A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Author Topic: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market  (Read 10393 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline dbarneschi

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 130
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Cambridge, MA
Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« on: March 12, 2014, 08:31:17 PM »
Hi all. My name is Damian and I am considering making pizzas and selling them at my local farmers market. I've had a lot of experience making pizzas for larger groups of people, and I have a few questions about my plans to step things up to the next level.

1. I definitely plan on buying a Blackstone pizza oven for my apartment deck. Would it be feasible to pack the Blackstone into my Volkswagen hatchback every weekend and lug it back and forth to the farmers market, which is only 3 miles from my apartment?
2. I found a licensed kitchen prep space a few miles from where I live. What is a reasonable amount to pay for the use of the space each week (including the storage of my dough, cheese, etc.) for three days?
3. The farmers market will run from 9 AM - 1 PM every Saturday. Living in the Northeast, summer mornings/early afternoons can be quite hot and humid. If I planned on working with approx. 50 dough balls every week, what would be the best way to keep the proofing trays stored so that the dough wouldn't over rise over the course of the day?

Any additional tips, advice, etc. is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 09:18:25 PM by dbarneschi »

Offline landras

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 239
  • Location: Houston, Tx
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2014, 12:26:42 PM »
HI Damian,

I will start selling  at a FM in a few weeks, weather here in Houston is humid and hot also. I am going to use a refrigerated preo table to store my trays and I will take them out based on demand, once they are proof it takes a little bit to warm up when it is hot. Will let you know how it goes and will pass any tips I learn from it.
nico

Offline derricktung

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 602
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2014, 12:29:58 PM »
Damian,

Great questions!  I've only had one market season down so far, but I can provide my insight from this past year:

1.  I don't know how heavy the Blackstone is, and whether you need to get the equipment approved by your local fire dept, etc.  You'll definitely need your local health inspector to approve, so get on that process.  It's not too bad typically, but takes time.
2.  I was lucky enough to get into a shut down restaurant for $15 per hour, with free storage.  They were desperate though, as they were trying to make rent on the space they owned.  We typically paid $30-$45 per week since it took us about 2-3 hours to prep ingredients and dough (100+ pizzas each time).
3.  To keep our dough cool, we used thermo bags with ice sheets inside.  Here's the link for both:  http://www.restaurantdepot.com/docs/default-document-library/kik-web-pg-34-5-29-09.pdf?sfvrsn=2

We set the dough in proofing trays, and placed the trays into the bag with ice sheets above it.  Since we had each dough ball bagged with a touch of oil, we would always have 6-9 of them on the counter at a time to start warming up to prepare for customers.  As the rush hit, we would just take the lid/ice off, and let a whole tray warm up at a time.  You'll find your groove with a few markets...

Good luck!

Offline JAG

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: central ohio
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2014, 07:41:53 PM »
Damian,

I don't know if I have any suggestions for you but I can tell you how it went for us. Last year was our first year out doing a local FM, it was 3hrs. 4-7pm, and it was the first year for this market. As for a kitchen rental, where I am, they go for about $25/hr.

So the first week not knowing how it would go we prepped I think around 100 balls, and carried toppings to do 6 different styles. I had a 10x10 tent which was a savior because of the afternoon sun/heat/rain, I carried 3 folding banquet tables 2-5', 1-6', a 48" pizza prep table, a 3+1 sink set up plus the outboard gear for it, an extra dough work table and some coolers for drinks, oh yeah, a generator too. And of course the oven, a trailer mounted 40" WFO. So for the market itself the first and last hours were busy but not crazy but the middle hour was total chaos, I had 5 workers including me because the last think I wanted was to fall behind the first time out, of course we fell behind. One thing that happened and there isn't really any way I have found to combat it is that doing personals one person might be in line but they order four pies. This happened several times and really jammed things up. Anyway, all in all it was very successful and greatly received. I could probably write a few pages describing the first few weeks and details and lessons so it would probably be better to PM me if you want to chat about it.

Good Luck
JG


Offline MartyE

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • Location: Houston
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2014, 08:35:18 PM »
Nico,

That is excellent news that you coming a farmers market. I would love to come and try out your pizza. Which market will you be at?

Marty

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline Bert

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1790
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Mighty Pizza Stone
    • MightyPizzaOven.com
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2014, 11:04:43 PM »
That is excellent news that you coming a farmers market. I would love to come and try out your pizza. Which market will you be at?

Nico. I wish you the best, I think you will do great. Checkout Nico facebook page https://www.facebook.com/olivawoodfiredpizza, he has been making amazing pies...here is a sample...
Bert

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 31036
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
  • Always working and looking for new information!
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 11:45:14 PM »
Damian,

These are some photos from a Car, Truck and Cycle event I did at a farmer's market with a Blackstone unit at Reply 198 and the next few posts.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26483.msg279105#msg279105  I was making NY style pizzas and found even though I was not busy it was hard to reheat slices when making the pizzas.  My setup probably was not the best either.  I do have an inside stand at the farmer's market where I make pizzas and have a regular deck oven I usually bake in.  I made my dough there so I can not answer any questions about renting kitchen space.

Norma

Offline derricktung

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 602
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2014, 09:26:41 AM »
Wow... that's a gorgeous looking pie!!! 

Offline dbarneschi

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 130
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Cambridge, MA
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2014, 03:06:37 PM »
Thanks everyone for all the helpful tips!

Before I started looking into selling my pizzas at a farmers market, I knew there would be some hoops I'd need to jump through but not nearly as many as I'd imaged. Just reading through the attached list of requirements to open a (in my case weekly, temporary and seasonal) food establishment in the city of Somerville, MA makes my head hurt. As an amateur pizza maker who wants to do this as a hobby (for now, at least), is there an easier way to go about starting the process? Since I am a huge fan/supporter of craft beer, I was thinking about establishing a "partnership" with a local microbrewery whereas I'd be operating my pizza stand on their premises as a salaried employee. Perhaps this might help cut through some of the red tape. If that doesn't work, I live near a heavily traveled bike path in an urban area and was debating going rogue, a la Pizzahacker. Any thoughts on these ideas?

Offline derricktung

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 602
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2014, 04:40:01 PM »
You might be able to pair up with a local restaurant/brewery/winery, assuming the have the majority of those... but you'd still likely need to go through ServSafe training and some of the others.

Insurance might be a time saver, if they're willing to take you onto their insurance (which shouldn't be a problem if they're already serving food) but if you're trying to create something new, they likely want you to have your own insurance and name them as additionally insured.

Unfortunately, there's a big line between the hobby and business side.  You're at the key juncture of learning that... the requirements to be a business (even at a small farmer's market) are a lot of hoops to get through... but it's nothing compared to setting up your own restaurant.  ;)


A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline adm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 196
  • Location: Surrey, UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2014, 05:18:14 PM »
Craft beer? Artisan Pizza? Bike Trail?

I'm in!

 

Offline landras

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 239
  • Location: Houston, Tx
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2014, 11:30:15 AM »
Nico,

That is excellent news that you coming a farmers market. I would love to come and try out your pizza. Which market will you be at?

Marty

Hi Marty. I am going to be at the Richmond one between buffalo and Kirby. Sundays from 11 to 3pm. First day I going to be April the 6th (I am aiming for that day but could change...)
thanks

Offline landras

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 239
  • Location: Houston, Tx
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2014, 11:39:19 AM »
Nico. I wish you the best, I think you will do great. Checkout Nico facebook page https://www.facebook.com/olivawoodfiredpizza, he has been making amazing pies...here is a sample...

Thanks Bert, I will need some luck, specially getting people to work on a sunday!!!

Offline rockyboy

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2
  • Location: Youngstown ohio
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2014, 09:57:41 PM »
Hi Damian,  I worked a farmer's market in Spokane and found out that most of my pies were sold from 11-4, very few before that.  I was not allowed to use any type of egg product or I would have offered a breakfast pizza.  Maybe your health dept. is different, if it is, I would find a good looking breakfast pizza to sell in the early hours before the taste switches to the usual pizzas.  Good luck!

Offline Serpentelli

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1170
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
    • Bat Man vs. The Penguin
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2014, 11:25:13 PM »
You should ask mmmph his thoughts.

He was selling pizzas outside  bar in downtown Wilmington, NC a while back.

He's a master.

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline thezaman

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3810
  • Age: 70
  • Location: ohio
  • I Love Pizza!
    • lorenzos pizza
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2014, 03:44:03 PM »
Damian, one method that works. purchase the artisan dough trays, a cambro catering box and a cambro freezer shelf. you can get four trays plus the freezer shelf. you can get 7 to 8 in a tray.another option is the cambro fiber half sheets. you would have to cover each with plastic bags to get them to fit. you can get 6 of them in and you have 48 ready to go. if you pre cool the box and use  the ice slab your dough will be good for 6 to 7 hours.  i have tested the temperature after 24 hours and was still at 45 degrees. weather was not real warm at the time. pm me if you want specific codes. i also have pictures of all components if you want i can post them. good luck.  oh, you would have about three hundred in this set up unless you go used. 

Offline JConk007

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 3921
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Lovin my Oven!
    • Flirting with Fire
Re: Advice for making pizzas at a farmers market
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2014, 12:21:29 PM »
BIG bucks for the  Cambro ! The RD insulated Bag is  $30  and fits 4 full size trays and Ice blankets Ice blankets 6 Ft length  for $10 bucks Keeps em all day  the  Cambro is around $300?  and hard to come by used ?
I take my black stone to the Beach often
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=25127.msg275405#msg275405
I cant find my original blackstone beach post ?
posted it other places too but just take apart  and assemble on site 5 Minutes  wheel will blow out but they can be fixed
John
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 12:28:54 PM by JConk007 »
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfire.net

A D V E R T I S E M E N T