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Author Topic: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?  (Read 5514 times)

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Offline pcampbell

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Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« on: September 29, 2009, 06:09:44 PM »
Hi,  I am very interested to hear about your setup.  Would you be willing to tell us about it?  If not openly, in a PM would be great also.

Do you have any pictures?

I was interested in selling at a local Farmers' Market but have gotten a little scared off, due to estimates $200/day fixed costs (propane + farmer market fee, ice, dough and sauce which will go "bad") not including kitchen rental.  Finally, the market ends at 1pm, so I am not sure I'd be able to sell enough from 11am-1pm (assuming most are not buying pizza prior to 11am).  Still, I'm keeping it as an option, maybe something to test the waters.

Are you allowed to make your dough yourself  (at home) in PA?  Do you have a wood fired oven on a trailer or something else?    Do they require you to have commercial refrigeration, etc. ?   Hand washing?

Thanks!
Patrick

Offline norma427

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 12:50:24 AM »
pcampbell,
Sorry I tried to answer your questions tonight with pictures, but they said the file was too large.  In the next few days I will answer your questions.
Norma

Offline norma427

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 07:11:00 AM »
pcampbell,
Sure, I will answer any questions you have.  I have been helped so much by this forum and the people on it.
I have been in the food business for many years, but not pizza making.  I started pizza making in April of this year.  My husband and I had a Caramel Popcorn stand at two farmer's markets.  We sold many varieties of caramel popcorn, kettle corn, clear toy candy, fudge, brittles, old-fashioned stick candy, cotton candy and different flavors of regular popcorn.  We also had a concessions trailer for many years that we went to fairs and festivals selling the caramel popcorn, snow cones, lemonades, and cotton candy. We also had wholesale orders for the clear toy candy. When my husband became very ill, I had to sell the caramel corn stand because that was really a hard job making the caramel corn all day long by hand and it was too much to do by myself.  We had mostly worked 6 days a week.  My husbands family had been at the market I am at now since 1928.  Then we had a food approved shed at home where we popped the corn (before making into the caramel corn at market), made the candy and kettle corn. 
I am officially retired now, but still am working at my pizza stand to keep busy and also make extra money.  I found a stand for sale that had funnel cakes, lemonades, coffee and hand dipped ice cream.  I added items there and sold funnel cakes, all kinds of Mexican Food, hand dipped ice cream, lemonades, smoothies, fried oreos, fried twinkies, and other items.  Since that was an outside stand you could only be open from spring until the end of October because people don't shop outside in the winter.  I had always wanted to open a Fresh Salsa stand.  When a space became available I was approved to sell all kinds of fresh salsas, different types of tortilla chips (which I had shipped in from Arizona), dip mixes, and spices.  I thought I could start this stand in the winter and then still make the salsas and have someone run the stand for me while I operated the funnel cake stand in the summer.  The salsa stand didn't pay enough money to keep it profitable.  Where I live people just aren't into different kinds of salsa.  I knew the owner of the market was looking for someone to make fresh dough pizza.  I sold my funnel cake stand and changed my salsa stand into a pizza stand. It is inside the market.  I really love making pizza, now.  I only have a stand that is 8'x13'.  It took a lot of planning to get all my equipment into that stand.  I bought most of my equipment used on craigslist, and from other people that were going out of business.  I had to purchase a deli case, pizza prep refrigerator, mixer, 3 bay sink, hand wash sink, heated merchandisers. pizza oven, prep tables and other things. My pizza oven is a Baker's Pride GP-61 tabletop propane. All the items had to be NSF certified.  I do get inspected by the Department of Agriculture.  I had to take food safety courses.  I make the dough at market on Mondays.  If there is any left over, I can freeze it for the next week.  I also freeze my sauce until the next week.  The market day here is 8:00 am until 9:00 pm. The market get around 5,000 people though it each week.  Many are local people that come from different cities and some are tourists.  It took a lot of planning and looking for equipment. 
If you want to do something similar to this you have to figure in many things.  How many people will come day, cost of equipment, cost weekly for food, propane, electric, and ingredients.  I really like doing this, but I would need more markets for me to make a whole living on it. 
Here are a few pictures.  If you have any other questions, just ask and I will answer the best I can.
Norma
Norma

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 02:13:51 PM »
Thanks for sharing.. what a cute little setup!!   Nice to see the Boylan's soda too.

Where is your market?

All of ours around here in NJ are seasonal, and mostly on the weekends in the morning until early afternoon.

I thought about doing a temporary trailer setup, but even with that I have a hard time seeing even breaking even so  I'm still figuring things out.
Patrick

Offline norma427

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 05:03:23 PM »
Thanks for saying you like the market stand.
The market is outside Manheim, Pa.  If you want to look at the market it is under www.rootsmarket.com There is also a big flea market at Root's each Tuesday that runs until weather is cooler.  It starts earlier in the morning.
It is a lot to figure out, if you really want to start your own small business. Because I was at this market for many years, I already knew a lot about the market, how many people come there, what the stand rents were and other things.
There are many farmer's markets in our area.  The two biggest ones are Root's and Green Dragon which are only one day a week.  There is also Central Market in Lancaster that is open 3 days a week.  Saturday's market in Middletown that is only open Saturday's and many markets in Harrisburg and York.   
I have become friends with many market stand owners and know from them about market life and what could be successful. 
To be successful at most markets you need long hours and many people to buy your product.  Even in the down economy people still come to market to find bargains.
I know different people that set-up at markets outside that do a great business in making pit beef and pork.  There are many Amish vendors at our markets and they also know what it takes to become successful. 
I still don't know if I will be successful.  It's been to short of time I have been making pizza.  At least if I get to old or get ill, I can sell my stand.  In our markets if a stand becomes available and nothing is permanently there, you don't have to pay to start a stand.  You just have to put in your own equipment. This is what happened with my pizza stand.  There is a long list of vendors wanting to get in, but the owners of the markets only allow so much of each item, so the standholders have a chance of becoming successful.  Amish families bought our caramel corn stand and the funnel cake stand.  They usually have more than one market.  Sometimes as many as 4 markets they go to.  I know all this sounds crazy, but this is how the markets are around here.
Usually here when a stand goes up for sale it doesn't take to long for someone to buy it. 
Another thing to consider is liability insurance and paying your own health insurance.  That is really where it gets sticky, unless a wife or husband has a full-time job and has health insurance. 
Try to talk to other vendors at the markets you are talking about and see what they have to say. 
If I can help you in any other way, let me know.
Norma

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Offline norma427

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 07:05:45 AM »
pcampbell,
Here are a few more pictures of the funnel cake stand and the salsa stand that I ran before.  I have many pictures of the caramel corn stand, but I first would have to scan them to put pictures on here.  That was before I had a digital camera. 
I also wanted to let you know that outside there are many successful stands that sell food, but they go to more than one market.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Norma

Offline Jack

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 11:27:06 AM »
The Roots Market. . . . . You guys are making me home sick;   I used to live on Candlewyck Road, off the Manheim Pike, just behind Erbs and the PPL depot.  Now just SE of Seattle, WA.

I do miss the amazing Amish produce markets the most.  While we have the Pikes Place Market http://www.pikeplacemarket.org, but nothing I have ever found anywhere has matched the quality of the Amish produce.  Kreiders or Sundays Best for Ice cream rocked too.  Fond memories of Lancaster. . . . .

Good luck Norma and thanks for sharing.

Jack

Offline norma427

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 04:42:03 PM »
Jack,
Your Pikes Place Market looks really big.  Do they also have loads of food?  It looks like a great market, too.
Yes, you did live close to Root's.
The Amish are really hard working people and their produce is great.  Just got finished eating some fresh sweet corn, I had bought on the way to market at a roadside stand.
I used to sell Kreiders ice cream at my funnel cake stand.  I miss eating the ice cream there each week.  I always had ice cream when I was getting the stand ready or just unloading ingredients..lol  I guess it's better that I don't have that stand anymore.  I gained weight there. 
Good to hear you went down memory lane.
Norma

Offline Jack

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2009, 04:05:53 PM »
Norma,

Yes, prepared food raw ingredients, like fish, shellfish, produce, dried fruit, jellies, nuts, cheese, jerky, art, jewlery, wall hangins, pictures, handbags, whatever, as long as it's somewhat of a craft or food.  It's an amazing place, but it doesn't have the country market feel of Roots. 

We were on the east coast earlier in the summer and wanted to blitz through Lancaster and the countryside with the kids, but our schedule didn't allow it.  Maybe in a few more years.

Jack

Offline norma427

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2009, 09:13:05 PM »
Jack,
Thanks for telling me about your market. If you and your family ever get to Root's, stop and say hi.  One thing Root's doesn't have is really good fish or shellfish.
Central Market in Lancaster just got their first website.  That market is the oldest continually operating market in the US.  Their website is www.centralmarketlancaster.com  Since you are from this area maybe you want to look at their website.
Norma

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Offline JConk007

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2009, 04:03:18 PM »
also curious what you use the dough press in the pic, for after seeing your tossing skills?
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Offline norma427

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2009, 04:36:50 PM »
John,
Okay, you are curious about the dough press in the back round.  Are you ready for this. :o
I only starting making pizza in April of 2009.  I had talked to many pizza people and I thought I wouldn't be able to open my dough up by myself when I started making pizza. One guy that had a successful pizza business told me he just couldn't learn to open up the dough by hand.  He said his wife could and they had another guy that did most of their opening the dough.  He had a pizza press, so when he was the one making pizza he used the dough press. That is why I bought the dough press.  I did post different questions on PMQ think tank about using a dough press if I became too busy to open the dough myself.  If you go on their under my screen name here, you can see what I asked and what people answered me.  I have only used the dough press twice and didn't like it.  I also want to be able to open my own dough because after posting more questions on PMQ think tank, I decided the only way to go was just open the dough by hand so it wouldn't affect the dough.  This sounds like a long story, huh?  ::) 
I started my whole pizza business kinda backward if you would talk to other pizza businesses.  I didn't even know how to make pizza dough!  ???  I learned that from people on this forum.  I am still learning and if I post more pictures from my stand you will see the dough press isn't there anymore.  At least I sold it on craigslist for the same price I bought it for. 
That is how my whole life is and has been..kinda crazy. :-D
Norma

Offline JConk007

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2009, 04:42:22 PM »
Yes that guy did not have Pete-zza does On his side did he? He woud probably not recommend a dough press I am sure. Bite the bullet and I'll look for it on Ebay  :) There was a place I found in Jersey city that used one and the Pizza was AWSOME so it can work well and fast  I would guess with the right dough fomulation If I hasd a choice I would buy a sheeter to make that cracker crust I love so much have you tried that style yet? That may work out for the pres as it is like 36% hydration and a bear to roll out  so thin.
John
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Offline norma427

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2009, 10:17:17 PM »
John,
You are right, if I didn't have Pete-zza on my side, I wouldn't have learned to make the Lehmann dough that I make now. 
Sorry if you were looking for a pizza press..I did look into a sheeter on ebay, but thought they were going to high.  I did ask the question on PMQ about a sheeter, also. 
I could call the guy that had the other pizza press and see if he still needs it.  Let me know if you want me to call him.  The press was reasonable and he had another one for sale, but that was awhile ago.  I hope his number is the same because he was going to build a bigger place to sell his pizza.
No, I never tried the cracker style. I never have even eaten one.  They look delicious though.  Wow 36% hydration is really low.
I am starting to work on a Silician, but when I tried it last week, it didn't turn out like I wanted it to. 
Norma

Offline norma427

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Re: Norma, could you tell us about your Farmers' Market setup?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2009, 06:37:49 AM »
JConk007,
John,
I don't know if you are really interested, but I just looked on craigslist and there is a dough press for sale in New Jersey.  The price is not listed.
Here is the information.

[email protected]

DOUGH PRO PIZZA DOUGH PRESS= USED

VERY GOOD CONDITION MODEL DP-1100

CALL 973-743-0515 DOUGH PRO

Norma

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