I love to bake and I'm thinking of selling baked goods at my local flea market on weekends. I am looking for advice on what to make and how many items to sell? Thanks for the help. Megin from North Haven, CT
I vote for classic chocolate chip or chocolate chunk cookies. They're a perennial favorite, and sure to sell well. Just about anything chocolate usually sells like gangbusters. Eating chocolate just raises people's spirits.
You might want to make sure your local flea market allows home-baked goods, of course, and what procedures they require. Hair nets and probably plastic gloves, perhaps, or having everything pre-wrapped in plastic or Zip-loc baggies.
Best to you!
At a flea market, people want to buy what they can carry away in their hands which are already full of other things. So a cake would be hard to sell, pies slightly better, cookies best. Pies and cakes are too much work for the labor. My girlfried has a gadget like an ice cream scoop that measures and drops cookies onto the cookie sheet fast, about one per second. You could use a cookie gun but it does cookies that are too small.
Depending in where you live, you may need a permit to sell stuff from your kitchen. Health dept may require commecailly approved kitchen.
My friend used to make homemade doughnuts, and she sold out all the time. Fruit pies made from scratch -- ie blueberries or saskatoons in this area, not from canned fruit -- are also favorites.
I used to bring jelly rolls to bake sales, and they also sold well. They were easy to make, yet looked difficult, and could be relatively small, so that they were less expensive.
I personally don't think large decorated cakes are good, as they are labor intensive, and what do you do with a big cake if it doesn't sell. It may depend on your clientele. I would only do something like that for a holiday, such as Valentines day, and then only one.
I think homemade bread and buns are always very popular as well. Be sure to list the ingredients on the tag these days, as so many people are interested in that -- want to know that it doesn't contain nuts, or whatever.
Muffins are a good choice too, as are tarts. You can package them in packs of 1/2 dozen, and then if people want larger amounts, they can buy 2 packs.
I too was interested in selling baked goods. I live in Vernon, CT and made a visit to the local health dept. in Vernon. I was told that I need a separate kitchen in my house to be licensed to sell baked goods. The only way I would be able to sell baked goods is if it was for a charity. It's really not legal but the health dept. looks the other way. Another avenue would be to use a church kitchen or VFW. Good luck!!
There's probably not much I can add to the great suggestions already given here, other than to recommend your prices are set to recoup your costs.
In addition to the obvious ingredient cost, be sure to consider the more subtle costs such as:
- energy (oven, mixer, etc), labor (your time in making the item),
- consumables (plastic wrap, parchment paper, aluminum foil, etc),
- packaging (plastic bags, cardboard containers, etc),
- display accessories (paper plates, plastic forks, tablecloth, etc),
- transportation (what it cost to obtain everything and get it to where it needs to be) and last but not least,
- the cost of the selling space itself.
This might seem unnecessary, but remember; math works its wonders whether or not we like numbers.
Math will gladly multiply profit, or compound loss, with every piece you sell , so it's worthwhile to make sure its on your side before you get started.
A tool that helps keep math on your side (i.e., keeps you profitable) is a recipe cost calculator.
Recipe cost calculators easily handle the complex math and measurement conversions you run into when trying to assess the cost of a recipe.
An example of an online recipe cost-to-bake calculator can be found at http://www.pricingbakedgoods.com
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