Archive for the ‘Onset’ Category

So much for the Blues (festivals)

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Boy did we get hammered in the month of August for Saturday special events. Sometimes we will book a “one off” event on a Saturday like a craft show or food festival. These type of events are usually expensive to enter which can run anywhere from $150 to $300 per day. As long as the crowds are willing and ready to buy kettle corn, you can certainly coupe your cost. We had a pair of music festivals appear this month and decided to cough up the money and go for it. We should’ve taken the warning we got from sticking around past the Onset Farmers Market and continuing to pop for the Onset Summer Of Love concert series that takes place on the same night and location. We hardly sold anything to this crowd because “real” food was just a few steps away at a pizza joint.

August 4, 2012 – Onset Blues Festival

This event takes place on a Saturday right on the same spot as the farmers market on Wednesdays. We we’re figuring “oh, we’ve already got some customers in Onset, they’ll just come by for this event.” Nope. First off, it cost something like 20 bucks to get in. Most locals weren’t going to cough up 20 bucks for music when they get it for free every Wednesday night at the concert series. Next, they stuck ALL the food vendors WAY in the corner. All the food vendors where bitching about their low sales that day. We’re talking about a 7 hour event, so with set up and break down, we were there for 12 hours. They also charged us $100 for the event fee and we needed another $50 to give to the health department, and this was after Dan negotiated the price down a bit. Oh yea, it was humid as hell that day. Total profit per person:

Eric: $38 – Dan: $38

The cruel irony here was that we made much more at the farmers market on Wednesdays because we didn’t have to pay the fees. Typically a farmers market only wants 20 bucks out of you, and Onset was even cheaper because they were trying to get started.

August 25, 2012 – Middleborough Blues Festival

This event was supposed to have taken place on August 18th, but it got rained out and everything was moved to the next weekend. There were red flags lying around all over the place, which I didn’t spot until it was too late. Again we thought, “the people will be TRAPPED inside of this event and we HAVE to get food from either us or the Lions club hotdog hamburger trailer. ” The cost of this one was only 50 bucks to enter. Another full day event, bands were lined up through out the day. We couldn’t miss and we needed a descent event to make up for the abortion of the Onset Blues Festival. Total profit per person:

Eric: $33 – Dan: $33

NOBODY, I mean NOBODY was at the event. It was surreal. I think there might’ve been 25 tickets sold? The day looked like it was going to go great. The promoters got all sorts of vendors to line the outside of this football field with their tents. There was room for a couple thousand people to watch the show. We started chatting with other vendors, “were you here last year?” No. Uh-oh. I’m thinking that’s not a good sign. The event has been going for 5 years now and nobody came back from last years event? You never walk away from a profitable event. The only people who were there last year were the Lions club trailer. 1 o’clock rolls around and I ask them how was the crowd last year at this time, since there was NO crowd forming now. “Much bigger”, the said. Not good. By this point we’re thinking the rain date screwed us because everyone had planned on arriving a week ago, and nothing was there. The only reason we made ANY money was because Dan sold kettle corn to all the other vendors. It was sad. Since this day was going to go down as the worst event of my kettle corn career, I was determined NOT to miss the Illumination Night back at the Onset Bay harbor. We bailed a half hour early, ran back to my boat and witnessed this:

Onset Farmers Market – first time!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

I recently moved to Onset, Massachusetts so it makes sense that I pop at the Onset Farmers Market, just down the street from where I live. The town holds a music concert series for the summer, and it’s also held at the same spot on as the farmers market on Wednesdays. I was hoping with both of these events that I’m able to pop at, this spot would be crazy lucrative from the get go. Not so. I sold a descent amount of popcorn at the farmers market, but everyone would showed up for the music event was carrying dinner with them! There is a yummy pizza joint called Marc Anthonys right next to the concert stage. It seemed like everyone had a pizza on their lap while listening to the music. We didn’t sell that much kettle corn at this night time event. Weird.

We’ve now done two weeks here and have started to see a build up of some repeat customers. We heard from one woman who was sitting miles from Onset next to the Cape Cod canal. She spots another woman munching on a bag of our kettle corn. She asks where it came from and drove all the way to our farmers market just to buy a bag. We’re also seeing tons of people who are just visiting for the week and made it down to the market. There’s also a canal cruise which dumps a boat load of people at the dock in Onset harbor every few hours. Even though this farmers market just started this year, we feel like it has potential to pan out in the long run. It may take a year of selling, but it fits the pattern which we’ve seen in other towns. Once we’ve “burned in” the thought of kettle corn on a certain day, people will come down stock up for the week.


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