Archive for the ‘Info’ Category

Picking Locations To Pop

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I wanted to post my video that I created of the Fairhaven Farmers Market which happens every Sunday in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. I shot this video to basically help the market attract more customers along with touting ourselves. I recently moved to the Buzzards Bay area and I’m going through the process of finding new markets to pop at. I’m also hoping to find markets which are near by and will cut down my commute. There’s a lot of you guys who have bought my online course “Start Your Own Kettle Corn Business” and I wanted to go over some of the things that I’ve been discovering as this move has forced me out of my comfort zone and I have to almost “start over again” in locating places to sell kettle corn.
We’ve come up with a formula in choosing new locations (like farmers markets) to sell kettle corn. It’s basically this:

1. How long has the event been in existence?
2. How is its visibility?
3. What is the nearby population density?
4. Does it cater to kids/families?

If you can find an event which scores high in all of these, you’ll more likely have a winner. Lemme go over each of them.

1. How long has the event been in existence? – Obviously something that’s been around for a while will more likely be known by everyone who lives anywhere near it. Word of mouth is huge in any marketing, and this just takes time. I can remember my Framingham Farmers market only having me and 5 other tents back in the day. Now the market has grown substantially (along with my customers) and it’s very lucrative. It’s very hard to have people appear with just a newspaper ad and a couple of flyers around town.

2. How is its visibility? – If their marketing sucks, how will people find the event? If it’s located right next to a busy street, this will work. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd, right? Most of the events that have failed were the ones WAY back from the road, behind some buildings. If people can’t see it, it’s hard getting everyone to remember and even find it. Our Springfield Farmers market was going crazy for us before it was forced to move off of a busy street and just a quarter mile away, set back into a park. We lost a third of our business the next year and still hasn’t recovered to where it was 3 years ago.

3. What is the nearby population density? – If the event is huge enough, then it’ll need to be away from everything, but if we’re talking about something like a weekly farmers market, you’re going to rely on locals to keep you in business. Most people aren’t going to drive very far just to get vegetables and kettle corn, it isn’t convenient. Recently we switched from popping at the Carver Farmers Market to the Fairhaven Farmers Market. We doubled our business the moment we started. Let me show you the Google maps for each spot.

Kind of obvious where we would do better, right?

4. Does it cater to kids/families? – Certainly ANYONE will eat kettle corn, but we’ve noticed that if you get the kids into the picture, everyone will be happier. We see this every day when school let out at all of our farmers markets. We recently had two blues festivals which were a major bust for us. Nobody was thinking of taking their kids to something like that. We did a 4th of July fireworks festival in Assonet, MA which was absolutely nuts. Families galore there. A craft festival is certainly a family event, not so sure of a car show. Again, you’ll always sell something (even at a car show), but the bigger money happens when you have all sorts of mouths to feed.

Fairhaven Farmers Market 1st Time

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

We’ve been doing the Carver farmers market on Sunday for the past 2 weeks. As I mentioned previously, it’s a great market run by a fine gentleman, but our sales have been pretty dismal. We’ve been exploring other options for popping on Sunday and one of them was the Fairhaven Farmers Market. We decided to take a whack at it on July 8th and we did alright for our first time. Fairhaven has a descent size population and it’s literally a bridge crossing from New Bedford, an even bigger city. We’ve been refining our formula for choosing popping locations:

1.    Location visibility – Is the market visible from a busy street? How will people know if it even exists? Sure the market manager will say they do marketing, but it seems most NEW customers will pull over on an impulse.
2.    Age of market – A market will acquire regular customers as it goes along. It’s certainly easier to tap into an existing customer base than scrounging for your own.
3.    Nearby population – Where are the customers going to come from? There seems a definite travel radius from the market people will drive to get veggies and kettle corn.

Fairhaven seems to fit the bill better for our Sunday popping location. It’s at the intersection of a busy street, right next to a bridge to an even bigger population of people in New Bedford. The Carver farmers market has great age and visibility, but nobody really lives in Carver Massachusetts. There are certainly people going to the market on a regular basis (because of age), just not that many, and I don’t see how that will substantially increase as we stay there. Our Springfield and Framingham locations increased in traffic over the years because there were that many more people to spread the word.

Kettle Corn

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Velma’s ‘Wicked Delicious’ Kettle Corn is located in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. We normally take our popcorn machine to different locations in the New England area, but if you can’t get our kettle corn “wicked fresh”, then you can buy some of our yummy popcorn online.

We’ll even show you our Kettle Corn recipe. Feel free to burn a couple of your own pots and pans at home while trying to recreate it without a popcorn popper. It’s not easy!

Want to start your own kettle corn business? How does being your own boss in an all cash business grab ya? We’ve written a 60 page ebook which goes into detail on what you’ll need and where you’ll find it!

Looking for a popper in your area? Skiddaddle on over to our Kettle Corn Directory to find someone who pops local to you. Are you a kettle corn vendor? G’wan over there and add your link. It’s free!

Buy Kettle Corn Online

We can ship 4 bags of kettle corn as a gift to anybody anywhere in the U.S. – or just buy a box and snarf it by yourself! Click here!

Winter Locations

Tuesdays: Newton Indoor Farmers Market – 1:30-6:00pm

Hyde Community Center, 90 Lincoln Street, Newton Highlands, MA – map

We pop our product fresh each morning and bring it on down. Do you really need to SEE our kettle? We’ll be here all the way until June when we switch over to the Newton summer location.

Summer Locations

Tuesdays: Forest Park, Springfield, MA – 12:30-6:00pm

Next to the Cyr Hockey Rink – Free admintance to the park!

Thursdays: Framingham Farmers Market – 12:30-5:30pm

At the Framingham Village Green/Edgell Road

Pit-chahs Of The Tent

So who makes Velma’s Kettle Corn? Let’s see what you guys look like!

Pictures banner Kettle Corn

EZ UP Canopy By Fred

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I normally don’t gush over a product, but this is such a necessary thing if you’re selling stuff from under a tent. www.canopiesbyfred.com sells EZUP awnings, EZUP canopies and other things for your craft fair, farmers market tent. Someone on this site turned me on to them and I immediately bought one. They are the greatest thing. (see video) You get an extra 2 feet of overhang with your tent without going beyond your allotted 10′x10 space.

 

But I have to give some crap to Freds website.

 

His website optimization (SEO) stinks. I LOOKED REALLY HARD to find a canopy for my EZ UP tent. I knew these things existed by couldn’t find one online. This is why I got excited when I finally located one. If you do a search for “EZUP Awning” or “EZUP Canopy” Freds site doesn’t show up at all on Google. I think he’s listed as #37 on Yahoo. Fred is losing sales bigtime. In fact, because I’ve labeled this blog entry “EZ UP Canopy By Fred”, I’ll bet my video or this blog entry will appear first before his website.

 

Next day update: OK, I found Fred’s website. He’s on page 6 for the search term “EZ UP Awning”, this stupid little video on Youtube now shows up on page 4 for the search term “EZUP Awning” (no space). The point of all this is you’ve got to be explicit on your spellings and cover all the variations if you want to be found by Google. I would’ve bought one of Fred’s awnings years ago.

 

While we’re on the subject of SEO. In my book, “How To Start A Kettle Corn Business” I go into proper web optimization for your website. I had stated that if you want your kettle corn business to be found in your state, include your state in your URL. (i.e. kettlecornkentucky.com) Go ahead, do a search for “kettle corn kentucky” on Google. Guess who? Yup, that’s me on the first page.

 

Since I set up my Kettle Corn Directory page, Google is now listing me way up there for any search that goes by “kettle corn + state name” for all 50 states. This was never my intention, but this certainly explains why I’m getting people going to my website FROM my kettle corn directory page. OK, fine you guys, DON’T listen to me. :-P

 

A few days later: I get this email:

 

Hey Eric! Â What can I say????

 

I just received some orders and one of the customers said he heard about our

canopy awnings from you. Â He was in California. Â The next customer called me

and he also follows you. Â He was in Washington. Â I understand you have a

following. So I checked out your sight and was sent to You Tube to see the

video.

 

Thanks so much!! It looked great. Â The best of luck with your business!

Thanks, Â MarvÂ

 

Next in the THESE ARE ALL FAKED department:

Kettle Corn Business ebook is up!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Business Book coverOK, so I went nuts and created an ebook that I’m selling online called “Start Your Own Kettle Corn Business“. I’ve been getting so many questions from people over the years asking about starting a kettle corn business. Most of the questions are exactly the same, so I made it easier on myself to just put all the answers in a book they can download. (There’s also $30 involved – but hey, we sweated our butts off to figure this stuff out.)

I’ve been doing a lot of research about online marketing and the ins and outs of promoting stupid products like this. Mostly it’s about bullshit weight loss products or some other thing which will appeal to the vanity of the great unwashed masses. At least I can say that what I’m selling is legit and I can personally vouch for everything I claim. I sure wish I had a book like this when I got started.

Been back from Hawaii for a couple of weeks and trying to get my head around the now novel concept of extreme cold. Never ran across anyone selling kettle corn from a tent out there. The woman at the car rental place on Oahu filled us in on the kettle corn status of that island. Occasionally someone will pop at a special event, but no one is popping at the giant swap meet at Aloha Stadium. We got into kettle corn because I handed her my Velma’s business credit card and she went “KETTLE CORN?? YOU GUYS DO KETTLE CORN?!”

I got this email from someone recently – I found it very funny.

funny_email.jpg

I like the idea of someone being talked down from the ledge because they haven’t gotten their ketttle corn fix. Instead of cash, maybe we can fence stolen goods for bags of kettle corn so the addicts can get their fix.

So kettle corn season will start up again for us in Springfield during the first week of May. Framingham should start up in June.


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