Archive for 2012

Newton Indoor Farmers Market Video

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

We’re dedicated to making the new Newton Indoor Farmers Market a success, if this place doesn’t work, nothing will. Newton is a very upscale town and is practically part of Boston, so there’s a crazy amount of people within walking distance to this market. We’ve never done an indoor farmers market so this is basically one giant experiment. Our biggest concern is if kettle corn sales would work if we didn’t have our kettle stinking up the neighborhood for miles. There’s also the entertainment factor of making the stuff, but since I’ve been using a cover with a motor to stir everything, that really isn’t much of a factor anymore. Starting a new market is always tough since you rely on habits forming with people’s schedules. An indoor market is really tough because it’s not as noticeable when you drive past it.

We’ve now done 3 weeks and it’s going better than I thought. We’ve been selling about 50 bags for the entire day, which isn’t much – seeing that we can do that in an hour at a busy location. The fact is people are buying it like they would any other produce item. It’s too bad we didn’t get a chance to create any hardcore addicts with our product at the summer market. We only had a chance to pop there for 4 weeks before it ended, people were only starting to form their habits. There’s only about 200 people showing up at the actual in door market, so we’re doing pretty good with our customers to sales ratio. We just need to promote this event and get people to come on down, thus this video was created. The hard part is finding websites that are specific to Newton that have people bothering to go to them. We did get a write up on the Newton Patch, a website that caters to specific local towns.

Newton Indoor Farmers Market – 1st day!

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

This is completely, totally new – the Newton Indoor Farmers Market. Indoor farmers markets are kind of a weird thing. Farmers typically don’t have a lot to sell during the winter, but the other vendors can certainly keep going. Plenty of people are still looking for the OTHER things like breads, meats, fish and sweet stuff (like ourselves). Since we can’t pop inside the venue, we’ve had to pop everything at my house first and bring the product down there. We’re very interested in seeing how this pans out, because it will be a lot like selling and moving product to stores. We also realize that the smell won’t be tormenting people when we pop, so will just the product itself get the same reaction?

Steve had tried bringing some pre-popped bags to the Springfield Indoor Farmers Market last year. It was only a once a month thing, so the turn out was as crazy as our regular season. Judy, the market manager at the Newton farmers market, wants to do this every week all the way up to June, when we’ll turn around and go straight back to the outdoor market. Our first day was kind of rainy and Judy said we had around 300 people who up (compared to 2,000 for a normal, busy outdoor Newton market). It will be interesting to see how many regulars from the outdoor market show up here. Here’s the info:

Newton Indoor Farmers Market
Tuesday – 1:30-6:00
90 Lincoln Street – Hyde Community Center
Newton Highlands, MA
November 13-June 18, 2013
Google map directions

Hanson’s Farm Haunted Hayride

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Hanson’s Farm has been next to us at the Framingham Farmers Market for years. We noticed that they host a haunted hayride during October and we wanted to try and sell some kettle corn to their customers. It would be kind of a “mutual destruction” type of thing, hopefully we both would benefit. We also wanted to see the what the actual farm was like.

The video above basically explains what was going on. Dan and I were able to take the tour and got to experience the whole she-bang. It was fun. Both of us are from a film and lighting background, so we were designing all sorts of enhanced layouts of the ride and agreed it would be fun to work on something like this. There was a descent enough crowd that night and we sold an OK amount of kettle corn. There’s never a crazy amount of people here because the event takes place over the course of a few weeks, so it really wasn’t as lucrative as we hoped. We just did this one experiment of popping for the night and had a great time doing it.

Newton Farmers Market – 1st Day!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Holy crap. We lucked out. We just go into the Newton Farmers Market every Tuesday for the rest of October and should be there next year (and hopefully forever). This market is nuts. There’s 37 vendors, been around for 30 years and gets approximately 1,500-2000 people per day. This is what you’d expect at a weekend type of event that you would pay hundreds of dollars for. Newton is JUST outside of Boston proper, but you wouldn’t know it. It also has outrageous real estate prices, so if you can afford a house in Newton, you can certainly afford fresh veggies at the market.

We lucked out, normally the market is full up – nobody is getting in and there’s a waiting list. Hanson’s Farm, one of the vendors at our Framingham market, has been going there for a while. They couldn’t compete with some many other veggie vendors there and didn’t think they would be coming back. This is fabulous for customers, but kind of sucks for the farmers. How many different kind of zucchini can you choose from? Since a spot was opening up, they put in a good word for us with the market manager – and giving her a bag of kettle certainly helped! We were in just like that. Judy, the Newton market manager has been extremely helpful in getting us settled into our new digs. After slogging through a whole bunch of under performing gigs this year, it looks like we’ve finally hit the jackpot.

We’ve NOT Doing The Hyannis Farmers Market.

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

OK, so we’re NOT doing the Hyannis Farmers Market. (But boy, did we get close.) This year I’ve been looking for new markets to pop since I’ve recently moved to the Buzzards Bay area. We’ve been hearing all sorts of great things about the Hyannis Farmers Market. Hyannis is basically the hub of Cape Cod, a real tourist magnet in the summer and probably the town with the most businesses on the Cape. The farmers market itself if on the main drag and just down the street from a tourist hotspot. The vendors we’ve spoken to all said that it’s a jumping place, we should try to do it.

Cynthia, the market manager was very enthusiastic about having us pop there. We were all set to go, the final hurdle was getting the OK from the board of health since we prepare food onsite. They need to give us a temporary food permit, sort of along the lines of what a catering company does. The word came back that they won’t issue a permit for someone who will come back every week, they will only issue a permit for someone who will do an event once. (!) As I’ve mentioned in my kettle corn training course, health departments are never consistent. We never really got a clear answer as to why popping 4 times a month is unacceptable verses just once. Apparently a previous pizza guy was trying to cook at the market and they had an issue with him.


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