Right now we’re knee-deep in labels, lids, jars and maslin pans, furiously hulling strawberries and blanching runner beans to fully replenish stocks in time for Dartmoor National Park Authority’s summer fair.
We’re delighted to have been invited along to DNPA’s annual celebration of all things Dartmoorish and we’re really looking forward to introducing an unsuspecting public to our jammy gems & fruity fripperies.
So, if you plan to wander around the moors on Saturday 27th July desperately searching for home-made preserves, then you’re likely to be in luck. Likewise, if you suddenly feel the need to reserve yourself a box of mouth-wateringly scrummy home-reared, organically-fed Tamworth pork, then get yourself over to Princetown. We’ll see you there!
After a frantic few days of preparation, last Sunday saw us heading off for our first ever market, with the Greedy Pig’s Pantry logo emblazoned upon a whole host of jams, curds, pickles, tinctures & liqueurs.
Given that neither of us has any great experience in flogging home-made wares to unsuspecting punters at country house Christmas fairs, the first hour or so was a little nervy, with the two of us constantly rearranging the serried assemblage of conserves and generally dithering about the place looking awkward. After a while the penny finally dropped that we were acting more than a little ‘Edward & Tubbs Tattsyrup‘ and so we opted for a tag-team approach for the rest of the day. This strategy was clearly the way forward as we then went on to sell a huge amount of produce, clearing over 90% of the stock we took with us (and therefore 90% of the stock we have to sell – full stop).
Apart from gathering-in piles of filthy lucre, the thing that struck me as most heartening was the response which we managed to elicit from the folks visiting our little stand. In almost every case we received entirely positive noises – concerning the brand itself, the logo and label artwork, about the choice of jars & bottles we’d opted for and, last but not least, the quality of the jams, pickles & tinctures we were trying-out on willing guinea pigs throughout the day. As far as maiden voyages go this one was pretty much the perfect event – and a surprisingly pleasant way to spend a chilly December Sunday.
Certainly, the whole experience has had a profound impact upon our general attitudes toward selling Greedy Pig’s Pantry products via the market stall, and so the new year will undoubtedly find us scouring local papers for signs of artisan food fairs, farmers markets, spring fayres and the like.
Turns out we’re more competent retailers than we’d anticipated. We even managed to get the card machine to work!
A while since our last posting, primarily as things have been a quiet on the piggy front since batch 1 found themselves being relocated to the freezer; however, that’s not to say that we’ve been entirely idle when it comes to launching the Greedy Pig’s Pantry brand and getting a real, live, proper company structure up-and-running. How very grown-up of us!
Along with all the tiresome Companies House/HMRC paperwork that we’ve been wading through, we’ve also been experimenting with further additions to our pickles & preserves repertoire, with Diane cooking-up a storm in anticipation of our first experience of selling to the general public at a Christmas fair in early December. The house has been filled with tummy-rumbling wafts of gently simmering fruits, vinegars and spices in recent days, as the first batch of Greedy Pig’s Pantry Yuletide Apple Pickle is cooked, bottled and stored away to mature in time for the big day. We’ll be following this with a range of jams and curds, and we’re also currently noodling the idea of adding hand-made seasonal sweets (choccy-coated cinder toffee, marzipan bonbons, cinnamon dusted shortbreads and so forth) to the existing bill-of-fayre.
Whilst we rather nervously prepare ourselves for this first sortie into the mysterious world of artisanal retail, things are looking dazzlingly bright as far as our existing outlets are concerned (or, more accurately, outlet – in the singular) with our friends at Yarner House having recently fed our Greedy Pig’s Pantry Sumptuous Strawberry Preserve to a roving reporter from that esteemed organ The Daily Torygraph – presumably with positive results, as we managed a mention in despatches, as you can see by clicking on the image above or the link [here].
Tiny acorns and all that; however, we’re pretty bowled-over with the concept of getting our nascent foodie venture mentioned in the national press, so let’s hope that it’s the first of many positive plaudits. Exciting times here on Dartmoor and there’s plenty more to come!