Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Happenings at the Flea

This weekend has been interesting!

First this past Tuesday we met with a local baker and agreed to try her breads in our shop. We tried to make it easy on her and told her to give us a variety of breads and some cinnamon buns. Period. She could pick the breads and she could piggyback on what she was already making for her own booth in other markets this weekend. We just asked her to make us some too. That is it. Easy. Nothing special for us. We would pick it up and pay her on Friday morning at her market that both she and my husband go to. Easy Peasy.

Friday comes and I am feeling better (had a stomach bug on Wednesday and Thurs). My husband goes off to the market first and my son and I follow to pick up the bread about two hours later. We get the bread, take it to our market and open up for the day. Friday morning at the market my husband was at was super slow, and it was also slow at our market. One vendor bought some of the artisan bread that we got from the baker and went off. He came back about five minutes later and brought me back the bread. He had begun to eat it and noticed that the center wasn't done. It was raw dough. He was super nice about the whole situation and I gave him his money back and I took the bread back. I also checked the other breads that were artisan style and they were all raw in the center too. My husband had already left the market he was at so he called the baker and told her. She was mortified and said she would fix it. That morning when we picked the bread up she had said she was up all night baking our bread and it was a long night. She hadn't slept yet. I told her to go to sleep and not worry about replacing any bread with us this weekend. She agreed to back us muffins next weekend in exchange for the bread that we had to throw out. We offered to save it for her to pick up but she told us to throw it out. 
On the way from the first market my husband was at he stopped by our "secret place" to pick up some Nature's Own, Wonder Whitewheat, and Merita breads to sell for the weekend. He got a nice variety. We didn't sell any of her cinnamon buns on Friday or today. I take that back. We sold one to a vendor. But we didn't sell any of her other breads. We did sell some of our Nature's Own, Wonder Whitewheat, etc. yesterday and today. This may be the way we go at this point.

New news!!!! Someone else is selling the same product as us in the market this weekend. This lady, Bobby, has two tables in the center of the aisle about 8 spaces down from us on Aisle C. We suspect she got it from the original guy who was selling it in the market when we started selling jewelry next to him. It is just speculation but we will find out soon, I guess. When we contacted the manufacturer of beef jerky the rep told us that we would have exclusive territorial rights. He would not sell to anyone in the area of us. While we can't control who brings it into the market we can control how they get it. They would have to drive to pick up the product from another distributor or have it shipped to an address over 75 miles away from here. OR they can buy from us if we agree.
While she didn't really hurt our sales yesterday on Aisle C we think our sales today over there were hurt by her. We hardly sold a thing. There were people who walked by our booth and said "we already sampled on the table back there" pointing to her table down the aisle. We didn't see but one person carrying a bag they bought from her but we can't be sure how many walked the other way and not by us after they bought. Also we had our son over on that aisle manning our booth as I had to stay home most of the day with a sick child. Our sales could have been off with him being over there all day long too. 

Tomorrow, my husband will man the booth on Aisle C. He will get a better feel for what is going on over there and she will have to compete with a grown man, not a kid for sales. My husband is a great sales man too. 8) On Monday we will contact the manufacturer and let them be aware that someone else has encroached on our territory. We aren't sure what they will do if anything but we hope they may have some ideas for us. In the meantime, my husband will talk to Bobby and tell her that we will be contacting the manufacturer about this and let her know that they will follow up on it. We will also let her know that we are the ones that she should be talking to if she wants to purchase at wholesale the product to sell and we can discuss that with her if she is interested in continuing to sell it. We will also let her know that we don't have any "beef" with her but with the person she is getting the product from. 

If it is the original guy then my husband is going to go to his flea market where he has bragged that he makes all this money and will tell him that we are willing to set up a booth there and sell our product at wholesale cost to the public for as long as he wants to continue to supply Bobby or anyone else in our area with product. Basically, my husband will attempt to make a "gentleman's agreement" with him (Roger) to stay out of our market and we will stay out of his. Hopefully this will work. Crossing our fingers. 

I have other news too. We think we may have a lead on a booth on the produce aisle. This will be HUGE for us!!! This aisle is always busy and our eggs belong on this aisle. We would sell both eggs and jerky in the booth. It is a center booth and it is smallish but it will work. We hope to talk to the person renting the booth right now and will know what we can do soon.

Haven't heard anything about the house yet. Hoping to know something tomorrow or Monday on that. 
I had no idea that we would be involved in such "drama" by moving down here and just trying to make a living here, eek out a livelihood, and raise a family. Ha!

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