Friday, October 23, 2009
I have news.
This Sunday, if you happen to be in Melbourne, come see us between 10am-3pm at the Prahran market. In truth, this is our second week. We started last Sunday, and why did I not announce it on the blog? For the simple reason that I was not willing to let people who know me from my blog see me cower under the table while James does all the selling/interaction with customers. No, really. I was really going to do it.
I think I have been pretty realistic with my expectations on this little venture; I expected it to be labour intensive and stressful. I know not to expect to make a tidy profit for at least the first few months. But what I didn't expect was how vulnerable I felt, having my ideas, my hard work, my creations displayed and scrutinised by possibly everyone who walks past my stall. It has made me feel a bit guilty for charging above-market prices for a packet of cookies, but I am fortunate to have James----someone who is not too personally involved in the products to help sell them---- and for me to be able to gather together just enough faith in the quality of my products, and the amount of work that I put into recipe development, packaging, labeling etc. to be able to justify the prices. After all, what I charge isn't a secret---the price list is out and open on the blackboard on the stall table, so if people have a problem with it, they can just choose to walk away.
I love what I do now---but the question is whether or not I will be able to keep that feeling up in the long run---when demands (hopefully) grow, and the repetitive nature of this business finally caught on to me. But I guess this is where I am in the position, as owner of the business, to make things interesting and challenging for myself. I haven't talked much about my ideas for the business in this space, but one of my main focus is to use seasonal ingredients to develop and create artisan-quality products. This would mean that I would not have a set product catalogue for a period of more than six months at the most, which also would mean that I have to perpetually find new ways to successfully incorporate seasonal produce into my recipes. Sounds far-fetched? Maybe, maybe not. I don't know if this would work, but seeing that I have nothing to lose at this point, I'm ready to give it my all.
I promise that I'll tell you more about the business in the coming weeks, or whenever I can scrape around enough time to blog. In the meantime, I've been working pretty much non-stop since 9am this morning (it's 1215 am now), so I can't wait until my head hits the pillow as soon as I finish this.