Monday, October 28, 2013

Five Things You Should Know about Selling Houses and Tomatoes

Before we made a sharp turn in 2009 to start Daisy Mae's Market and enter the fresh produce business, my husband and I spent 24 years in the building and remodeling business. We suddenly went from selling $450,000 homes to selling $.75 tomatoes and managed to survive. Looking back at the last five years, I wonder how in the world we did it. Then I realize that much of our success in making the transition stems from what we've learned along the way.
Whether you're selling houses or tomatoes, these are my five bits of wisdom that I think apply to any small business:
1. Know your product. Know everything you can about it. Read, read, and read some more. Google can be your best friend. Learning never stops.
2. Know people. Remember names. Get to know your customers, suppliers, and your competition. Sincerely ask how people are doing. Care. (Remember the names of kids and you'll get bonus points.)
3. Know your limits. You will never finish everything you want to finish in one day. You will never have all the money you think you need. The sooner you realize that everything needs to be broken down into manageable parts, the happier you'll be.
4. Know what has happened in the past. Keep a paper trail, or in today's world, a digital trail. Get organized. Don't reinvent the wheel. Whether you are completing a credit application or doing your taxes, scribbled notes on Post-Its don't cut it.
5. Know that someone is always watching. Think before you speak or act. In today's world, everything is shared. Make sure what's shared about your business is something that makes you proud.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Spaghetti Squash, Mediterranean Style

As the seasons change, so do the fruits and vegetables we stock at Daisy Mae's Market. Our winter squashes are always popular, yet we still have customers who are unfamiliar with Spaghetti Squash and don't know how to prepare it. A couple years ago, we had fun making a short video showing how to make Mr. Daisy Mae's version of Spaghetti Squash, Mediterranean Style. Hope you enjoy it, and hope to see you soon at Findlay Market!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Anybody Really Can Cook!

Last Sunday we took part in the Fourth Annual Findlay Market Fall Festival. This event has grown each year, and this year's celebration featured farmers market specials, live music, pumpkin painting, and an Instagram Photo Hunt. Of all the activities, though, my personal favorite was the cooking demonstration and here's why:

1. Merchants shared their talents. Thanks to Sam and Mimi from Mimi's Gourmet Eggrolls, Barry from Daisy Mae's Market, and Debbie from Gramma Debbie's Kitchen for showing us how the professionals do it!

2. The community got involved. Brigitte Cordier from Anyone Can Cook, LLC demonstrated her pumpkin soup and even encouraged a few youngsters to help her stir the pot. Thanks, Brigitte!

3. Curious shoppers paused to listen and ask questions...and we hope to be inspired.

4. Hungry folks stopped by to enjoy the samples, talk about food, share a recipe, and complement the chefs.

We're excited about the idea of hosting more cooking demonstrations at Findlay Market. There's even talk of a shared community kitchen where budding chefs could try out their skills. Now wouldn't that give you another great reason to come see what's cooking at Findlay Market?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The High Price of Honeycrisp Apples

I was floored when I read an article recently that mentioned that Honeycrisp apples were selling for $4.50 per pound in New York. Sure, they're delicious and seem to satisfy the pickiest apple-eater, but $4.50 a pound? Isn't that a little much? The writer went on to explain that Honeycrisp is a "designer apple" and the law of supply and demand has driven the price up.
At Daisy Mae's in Cincinnati, Ohio, Honeycrisp apples currently sell for $2 per pound. Yes, they are our most expensive apple, but that's because we pay a higher price to our supplier than we do for any other variety of apple. The popularity of the Honeycrisp has increased quicker than the trees can produce the fruit. For the teachers out there, an analysis of the price of the Honeycrisp in relation to its popularity  might be a perfect assignment for a basic economics class.
While I love a good Honeycrisp, I also enjoy many of the other varieties of apples such as Northern Spy, Mutsu, and Liberty. We're in the midst of one of the best apple crops in a long time so I hope you get out there and try a few. No matter the price, money spent on an apple is money well spent.