Sunday, May 14, 2006

Gardeners' Market Report

Saturday was opening day at the Cache Valley Gardeners' Market. Sales went really well, almost as well from this one morning as from the entire Baby Animal Days (did I mention that Baby Animal Days sucked?) The new location in Pioneer Park (just across the street from Merlin Olsen Park) is a great improvement over the old location in Garff Wayside Gardens. The Wayside Garden is a cute little park tucked into downtown, an oasis in the middle of bustle where you can sit and contemplate the roses. But it's not big enough to accommodate the Gardeners' Market powerhouse, so I'm glad they've moved it. There's talk about moving it next year to the new courthouse grounds on Main St. and 2nd North. That would be even better, as that is the crossroads for the two main highways going through Logan (89-91 northbound to Bear Lake and Idaho and southbound to Salt Lake City, and SR 30 east from Tremonton).

I had been starting to wonder if my merchandise was really any good, but I felt totally vindicated on that score by my performance at the Gardeners' Market. Even people who didn't buy praised the quality of my workmanship. I sold about a dozen of the tie-dyed T-shirts that I'd put on clearance at half off. I'm starting to wonder if the T-shirts might actually be more profitable at that lower price point.

I am still going to try to get in at some other markets. I did not get in at the Downtown Salt Lake City Farmer's Market, although I can still get a permit to sell outside the market. I'm going to apply for the Park City Farmer's Market, which I hope will be profitable enough to cover the additional cost of the liability insurance they require. It would probably not be a bad idea to get the liability insurance anyway; it's not that expensive, and it would cover my losses if my booth does actually blow away like it threatened to at Baby Animal Days this year and Summerfest last year. Unfortunately, I am past the application deadline for some of these markets, which I didn't find out about until the Downtown Alliance conveniently sent me a list of them.

As an aside, I heard a rumor that Summerfest is still looking for vendors, even though I know the deadline has already passed. They sent me a vendor application, but I threw it away. I'd do Summerfest again if they did one of two things: (1) moved it back to downtown Logan, (2) lowered the booth fee. Last year I ended up in the black at Summerfest, but not so much in the black that it was worth spending my entire weekend selling stuff. It certainly wasn't worth a $150 booth fee, and I told them so in my after-event survey. I think it's worth about a $75 booth fee for as long as it's held at the fairgrounds. There are still people in Logan who don't know that Summerfest had moved to the fairgrounds; they just figured it had been cancelled all these years.