While Katie and I wait for one of our feelers to produce something on the commercial kitchen space front, help me think out wholesaling.
Actually I think you can only technically call this wholesaling, but what we'd like to do is have a collection of coffee shops and cafes that sell our cookies. I envision it working this way: Katie bakes the treats on Monday, I spend my Tuesday morning delivering the treats, we get paid, and it starts over the next week. Assuming that's a workable possibility, here are my questions.
1. What do we try to sell? Because we can't afford, nor do we WANT, to bake and deliver every morning, we're looking at treats that will last a few days and don't need to be fresh baked to taste good, like a croissant. The two definites on our list of goods are shortbreads and biscotti. I'm also wondering about your standard Big Cookie, frosted sugar cookies (themed shapes even? Bunnies around Eastertime?), and maybe some Small Cookies directed at the shorties who come in with their moms. (I don't know, maybe it's just Katie and me who are constantly giving our babies cookies. THEIR MOMS OWN A BAKING BIZ. COME ON.) We aren't going to do muffins, croissants, coffee cakes, other pastries, anything where time is of the essence. We just can't manage that right now.
2. How should it look? My idea for finding clients is to basically just travel around to all the local shops with a bunch of free treats. Katie says people would do this sort of thing all the time at the bakeries and shops she's worked at. I'm thinking I would pack a box or tray with the things we're interested in selling, but I'd also like to show how we could individually wrap things, if needed. Maybe the store owner wants to put biscotti in a glass jar, but sell individually wrapped sugar cookies? I feel like I should have some examples of how we package our items.
3. Oh God, how do we price these things? I HAVE NO IDEA. I have a really hard time pricing anything. Katie does most of that. Basically what we do is use a rule she was given in pastry school, come up with a number, think: "would WE pay that?", and then either go ahead with that amount or knock it down a few bucks. It's so hard. We want to charge the going rate for where we live and we think our products are worth the money; at the same time you totally understand people thinking, "Uh, $2 for an itty bitty macaron?" Wholesaling is a completely different beast, though, seems like. You're selling in bulk and that person is going to mark it up. So... we're going to have to do some homework. I'm ASSUMING I will need to bring some sort of marketing materials with me when I drop off our cookies. A price sheet at the very least. SOMETHING NEEDS TO GO ON THE PRICE SHEET!
4. I'm going to have to call people on the phone, aren't I. That's not really a question. More a statement infused with dread and desperation.
Here are my other ideas for hopefully making some money at some point:
Investigating how to get a booth (and how many $$$ it requires) at a wedding expo. Cakes, of course, but we think it'd be rad to do dessert tables.
Figuring out how and where to advertise us as people who make sweet, delicious, and perfectly packaged party favors.
ooooh, we are going to be late to ballet (ballet!) if I keep writing so PLEASE ADD YOUR OWN THOUGHTS AND IDEAS BELOW THANK YOU KISSES FOR EVERYONE.