February 25th, 2007

* Meet the maker *

handmade cookies with alphabet design cutout. Chocolate ganache filling.

(I couldn’t find an appropiate image for this post – so instead, I’ll upload a picture I took back in the good ol’ days of 2005. It’s of my attempt at making alphabet shortbread cookies with soft chocolate ganache filling!)

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At the market:

When a customer shows interest in a particular item, but remains indecisive, I explain to them the details of it (using delicious words such as ‘gooey’ helps), & also find a subtle way of telling them it’s handmade, & that it’s handmade by me.
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You’d be amazed…, a whopping 9 out of 10 of them would feel assured by this, & pleasantly purchase the said item, with a smile… (which is the ‘proud’ moment of this experience for me)!
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I believe the reason why those words lead to a successful purchase is because, in a world of big supermarkets governing our food-shopping habits, the act of buying direct from the producer had become less & less. Hence, when they do come across someone like me, who does make it themselves, it’s such an unusual experience nowadays that it grabs their imagination, with amusement! They’d then want to buy in to it – to buy the food itself, & also buy into the ‘experience’ of buying it ‘direct’ from the person who made it.

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I mean, answer these questions:

When was the last time you bought food direct from the producer?

How often does that happen in your modern daily lives?

Unless you’re my dearest regular customers, or you frequent Farmer’s markets, I can easily predict that it’s probably not so many times. (Mind you, in writing this, I realise that this includes myself – I too rarely buy ‘direct’, & rely heavily on giant supermarkets for all food shopping needs… I should atleast support my local fish monger ‘n’ butcher more with my customs… *mental note*)
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For me, the beauty of selling ‘direct’ is that I can give the customers a good summary (lengthy version if they wish) of what it is & what it tastes like. As the maker of the product, I would be able to tell them very precise things about it – like how much sugar went into it, any other queries about the ingredients (is it wheat-free), when it was made, how long it’ll last, etc etc. I’d like to believe that, since many of the other stalls are manned by part-timers, some doing it as a weekend job, they are less aware of what it is that they are actually selling, I’ve got the upper hand. Surely, at the end of the day, despite the fact that these part-timers can be enthusiastic & lively, they certainly don’t feel the weight of the ‘Resposibility’ to make sure that there’s best quality of service, & the pure passion towards what is being sold. It’s just not the same!
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This week:

A kid finger picks a raspberry from my cake. Since you never know where the kid’s fingers been, I can not sell it on. I ask the parents if they could purchase this cake, explaining that it has been rendered unsalable. – They give me a dirty look, a “we don’t want to”, & walk off. – The way they didn’t show much apology… left a bad taste in my mouth.

2 Comments »

  1. Hi there – I’ve finally had a look at your blog – it’s lovely (I should be working in my studio)…I’ve always loved the look of your stall, and I finally got round to buying something the other week – a heart shaped raspberry tart for a friend which he loved. So…this sat I bought…2 cholcolate truffles (wow, break the bank) – they were delicious – the white one with raspberry grancachd (?) had the most subtle hint of raspberry in the chocoloate – have been sitting here thinking “hmmm if I buy 7 chocolates a week, how much would that cost – and would I have enough self-control to eat only one a day”? Anyway, you are a true artist, I’ve always been able to see that, just from looking at your stall, and now I know!!!
    PS ‘Kitchen’ by Banana Yashimoto (Spelling)? you really MUST read it. see you Saturday, then ! Mikey

    Comment by Mikey - February 26, 2007 3:15 pm

  2. Wow, hi Mikey! Thanks for your lovely comment! I’ve just ordered ‘Kitchen’ (Yay!) on amazon UK, together with my pre-order of the next Harry Potter book (gotta keep with the times!) & a big hardcover book on Professional Table Service…!
    - I’m really looking forward to reading the ‘Kitchen’ novel. I’ve heard good reviews from you & also from everyone around me.
    - Hope to see you on Sat,
    t xx

    Comment by Tamami - February 26, 2007 9:39 pm

 

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