The reason I only loaded the non-edibles on Saturday was because the recipe ingredients for the Cookies-in-a-Jar were not yet in the jars. Instead, they were all over the work table in my office. Ingredients for a dozen different recipes in unopened packages were all over my work table. Wide-mouth canning jars, still in the shrink wrap cardboard flats they came in, were setting on the floor underneath the table ...ugh! So I was up early again Sunday morning, determined to take care of all my normal weekend chores and still make my goal of meeting the shop owner at noon.
This whole idea of renting a space to sell things sounded so simple in the beginning. But jumping through all the hoops to get it off the ground has been a little wearing. The first step was a trip to the tax office for a permit. That was a little bit of a hassle as most permitting things tend to be ...but I got it done. Then came what I thought would be the fun part of finding recipes. Most any recipe can be adapted to this form of packaging but the more varied the colors and textures of the dry ingredients are, the better it will look in the jar. Sugar cookies, for instance, would be visually boring ...just flour, sugar, baking soda, salt. Boring.
Finding recipes has been fun but it's been time consuming too. When I found a recipe I wanted to use, I added it to my 'inventory list' and then added the ingredients to my shopping list. I have a document set up in Publisher to create the instruction cards that are attached to each jar. I created a new page for each recipe and set up a theme-appropriate border or a graphic for each different recipe. Four 'instruction cards' fit on a page, then I cut them apart using these fancy little craft scissors designed for the Scrapbooking crowd. It's all fun and appeals to my crafty/creative side ...but right now, it's time consuming.
So far, I have collected a dozen or so cookie recipes with dry ingredients that include oatmeal, M&Ms, chocolate, white or butterscotch chips, raisins, and dried cranberries. I found a couple of fancy brownie recipes too and some flavored hot chocolate recipes. At the suggestion of the owner, I will stock two jars of three different varieties for now. Today I put two jars each of Cowboy Cookies, Cowgirl Cookies and Mississippi Mud Pie Brownies on the shelves. The six jars I put out are all I have made up so far. But the plan is to make them ahead so that restocking will be quick and easy. I'll generally stock the same varieties for one month. When the weather cools down, I'll use pint jars to stock flavored hot chocolate mixes. These are the three varieties I put on the shelves today.
|Mississippi Mud Pie Brownies|
The only differences between the CowGIRL Cookies and the CowBOY Cookies are the color of the M&M's, whether I put Chocolate Chips or White Chocolate Chips in the jar, and what color bandana I cut up to put over the top. The lids are vacuum sealed onto the jars to keep the ingredients fresh.
I've seen similar jars with cookie ingredients in specialty shops being sold for $15 and up, but I don't have any real overhead. I've kept careful track of my costs and only have $2-$3 in each jar so I intended to price them at $8 each. The owner talked me into putting $15 on them though. She said she has been in business in the same location for over 9 years. She knows what sells and has a feel for pricing things. According to her, there's already a lot of interest even from the other vendors in the store and she doesn't want me to be afraid of making a profit.
O.K.A.Y. Feels like a lot of profit to me but I guess if they sell at that price, that's the market. I might splurge and fancy up the fabric tops a little if I'm going to be making $12 per jar! Other vendors at the shop that purchase from me get a 10 percent discount. I get a ten percent discount on their merchandise as well. So worst case, I will net $12 per quart. Wow. That still boggles my mind.
This is what my space looked like when I left the shop today.
It's just a bookcase, not a whole booth space but it's a good start. I am in a good location in the shop and now that the preliminary legwork is done, I think it will be fun. Especially if she's right about how much those jars will sell for ...wouldn't that be a nice little bonus!