(Last month, my customers Joel & Bec took the photograph above. Then came back last week to give me the print-out! How sweet of you guys! You’ve made me happy. Thank you!)
This week, I want to tell you about some of the nice customers that I often encounter at my stall. I thought it important to let you know that the ‘not-so-wonderful customer’ I told you about from last week really was a rare case!
These lovely customers & many others are the very reason why I don’t get a part-timer to man my stall – ‘market-life’ is too fun to miss! ;-) I love meeting them, & when a regular face doesn’t show up, I would be thinking of them.
In no particular order;
- There is the charming lady pensioner who every week pops-by around mid-morning to buy a slice of ‘flourless chocolate cake’ (her husband is always standing 2 steps away from the table). She is the very cause of why I have kept the price of it still at £1.80-a-slice, when all the other cake slices have gone up by 20 pence to £2.00… because I’m scared the change might dishearten her & put her off.
- Then there’s a man who also visits every week, similar to my Dad’s age, who buys a ‘fruit-heart-tart’ for himself. If I don’t have any customers waiting to be served, we chat all sorts across the table. ‘What’s your favourite fruit?’ ‘How was your week?’ to even ‘Do you believe in spirits?’ He says ‘toodle-pips for now!’ when saying bye. I think we have introduced our names before, but I’m the crappiest when it comes to remembering names, so for me he is called ‘The Toodle Pip Man’. – On that note about introducing – I’ve had loads of customers who’ve told me their names. I must start a little book to note them down…
- A while ago, there was a young vegan man who can not buy anything from my stall (as everything I make has butter). He pleasantly suggested I make vegan stuff to sell (it should be popular because it is untapped market), & came back the following week with a print-out of a vegan cake recipe for me (with some notes scribbled on the side explaining some of the unusual ingredients that it were listing)! So sweet of him…
- ‘Fruit-heart-tart’ is also popular with the fabulously dressed young lady. When I see her, I smile & say: ‘the usual right?’ & it’s a quick 1-2-3 step process. Although, last week, she surprised me a bit by ordering the ‘lemon-heart-tart’ instead!
- Every other week, I get a visit from the French jewellery stylist (who always has a natural & happy smile on her). Her choice is always the medium chocolate tart. The other week, I used more milk chocolate than dark (as I didn’t have much dark chocolate left) – the following week she told me she had noticed. Goes to show I mustn’t tamper around with the regular items…!
- Old man who I think looks like a thin version of Einstein, likes my lemon tart – & buys the large one almost every week for his family.
- Once, another regular-face bought the ‘fruit-heart-tart’ to take all the way to his friend in Brussels!
- Last two Winters, my stall always had a visit from a guy who bought a dozen or so of the truffles & mendiants. He is a silent type, never ever chats or smile. Such a comparison to the others who visit the market, that are ultra-sociable. The guy is mysterious to me (I wonder what he does for living?), but I like him – his presence is definitely part of my market-life. I wonder if he’ll be back this Winter? I hope so.
- I have been doing special-orders now & again for people looking for wedding cakes. I think they are all locals who know my stuff well. What’s charming is that these people are super-super-appreciative that I make them, I mean, they’re paying proper fees but nevertheless! I’m so happy my cake is part of someone’s special day.
- There is an elderly lady who visits every week that buys just one item for herself. We comment on how we look each week & we share lots of personal news – happy & sad. Some time ago she was so sad that her friend died (of old age). Anything I said to comfort her was probably going from one ear to the other… but maybe she wanted someone totally unrelated like me to just tell, as part of healing process. – It reminds me of a girl who I barely knew who asked me to accompany her to the abortion clinic (I did), & another who told me about her husband’s affair. You realize people just need someone to dump their pain on a bit.
Other’s I want to quickly mention before this list gets any longer are those who come back to the stall just to say ‘Hi’, & those others who come to give me a nice feedback: ‘The tart last week was great!’, & those who bring their visitors to me & say ‘This is the stall & the lady I was telling you about!’
Last week at the market:
Hooray, it’s that time of the year again – as I finally started making chocolates! The weather is unmistakably cool enough for me to start selling without risk of them melting. What with not making them for
a while, I totally got the quantity of cream & chocolate wrong, & made 70 classic vanilla truffles instead of making 30 that I’d planned… Damn… But I had friends around the next day, so I thought I could just stuff these girls with the left-overs. – To my delight, I still managed to sell out on them! Yay! I’m gonna try make more varieties for next time…