Well, I have gone ahead and rushed into something that may be a debacle of sorts early on, but whaddya gonna do?
The Baltimore Farmers Market is, I would have to imagine, one of the larger farmers markets on the East Coast. I have been to the monster farmers market at Union Square in NYC (love it) and the market in DUMBO and the Baltimore Farmers Market is not too much smaller than those. On peak Sundays the organizers claim more than 8,000 people visit the market during the day. There can be a literal wall of people walking in and among the market at times. I go most Sundays to stock up on fresh produce, sundries, honey, etc and eat breakfast from one of the various prepared food stands there….it’s one of my favorite things to do in the city. It’s really a killer market and atmosphere.http://www.bop.org/index.cfm?page=events&id=3
Last year, for the first time, the market offered pizza from a mobile WFO joint called the Red Zebra. They decided very recently that they are not doing the market this year (I was told due to logistics), the market wanted to keep pizza as one of its food vendors and yours truly decided such a last minute call meant it was time to have a pizza stand at the city’s busiest market…..without me even having my LBE dialed in yet…..with me having made pizzas exactly three times since Thanksgiving…..with having an honest moment of clarity last week realizing that I’m just really not
that good of a pizza maker….with the market opening April 1st. Ain’t life grand (or as we say in Bawlmer, Ain’t the beer cold!)?
Eff it, I just mailed in my application and check today to secure my 10’x10’ spot.
Obviously lots of experiments to do. I will not be open by April 1st and am targeting an opening at the market in May. I’ll mix 60 dough balls the first Sunday and work up from there as demand increases.
Gotta get a pop-up canopy and noodle the dough transportation. Given I don’t have a large car (station wagon is the largest of the two), I will likely need to use some coolers….either with 12”x12” greek tiles stacked somehow with the dough balls on them or having to put the dough balls in individual plastic containers, which I am not accustomed to but should not be a problem. There is not enough room to get the large Cambro box which can hold dough trays.
Obviously a lot more to get dialed in, not the least is finding a person to work the front of the stand, taking orders, handling money, etc. Getting someone dependable (and having back-ups) who will show up at 7am on a Sunday morning could be tricky. Already have some feelers out.
Hopefully by July 4th I’ll have worked out some of the kinks and gotten into being able to deliver a consistent product.
I don’t expect to deliver a product as good as what could be done in a WFO (or even what I was doing with my broiler) given I have changed my preferred formula for the LBE, but hopefully I can deliver a pizza that is respectable and worthy of consumption.
I’ll likely be offering just 2-4 regular pizzas (ideally 12”, but maybe 10” due to the format and storage concerns) to keep things simple and then also rotate in a weekly special on top of the regular offerings which will be announced via social media preceding the market.
Updates on the progress (and/or disaster) will be posted here. --K