Today was the first day that people other than my dear friends and family have been exposed to Greater Good Granola. A few weeks ago I partnered with Vashon Allied Arts to sell granola at their Bramblefest concert and donate all of the profits to their scholarship fund. So this week (while hosting my in-laws!), I baked about 5 batches of granola (in a smaller oven than I like to use over at our rental in Vashon), figured out a way to rush order a stamp, bought some mail hang tags and cellophane bags to create a little temporary branded packaging, borrowed a card table, bought 1.5 yards of cute orange fabric at the quilt shop in town (to cover the card table), bought a little cash container at Granny's attic thrift shop, worked with the good and quite grumpy people at the print store in town to print (and laminate!) a few signs and show up.
So I showed up. It was a lovely venue- three little bands mostly Afro-Cuban and Flamenco in a nice spot at Camp Burton. There were a few other stands- Zamorana tacos, Vashon Baking Co pastries, water, wine and me. Not sure people were coming to the concert planning to go home with a bag of granola. Should I have brought bowls and milk? I texted Clay, "This is a lovely little event and after sizing things up I do not expect to sell more than 3 bags. Total." I only had 30 bags - I had planned on it being a test-run for me. I wanted to stand behind a (card) table and pitch and defend the product. Everything else was butter.
Here's what I learned ( and remember from my days as a farm stand employee back in San Francisco with Nigel at Eatwell Farms):
-Stand (don't sit) so that when people walk near your table you can use body language and words to connect with them.
-Have your spiel down: "Hi. Would you like to try some granola today? I just started this little company and the granola is really delicious, I make it with maple syrup and olive oil. The other important thing to know- I am planning to give away all of the profits to various charities. Today's profits will go to the Vashon Alliance for the Arts scholarship fund. "
-Sample, sample, sample. Today, out of 30 bags sold, 27 were sold to someone who had a sample. It was so fun to watch. I'd give my pitch, they would wander over and pick up a sample cup. They toss back a few oats, then pick up a coconut ribbon from their cup and chew and start to speak in "yummmmm" and then usually get one of the dried cherries and few more oats into their mouth and say, "wow. this is really good. ". Often they would call their friend over and then he/she would try it and before I knew it two more bags sold.
The best compliment of the day: A woman and her son came over and picked up a sample cup. The woman started eating it and saying "yumm", "wow, this is really good", "yum". Her son put the whole cup into his mouth and chewed and swallowed in one gulp. "More" was his comment. She then said, "You know, I have had a lot granola in my life. I mean a lot. My parents were practically the original members at PCC Coop and that means there has been a lot of granola for me. This is the very best. I mean it. Wow. This is just so delicious." This woman and her son bought two bags- and told me that they had been the beneficiaries of the scholarship that the granola was funding and they were delighted to buy my granola. This was SUPER.
(Note: The other bags--some guy bought it without wanting to try it, one guy who bought it was my father in law and one woman was a friend Gwen from the island who is in the middle of a cool new side project too-- http://www.whisperingbogbooks.com)
So overall, this was a great beginning and gives me pretty good confidence that this granola truly is delicious, that I nailed it on the name and tag line and that it feels good to buy something and know your money is going back into the community.
Onward. Now I need to figure out this porch subscription program and get people signed up!