It is a bit crazy for me to look back upon when I first moved back home to Orlando when I was out of business for a whole year and I was very depressed and frustrated with my situation, and I wanted to prove so badly to myself and everybody that was concerned that I could make my business work here in Florida.
It wasn’t too long ago that I finally got into my first profitable farmers market at the beginning of November last year, just a couple of months ago. I have since then gotten into their new Hamlin market on Sundays a short while afterwards. And things have been moving along quite well, slowly but surely.
Today, I received an email from another market that I had applied to a few months back that is a skip and a hop away from where I currently live, and it is on Monday named Audubon Park Community Market. So, that now brings the total number of markets that I will be vending at to three, which is about the most I want to handle on my own, comfortably.
The Audubon Park Community Market is located near the intersection of Colonial and Mills/1792, close to all the Asian markets and restaurants. So for those of you whom may have been interested in purchasing kimchi from me, but I have not been in a market close by, this will be your chance to stop by and grab some rotten vegetables, or just stop by and say hello.
Life sure is funny. When you’re desperately looking and fighting for something, it never happens. When you’re already well on your way and when you’re not paying attention, everything starts to come together so very quickly.
I have also decided that I will offer a few food products at the markets as well in efforts to grow my company. I believe I want to offer four products, which are: fried rice, bbq spareribs, chicken curry, and beef stew. The food will be prepackaged and frozen, so consumers could purchase them and prepare them at home at their convenience by reheating the food.
The reason why I decided to go with prepackaged foods as opposed to hot foods at the market is because it would take a tremendous amount of work on my part to attempt to prepare all the foods a day or two in advance to anticipate demands for the markets. In addition, I would have to haul around a bunch of additional gear and equipment to provide hot foods at the market, and that is a world of pain that I did not want to be a part of. Also, there is the matter leftover foods from the market that would go to waste each week, and that’s not really good business in general.
So, pre-packaged food solves all of those problems. I could spend a few days out of the week or month and just prepare everything in bulk and then freeze it, and then all I have to bring with me in addition is a big ice chest to hold all of my frozen packages. Absolutely no waste is involved, and anything I do not sell could be used for the next market.
This is all, however, contingent on my food idea getting approved at the markets that I will be vending at, and that would be a different application process from just my kimchi product itself. But, I have already talked to the team at the Hamlin market, and they said that would not be a problem at all and all I needed to do is resubmit an application indicating the new products that I wanted to add and it would be approved.
So, for those of you whom may have been interested in trying some of my cooking, here is your chance to do so.
As I have mentioned, I am only comfortable with running three markets a week on my own, and that is Saturday through Monday, and the remaining days I will use to produce kimchi and food. With that said, there are two more markets that I would like to eventually become a vendor at and that is the Winter Park market as well as the Lake Eola market to round out my whole farmers market business before transitioning to my restaurant one day.
This will require me to start hiring a few additional team members to assist me in producing kimchi and foods as well as for someone to man the two aforementioned markets on Saturday and Sunday. I would also have to purchase another work vehicle like the one I have now that could carry around all of the equipment for the other markets.
All in all, I am in a much better place now than I was just a few months ago, and things are moving so fast that I am afraid to blink and miss out on all the fun and excitement.
-the kimchi whisperer-