October 12th, 2007

The customers that visit my stall

Coco&Me picture from the stall

(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!)

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!’
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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…

18 Comments »

  1. Hello! I think it is fantastic that you sold so many truffles in one day! Unfortunately I can not visit your market, so please take a photograph and put it up on your blog soon so that I can see how delicious it looks!

    Comment by Louise - October 12, 2007 9:48 pm

  2. Hello Louise, initially, I really thought I’d have loads left! – - I’ll try to take some pics next time I’m at the market!

    Comment by tamami - October 12, 2007 11:24 pm

  3. Hello Tamami!
    The picture of your fruit-heart-tarts is so lovely! They really look yummy! I can’t visit your market as I’m living in the wrong country, but it seems to be really nice.
    Should you want to try and make vegan or non-dairy cakes, my personal favourite substitute for butter is a mix of olive oil and white almond butter. It works well for most cakes, but you can also vary and do the same thing with other nut butters :).

    Comment by Agnès - October 13, 2007 7:44 pm

  4. Hi Agnès, thanks for the tip! I’d like to one day try some vegan cake recipes, maybe a popular cake like chocolate cake, that would go down well at the market. Worth investigating if I ever have the time!

    Comment by tamami - October 14, 2007 12:08 am

  5. Wow you’re pretty much living the life I’d love to live. I must visit you next time I’m in London.

    xxx

    Comment by fanny - October 14, 2007 3:33 pm

  6. Hey Fanny!
    This ‘selling-cakes-n’-chocolates-down-at-the market-life’:
    I haven’t done any formal pastry courses, but still managed to do a regular stall… I enjoy it very much indeed, really do & I’m glad I’m doing it, but recently, am always tired as I’ve been burning the candle on both ends non-stop since the beginning… (sorry, grumble grumble…) Don’t worry, I do love it really! You’ve just caught me in a complaining mode.

    Anyway, yes! Please do visit me at the market!!

    Comment by tamami - October 14, 2007 5:19 pm

  7. Hello Tamami !
    I have been very much enjoying your blog since I blog hopped from someone’s blog list about a month ago. Really adore your hard work, can’t stop drooling looking at your cakes. They look absolutely delish. I would love to order some but, saddly, I live too far away (Miyako-Island in Okinawa, Japan). I will pop by your blog site frequently. Keep up the good work!!

    toyomi

    Comment by Toyomi - October 15, 2007 6:10 pm

  8. Hello Toyomi-san!
    Arigato-gozaimasu!! (You’re obviously good with English, so I’ll write in English okay?)
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    It’s really amazing & beautiful to think that this blog is being read by you in Miyako-jima! I’m so jealous to know that you’re there on such a beautiful island surrounded by clear blue sea & sandy beaches, & here’s me in grimey London surrounded by the ‘hustle & bustle’… I told my partner D about you & Miyako-jima, & he says he’d just want to be beamed to your island here & now. I totally agree.
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    Hope to hear from you again,
    Tamami xx

    Comment by tamami - October 15, 2007 9:29 pm

  9. Toyomi-San…
    It’s true, we looked up your island on google earth and indeed it does look amazing! Wow. It is so far south! A totally different world.
    Ja ne!

    Comment by daku - October 16, 2007 11:51 am

  10. Hello Tamami-san and daku-san,
    Good to know you have found Miyako on Google earth. Did you find my house too? I was born and grew up here in Miyako till finishing high school. It’s been a half year since I’ve returned to Miyako. Little did I dream of settling down in Miyako after 16 years later (5 years in the US and 11 years in Tokyo). I flipped out when I heard from my husband (from Nagoya) about moving down to Miyako. It was really a bolt out of the blue.
    I do hope your family would come and enjoy the breathtaking loveliness of Miyako some day!! Matane-
    toyomi

    Comment by Toyomi - October 16, 2007 6:08 pm

  11. What a wonderful post – and the photo is just beautiful. Interacting with so many different people would be such a highlight of working at markets.

    Comment by Julia - October 19, 2007 3:40 am

  12. Hi Julia!!! thanks. – interacting with so many different types of people is great! I really love that aspect of being a market stall holder! The only thing I don’t like is washing the multi-tude of cake tins…! ;-)

    Comment by tamami - October 19, 2007 11:40 pm

  13. Ah yes, the much-loved washing of the cake tins! If I could take a flight to London every Saturday morning I’d be the “red-head who has to try a little bit of everything!”

    Comment by Laura - October 24, 2007 6:21 pm

  14. Hey Laura! Yeah, the boredom of doing it is just painful. ;-(
    If you do ever come to Ldn one day, I’ll make sure you get your ‘tasters’ sorted, no probs! ;-)

    Comment by tamami - October 24, 2007 11:13 pm

  15. Hello, Tamami!
    I’ve come tonight to your site through Clotilde’s. I am charmed. Congratulations (almost a year later) for your beautiful daughter!
    I’ve felt the urge to comment on this post because you’ve shown something often forgotten: English people have a heart greater than their island. Thank you! (And thank you for the photos, recipes and “envie” you are giving me to bake. Now.)

    Comment by diana - February 10, 2009 8:48 pm

  16. Hello Diana, thank you for your sweet words. xx

    Comment by tamami - February 11, 2009 12:14 am

  17. just found your site, want to read it all over next few days. Hope you’re surviving this awful downturn.. will come and buy from you and bring friends/family with me…keep baking …we’re on our way!!

    Comment by cathy - March 16, 2009 3:08 pm

  18. Wow, thanks Cathy! I hope you like the rest of the blog! As for visiting the market, I look forward to meeting you!

    Comment by tamami - March 17, 2009 12:25 pm

 

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