The Handsome Helper and I spent last Friday on route 5, driving south to LA for a big foodie event called Artisanal LA. I wasn't sure what expect out of the weekend for a couple reasons:
1.) I had prior only participated in one other market/event that was comprised of all food vendors (but it was before the holidays, when people go food-crazy anyway)
2.) This would be the first time that Angelenos would have the opportunity to taste Marlos first hand. And they're some picky eaters.
Nonetheless, I was eager to participate because it sounded like an event I would want to attend, anyway, and also because I was anxious to understand how southern California would respond to my products.
After 5 1/2 hours of yellowing fields and cattle ranches, we arrived in the crazy, traffic-ridden metropolis that is Los Angeles. We unloaded the car, mock set-up the booth, and skedaddled from the conference center. Fortunately, we had the evening to relax before the weekend's 2x8-hour days began.
What resonated most with me about this market was how unbelievable some of the other vendors' booths were decorated! From A Booch Bar (by Better Booch) that you could sidle up to, to a marshmallow company that had set-up flames for samplers to roast their 'mallows on- I was impressed. Very impressed (if not a little intimidated).
What I tried to focus on though was the idea that Marlos would 'speak for themselves'; as long as I could 'sell' the tasting, I knew that people would make a purchase.
Fast forward to Sunday, late afternoon: I had been star struck 3 times already, eaten so many samples that I'd replaced all meals for the day, met some incredible fellow business-owners in the specialty food world AND had begun to understand the LA population's hyper-attention to what they put in their bodies.
Of the latter, gluten-free requests reigned supreme, slightly edging ahead of people who were vegan or egg-intolerant. Keep in mind folks: while I don't have a certified 'gluten-free' facility to bake in, I can certainly do custom orders**!
Also, we also had some great interest in the unveiling of our HOLIDAY BASKET! The Sweets of SF basket is a collaboration between Marlo's Bakeshop and several other small businesses in San Francisco. We are so excited to offer it for this holiday season. You'll be able to place orders shortly right here on our website! More to come soon.
More than anything else though, Artisanal LA made me look forward to market opportunities in other parts of the country, too...so let me know what your favorite foodie events/markets are, and I'll hopefully see you there!
PS: you're curious about which celebrities I saw, right? I totally get it. Well, I saw him and her but HE is the one that really stunted my ability to speak. Even though Friday Night Lights is one of my favorite TV shows. Ever.