Friday, 9 December 2011

Market - a spanner in the works

So after my 2nd week at the market, I had a quick chat with the market manager who told me that he was getting complaints from another stall holder about me. I didn't find out the exact reason during this first conversation; I told him that all I was doing was setting up my stall the best way possible (as advised by him), not giving away any samples and letting the customers come to me and buy stuff if they chose to do so. We left it like that, he said that he was going to go away and have another chat with this other woman and I was to call him at the beginning of the following week.

Week 3 turned out to be mega-stressful as I only managed to catch snippets of conversation on the phone with him and things were taking a very long time to get resolved. At one point, the main issue was product overlap. I had offered to read the email that was sent to him by this other stall and see if indeed, there was overlap (having checked this stall's website, it was clear that she was talking bollocks). After much to-ing and fro-ing and not getting anywhere, I decided to send the market manager a frank email explaining my situation since all I was hearing was him talking about how the other party was giving him hassle over the whole situation.

When I finally managed to track him down, it was not good news. He had made the decision that I was not allowed to go back to the market and as far as I can tell, it was because this woman was kicking up such a massive fuss. The fact that she had been there for over 6 years also meant that she had leverage for whatever reason and I was to bear the brunt of the decision. Like I said, the product overlap just sounded like an excuse so I came to the conclusion that she was basically scared of the competition and wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible. Looking on the positive side of things, I guess you can say that she is paying me the highest compliment that a newbie pastry chef can be affecting her sales (and her 6 year reputation) after a meagre 2 weeks! :)

The market manager then offered me a pitch at another location where he was also running a stall. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get the chance to go back to the market and tell my customers that I would be moving on but at the time, it was a case of going to the other location or not trading at all so I decided to take that it on the chin.

Week 3 was like going to back to week 1 at the market where there was a big unknown in terms of how much you can sell and if anybody would be interested. It was much more difficult in this case, because I was no longer a part of the market. It was just me and the other stall - challenging but I had to keep my spirits up. Again, customers who walked past did compliment me on my product and I made enough to cover costs so I'm just going to have to tough it out and hope that the next few weeks will bring me better luck. Its not ideal but if it was easy, everyone would be out doing it, non? :)
New location :)

 View from my stall, my neighbour opposite

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