Get Organised:

Now that you have put your name down as a seller it’s time to decide what to bake and quantities. I would suggest you stick to classics such as vanilla; chocolate, lemon etc keep it simple. Work out how much you’d need to sell in order to cover your total cost. Bake a little over that number so that hopefully when you sell all it will result in a profit. Better to walk away with a small profit and tons of marketing rather than ending up with leftover cakes. Prepare a check list of all items you require for the stall and ingredients.

Packaging:

This is the most confusing part as cupcake/cake boxes cost quite a bit. If presentation is important to you make sure the selling price covers the amount you’ve spent on boxes too. There are a few other options which are cost effective such as a supply of pretty napkins for those who’d like to purchase a single cupcake they plan to consume straight away :) Drinks trays used by coffee shops and fast-food chains are handy for placing 2 to 4 cupcakes and are FREE if you collect them over a period of time. They can also be purchased online from http://www.amazon.co.uk/360-Cup-Holders-free-products/dp/B007FI70U8/ref=sr_1_4?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1334074000&sr=1-4 or http://www.ryepack.co.uk/ .You could buy some clear cupcake/muffin containers which i find most reasonable if bought through Amazon   http://www.amazon.co.uk/Classikool-Cavity-Protective-Cupcake-Bubble/dp/B004T3542I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1334073607&sr=8-2

I find transporting the cupcakes in 24 cupcake boxes works best and can be reused as they’re quite sturdy http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strong-Cupcake-muffin-insert-Cupcakes/dp/B006R69LGA/ref=sr_1_6?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1334074450&sr=1-6

Stall Set up:

Never underestimate the power of a local market. It’s the best way to introduce your business so make sure you and your stall look presentable. Use cake stands to display the cakes and a frame with the flavours and price, invest in a pretty table covering and wear an apron. Keep a supply of disposable gloves handy for hygiene purpose. Print a sign or a banner with your business details and attach in a noticeable place. Make sure you have lots of business cards and a portfolio with images of your work placed in one corner so that those who wish to find out more and look through it.

Invest in cash tin and take along lots of change.

Politeness and Etiquette:

I should have this at the top of the list as it’s the MOST important thing to remember. It’s important to be helpful and kind even to other stall members around you. Always wear a smile, meet and greet people who come towards you even if it’s out of curiosity, don’t lose the enthusiasm. It’s important to be remembered as the pleasant lady who sells cake :)

Good Luck!

 

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