I have had two market days since my last post, and now that these are done, I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my surrounding community.
It all started with my first major hick-up as a cottage food vendor, and it was out of my control like so much of life is. Right now, I am only selling at my local farmer’s market every other week. I’m a tiny operation—I bake out of my kitchen, making around 35-40 pies total per market day, and let me tell ya, that probably doesn’t seem like a lot to many of you, but homemade pies are pretty intense to make. There are multiple steps, with various fillings and it can get overwhelming quick. I bake my pies the day before and the morning of, and when I received the first email about the possibility of the market not opening on June 26 due to severe weather, I had to think through what I should do.
The 5 stages of being a vendor when the farmer’s market is cancelled (especially when you have perishable goods and this is the only place you sell!)
The weather is fine, this will pass. I’m sure it will still open and I won’t be stuck with 35 pies after baking for two days straight.
Nope, the market is not opening, it’s official. What to do? So many pies, so many freaking pies! Maybe we can have a pie throwing competition?!
Looks like I’m just gonna have to eat all of these pies.
Well, sh*t, it’s all good. I mean, I’m sure Tom will be fine with me eating all of these pies and gaining 50 pounds.
5.) Let’s make this happen
Alright, seriously, I need to get rid of these pies. Let’s figure out a plan B.
My new plan was to post it on my Lakebilly Pies and the local lake community Facebook pages. I figured I would either deliver them or have folks come by my house to pick them up, and if I didn’t get anyone wanting to buy pies, I would find a local homeless shelter and drop them off and take the loss. The response from my community was awesome—what I especially loved was meeting neighbors that I had never met before, and that they wanted to support me by buying pies. I also had customers from the week before, my work colleagues and friends all buy pies. It took about an hour, but once again I had a sell out day, and I am so thankful that I had the support of everyone to make this happen. How cool is that!
After it was all said and done, I felt love for my community, friends and family. I have such awesome people in my corner. I grew up in Sylvan Lake, and I’m back because it is a special place to live—this experience reinforced that for me.
July 3 Market Day
This past Tuesday I had another market day. I’m excited to report that I sold out in 90 minutes, even after upping the amount of pies. With my preorders I ended up making 44 total, and I had a blast handing out samples and talking to customers about what I do. Pie is nostalgic for a lot of people—I love when they try a sample, look at my ingredients and are excited to have a legit homemade pie. I wouldn’t say that pies are a dying art, but it’s not easy to find a good one for sale, and my customers recognize this.
You can’t start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart.
I am getting more and more excited about this endeavor every day. At this point, it’s exactly what I need in my life, and I’m excited to see where this journey is going to lead us. If it keeps up like this, Tom and I are going to have to sit down and hash out what’s next for Lakebilly—I want to be able to provide pies for everyone I can, selling out is a good problem to have, but I’m hoping I can up my production a bit more.