THE FARMERS MARKET ADVENTURE
It is a sunny weekend morning in the southern United States, and a lot of people are enjoying a shopping adventure at their local farmers market.
I recently created a grand chocolaty mess in my kitchen to vend at a local market. I spent most of my night cooking up a storm, and then I rushed to get there by the 6 a.m. check-in time. I brought a special helium-filled balloon that was decorated like a chocolate chip cookie so people could find my booth.
My first potential customer was wearing gear from a local college. I called her over to the booth so I could try to persuade her to buy some of my hand-crafted chocolaty treats. She walked on, gazing at the pecan turtles that my mom insisted that I make for the event. Lucky me, because the smiling woman came back and bought half of the pecan turtles I had on-hand! Oh! Happy! Day!
A little while later, another customer with two young boys pumped his brakes to admire the coconut truffles in the display case. Smiling, he asked me to plop one in his hands. I happily complied. As the mostly sugarless treat hit his palette, I watched in wonder as his eyes would light up and a grin would cover his face. To me, the look on his face said it all, but then he said, “Man! That is soooo good!” My thought, mission accomplished!
The son was not so pleased. He begged his father to buy a double-chocolate truffle. The dad warned him that he probably would not like the low-sugar treat. We stood there as the little boy took a big bite of a truffle made mostly of Belgian chocolate and heavy cream, covered in raw cacao powder. Yes, we watched – as the kid raced to the trash bin to give this fine chocolate treat an improper burial.
I felt a lot better about the little boy incident when a vendor from across the aisle visited my booth and tried one of the same truffles. She raved about it so much that her friend came over to buy one. Then another friend did the same. They all seemed to love the double chocolate truffles. I guess sometimes “an acquired taste” is needed to appreciate low-sugar truffles. Yep, the candy industry has so many people hooked on the sugary Halloween and Easter versions of chocolate confections (yum!) that some customers may or may not fully appreciate the real deal at first try.
A few hours later a young boy stepped to my booth and asked me about chocolate chip cookies. “Why is he coming to me for cookies?” I thought. Oh yeah! That helium balloon was still proudly swaying above. “I’m sorry, but no cookies today. How about a fudgey ginger brownie instead?” Nope! He wanted a chocolate chip cookie.
He offered a compromise. Let him borrow a pair of scissors so that he could watch my cookie balloon soar to the ceiling, and we could call it even. Request denied. “Come on, just a quick snip, snip!” he said as he motioned the scissors cutting with his two little fingers. Luckily, his father eventually showed up, asked him what he was doing, and scooted him off with a glow of embarrassment on his face.
Twelve noon came and my farmer’s market adventure had to end. It was a long, hot day, and I was tired, hungry, and sleepy. It had been a great day at the market. I met several new people and made some of them very happy with my confections. It was time to go home to clean up the grand chocolaty mess I had left behind.
But wait, there’s more! While packing my car, I heard the faint voice of a friend calling my name from across the parking lot. I rushed her back inside to my booth and showed her the items that had been left unsold. She bought a lot of stuff, and she later told me that family was very satisfied. She even admitted to licking the bottom of a bag where some white chocolate had melted on her way home.