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Old 08-03-2019, 03:43 PM
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It's fascinating to read about all the new ins and outs you're learning about selling at the market and marketing techniques. Good call on the cream cheese! I'm betting you'll sell more of it as word spreads you have it. Somebody will be walking around eating one of your bagels with a schmear on it and a friend will ask where they got it. Bingo. Do you sell single sliced bagels?
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:56 PM
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It's fascinating to read about all the new ins and outs you're learning about selling at the market and marketing techniques. Good call on the cream cheese! I'm betting you'll sell more of it as word spreads you have it. Somebody will be walking around eating one of your bagels with a schmear on it and a friend will ask where they got it. Bingo. Do you sell single sliced bagels?
I have no doubts ill sell more. 3 Markets a week, I was asked by an uncountable quantity of customers about Cream Cheese. I like the fact that the cream cheese comes prepackaged. The packs look like an over sized ketchup/mayo/mustard type of tear and squeeze pack. That way there is no need for a knife or utensil. I didnt know that type even existed.

I have my regular customers who buy from me every week, so i have no doubts that this new addition will be just fine. I even have a few regular "New Yorkers" who are quite pleased with my products. Had one today that left me an online review. The reviewer said something like "an actual NYC style right here in NC!" That really meant a lot to me.

Since day one, single bagels have been the most popular. If the customer requested it sliced, i was happy to do so. Always had a cutting board and knife with me. Often for samples. A good sharp bread knife takes 3 strokes to slice thru. I have looked at actual "bagel slicers", but im not really impressed at all.

Its been fun. I have found a true niche market, thats not easy to copy. Its not seasonable. Its fairly profitable.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:29 PM
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I even have a few regular "New Yorkers" who are quite pleased with my products. Had one today that left me an online review. The reviewer said something like "an actual NYC style right here in NC!" That really meant a lot to me.
That's the ultimate bagel compliment! You're hitting the big time, mah man!

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Its been fun. I have found a true niche market, thats not easy to copy. Its not seasonable. Its fairly profitable.
The old saying says that he who has fun at a job never really works. I think you've come in through the back door on this one and hit the bull's eye. And dare I say that out there somewhere I vaguely see the possibility of
the veggie headache going away if your really making dough with dough.
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:34 AM
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That's the ultimate bagel compliment! You're hitting the big time, mah man!
Pretty much two options. New York style, or West Coast style. I figured NY was where its at.



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The old saying says that he who has fun at a job never really works. I think you've come in through the back door on this one and hit the bull's eye. And dare I say that out there somewhere I vaguely see the possibility of
the veggie headache going away if your really making dough with dough.
Well, ill admit that i have struggled as a produce farmer. Some years are good, some are bad. Last year was bad. Oddly enough, this year with the cooler weather, and my new tomato varieties, if I had really focused my efforts, I would have had a good tomato year. Matter of fact, I just picked some more Jasper Cherry tomatoes. They are going like gang busters. Honestly, I cant remember the last time I had tomatoes going this long. The plants look like hell, but they keep produce'n.

Then I look at how the Farms in the "old days" made money. They made do with what they could make or produce. Has my gardening efforts took a hit because of the amount of time I spend making Bagels and the few other breads? Yes. Do I make more money on the breads? Absolutely.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:53 AM
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My market was just a little better than last week. Also I had a couple of the local people ask for bushel quantities of tomatoes to can. I actually made more money selling bushel quantities of tomatoes this week than any time selling tomatoes by the each at the market. What I'd like to find is a regular market for the quality of tomatoes I am selling.

Again, my big bugaboo is time enough to get out there and establish a market and still have time to grow tomatoes. One of the ladies I sold a bushel of tomatoes to, said she paid $30 for a bushel of green beans last summer and ordered a bushel from me from my second crop (now starting to produce).
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:59 AM
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Chad, are you still taking your produce (that which you still have) along with your bread and meat products you sell, to market?
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:25 PM
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I dont know where time goes.. I do know I dont have much of it, right now.

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Chad, are you still taking your produce (that which you still have) along with your bread and meat products you sell, to market?
If I have enough Cherry Tomato's, then yes, they go to the Market. But honestly, me and the wife have been scarfing them down. They are to darn good to not get to enjoy. My only other crops have all fizzled out. Summer Squash, Beans, Cucumbers, etc. All long gone. I still have a few Cherry Tomato plants going, but they are really starting to fizzle. Im ok with that too.

I do plan to sow the high tunnel with lettuce seed when the weather cools down. I would really like to have some fresh greens througout the Fall and Winter. Lately i have been on a salad kick, and want to continue with that. Normally im not a Winter Salad fan, but that could be because store bought lettuce is on the crappy side.

I need to crack open the seed tub and see what I have. I know I have some Winter Density in there, which should have no problems in this climate. Plenty of others to choose from as well.

As far as the Cured Meats and Sausage, I havent made any for several monthes. Making enough baked goods for 3 Markets is beyond a full time job, and I simply dont have enough time, right now. Plus, for some reason, the cured meats simply taste better when smoked/cured during the colder days. I really have no reasonable explanation as to why. They just taste better.

Two of the Markets will be winding down soon. The Tuesday Market finishes up in October, and the Thursday Market the first of November. This will free up a lot of time. I have been telling my regular Sausage customers to simply be patient. They know I will come thru, they know im busy right now.

Speaking of Markets, I was asked to join another Tuesday Market! Its brand new and will be starting next Tuesday. Kinda short notice and late in the year, but its put on by a small town, they just want to do something. My current Tuesday Market is very hit or miss, never knowing what to expect. So I wouldnt mind trying out the new one.

Last Weeks Markets

Tuesday was "meh". As i mentioned up above, you never know with it. And its not just me that suffers from a lack of sales. Its other vendors as well. You just never know. There is seemingly no rhyme or reason for it.

Thursday was fantastic. Cannot complain at all. Lots of customers, lots of sales.

Saturday is always a winner. Very rarely does it dissapoint.

All 3 Markets had beautiful weather.

Trouble in the Kitchen


So evidently using a Residential Oven as a Commercial Oven isnt the best idea. Who knew?

Friday night the oven was having a lot of trouble maintaining 475 degress, which is needed for Bagel baking. About the best i could get was around 410. Thankfully when this problem started showing up, i was down to just a few pans. The most likely culprit, the temperature sensor is wearing out. The excess humidity in the oven, for a few hours, 3-4 time a week is probably more then it was ever designed to handle.

So, while I do plan to order the part, at some point, I need a better long term solution. I need an oven that can mimic the heat output of a commerical oven, and can handle the abuse. I need an oven that is easy to repair with simple parts. A commercial pizza (deck) oven would be perfect. A used unit goes for around $1000 any day of the week. I know where I can go pick one up, right now if I wanted it. But, I want something cheaper. I have no intentions of spending $1000 on an oven. Then it hit me, and cost nothing...

I decided its time to take my Bagel baking operation outdoors. With a few modifications, my propane gas grill ticks off the requirements.

1. Heat output. I think it can easily reach 750 degrees. Thats enough.

2. Easy to fix. Yep.

3. Cheap. I already own it.



Baking bread on the grill takes a little finess. To closer mimic an oven, or a deck oven is my goal. So, I layed a layer or regular masonry bricks on the grates. Then topped with terracotta tiles. Getting this up to temperature doesnt take to long, but i like to let it preheat for an hour. Burners 1 and 5, the outside edge run on high. Burners 2, 3, and 4 on low. You could throw a cheap frozen pizza on this, and it would be fantastic.



I bought a new wirless thermometer, to monitor the grill while im in the house. This one was $50, but well worth it. Was it required? No. But it helps me out.



The wireless probe, i locked it into the jaws. This is monitoring the air temp in the grill while it heats.



So, how well does it work as an oven? This is a test batch of Italian Bread. Looks like the left was a little warmer then the right.



A test batch of Bagels. Dont know why the photo is sideways. The lighter colored bagels were cover with a piece of parchment, while the darker were left on their own. I was curious if it would make a difference. Clearly it did. Based on this, i could shave a few minutes of baking time off. These were baked at about 430 Degrees. They have a fantastic crust.

Going Forward

So the Bagel and Bread business is working out very, very well for me. I have no complaints other then the sometimes uneventful Tuesday market. Am I going to give up on growing veggies? Of course not. I just need to streamline my process. It might take a while to figure it all out, but it is what it is. I might consolidate my veggies to simply what we want for fresh eating and preserving, not worrying about selling. Thats always a possibility. Never know what 2020 will hold.

For those of you who continue to read, who have stuck with me, thank you.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:35 PM
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Wow! So cool. FC, you clearly have no problem thinking outside the box! Must be a terrific trait for a business person to have
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:49 PM
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That's a GREAT grill set up! My 18 year old gas grill is a small one with just the 22" bar burner which is currently rusted out and needs replacing. I have done bread in it just once when, wouldn't you know it, I had a batch of bread ready for the oven and it refused to heat. I put the bread pans on a cookie sheet on one side of the grill and just lit the left side. It was OK but too dark in order to get the inside done (up to 200 degrees).

The 13 year old charcoal barrel grill with side barrel is just "slap wo' out" and rusting through the bottom on the end where I build the fire every time I smoke stuff. Time to look for a replacement, hopefully an end of season special.

I like your tile set up. If you find the regular bricks don't hold up, you might try fireplace bricks. And I also like the jaws for the probe. Thanks for the idea as that will solve a problem I have too.

Farmer Chad is changing with the seasons. Nothing like following Mother Nature's lead.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:01 PM
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Well, ill admit that i have struggled as a produce farmer. Some years are good, some are bad.
We usually do pretty good selling produce. When you think about how much it costs to produce it ( next to nothing, a pack of seeds) , what you sell is almost all profit. At least for us. We use goat and sheep manure for fertilizer and have free water ( spring) to water it.
Too bad my garden is now pretty much overgrown with weeds and ruined since my accident. Oh well, next year. And I have been sitting in the house cutting up prune plums taking the pits out. We have a tree full of them this year. Already got 3 5 gallon buckets and there is more. I am going to make wine out of some ( for us) and plum butter to sell at the market from some, plus German plum cake I will sell by the piece. I am hoping to get back to the market in a few weeks.

I make awesome goat cheese to go on your bagels. If it was not so much work, I would make bagels also, but I tried and took a long time
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:56 AM
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Wow! So cool. FC, you clearly have no problem thinking outside the box! Must be a terrific trait for a business person to have
Im glad you think so highly of me..

Sometimes we have to just look around and see what we have that can solve a problem. As I said up above, I know a couple places where I could go to pick up a variety of used commerical ovens, and pizza ovens. I just dont want to spend that kinda money. Plus there would be additional costs converting to propane or upgrading my gas service to run a commerical oven. Thats another issue. Commercial ovens are energy hogs to the worst degree.

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That's a GREAT grill set up! My 18 year old gas grill is a small one with just the 22" bar burner which is currently rusted out and needs replacing. I have done bread in it just once when, wouldn't you know it, I had a batch of bread ready for the oven and it refused to heat. I put the bread pans on a cookie sheet on one side of the grill and just lit the left side. It was OK but too dark in order to get the inside done (up to 200 degrees).

The 13 year old charcoal barrel grill with side barrel is just "slap wo' out" and rusting through the bottom on the end where I build the fire every time I smoke stuff. Time to look for a replacement, hopefully an end of season special.

I like your tile set up. If you find the regular bricks don't hold up, you might try fireplace bricks. And I also like the jaws for the probe. Thanks for the idea as that will solve a problem I have too.

Farmer Chad is changing with the seasons. Nothing like following Mother Nature's lead.
Im not sure how long the bricks will last. They were just stacked up beside the house. But since I already had them, and the extra tiles to boot. I have on occasion looked at firebricks, I know they are not cheap. But if they last, thats fine. The bricks have 2 purposes. First, they get the bread up and away from the source of heat. Otherwise burnt bread. Secondly, they act as a massive heat sink to help with recovery when the lid is opened and closed.

You mentioned your charcoal grill up above. Back in the day, a lot of the traditional NY Bakeries ran coal fired ovens, before converting to gas. Evidently those coal ovens could produce some good stuff. I know there is a bit of a difference between the two, but it would probably be similar.

Baking bread on the grill takes a little preplanning, thats for sure. It seems though, temperature wise, you want about the same temp. you would bake in the home oven. A gas grill is pretty close to a gas oven. Has less insulation and less control over the burners, but its pretty much the same thing. Grills have better convection then a run of the mill oven, even a high quality convection oven. I was suprised how well the bagels turned out, even at the lower then normal temperature. The crust and chew is perfect, something I have been wishing my indoor oven (that cost about 4x more) could produce.

Last nights dinner was baked on the grill. When I turned it back on at 4 pm to start preheating, the bricks were still very warm. I baked frozen fish and potates on it. Specifically Gortons that bakes at 425. The wife likes the Panko Crusted, I like the Beer Battered Pub Style. The potatoes were diced and tossed with a little oil and Season Salt, then wrapped in foil. All this went to a sheet pan and was put on the grill at the appropriate time. Corn on the cob was wrapped in wet paper towels and microwaved. We have been doing that method lately and it works great. Dinner was fantastic and all the heat was left outside.


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We usually do pretty good selling produce. When you think about how much it costs to produce it ( next to nothing, a pack of seeds) , what you sell is almost all profit. At least for us. We use goat and sheep manure for fertilizer and have free water ( spring) to water it.
Too bad my garden is now pretty much overgrown with weeds and ruined since my accident. Oh well, next year. And I have been sitting in the house cutting up prune plums taking the pits out. We have a tree full of them this year. Already got 3 5 gallon buckets and there is more. I am going to make wine out of some ( for us) and plum butter to sell at the market from some, plus German plum cake I will sell by the piece. I am hoping to get back to the market in a few weeks.

I make awesome goat cheese to go on your bagels. If it was not so much work, I would make bagels also, but I tried and took a long time
I would agree in general. Once you have your garden established and working, costs should start zeroing out. For me, I dont have any animals so I had to buy compost in bulk and bought organic fertilizer, which works out to pennies in the grand scope.

By having the skills for other goods, im hedging my bets. I have had great years, and not so great. As previously stated, had I really focused my efforts, this would have been a great tomato year. Thats ok though. I tried some new varieties this year, and found a few good winners for next year.

Like me, your making use of another skill to get back to the Market. Using up your plums for a value added product is a fantastic idea. In theory you could take the plums to Market as is, but you would have a very limited customer base. Instead, your turning it into something that has a broader appeal. Sure, it costs money to do that, but you can probably make more money in the long run.

Im really curious, do you give or plan to give samples?

As far as the Bagel making goes, its a true niche Market. I have people tell me all the time, "i tried to make them one time.." Believe me, I trashed a lot of bagels before I figured things out. Baking can be tough enough, then add even more challenges to the mix.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:07 AM
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Im really curious, do you give or plan to give samples?

As far as the Bagel making goes, its a true niche Market. I have people tell me all the time, "i tried to make them one time.." Believe me, I trashed a lot of bagels before I figured things out. Baking can be tough enough, then add even more challenges to the mix.
I don't plan on giving out samples of the plum stuff I am selling, usually that stuff sells well. I sold a bunch of apple butter and jelly last year. I would sell the fruit also, but it's not going to last long enough for me to get back to the market, which will be at least another couple weeks. What we usually do is try to sell the fruit first ( much less work of course) , and then what doesn't get sold gets made into something. We just don't have the time to make a lot of value added stuff, because the animals require a lot of care. I barely have time to bake bread for the market.

We did give out samples of goat curry this year ( kept it hot in the crockpot) , because a lot of people tell us they have never had goat meat before. It was a huge hit, and we sold all of our goat meat, actually ran out.

We make most of our money on the goats and sheep. Just sold 2 older not as healthy ones and got a good price
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:22 PM
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I don't plan on giving out samples of the plum stuff I am selling, usually that stuff sells well. I sold a bunch of apple butter and jelly last year. I would sell the fruit also, but it's not going to last long enough for me to get back to the market, which will be at least another couple weeks. What we usually do is try to sell the fruit first ( much less work of course) , and then what doesn't get sold gets made into something. We just don't have the time to make a lot of value added stuff, because the animals require a lot of care. I barely have time to bake bread for the market.
I understand about time constraints. I dont own any animals, other then the house Cat, but I couldnt imagine what my schedule would look like then. Seems like you have a plan, and that plan works for you. Thats what counts.

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We did give out samples of goat curry this year ( kept it hot in the crockpot) , because a lot of people tell us they have never had goat meat before. It was a huge hit, and we sold all of our goat meat, actually ran out.
Clever idea. And I can say that I too have never had goat. But, I would try it.

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We make most of our money on the goats and sheep. Just sold 2 older not as healthy ones and got a good price
If it works for you, then keep at it. The other stuff just helps fill in the blanks. Its how this game goes.

Anytime you want to talk business, post here or PM me.

Last Nights Dinner... New Idea..



I had planned to bake pizza on the grill last night, but major thunderstorms and lightening came thru with a major punch. It got quite nasty. I was really dissapointed because I wanted to see how the grill would do, with the bricks and tiles, imitating a pizza/deck oven. Oh well. Two of these were baked in the oven in the house.

While munching on these tasty treats my wife and I discussed the idea of "Take And Bake" pizzas. That I could sell these at the Markets. Hmmmm.....

Now, take and bake isnt anything new. The problem is that most of the products are kinda crappy. This pizza was pretty tasty. So, it sounds like I have a little bit of recipe development to work on. Plus i need to hunt up the special pans that are oven proof and disposable. I found one place that sells them online, but the shipping is twice as expensive as the product. I might just have to pay the price to get a small quantity so I can play with the concept. From there, I can round up some Volunteers to give me feedback on how the Pizzas bake up, and more importantly, taste.

Fun times ahead..

Brick Oven/Grill Update

So today was the first real long term test run. I ran the grill for about 3 hours. During this time I got pretty comfortable with controlling the flames, to keep a somewhat consistent temp. Bagels only had to bake for about 15 minutes. Rotating the pan one time, about half way thru. the time.



This was the second pan to come out of the grill. Browning is very even. The first pan was a bit off. I think at this point, the bricks and tiles had stabilized and were emitting heat more evenly. I baked around 100 bagels, with very even results. Ill bake a couple more pans early in the morning, and raise a few loaves of assorted breads as well.

Cannot complain at all, and as an added bonus, all that heat stayed outside.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:20 PM
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Plus i need to hunt up the special pans that are oven proof and disposable. I found one place that sells them online, but the shipping is twice as expensive as the product. I might just have to pay the price to get a small quantity so I can play with the concept. From there, I can round up some Volunteers to give me feedback on how the Pizzas bake up, and more importantly, taste.
Just thinking out loud...

Do you think it would be possible to develop the recipe so that it would work without using that special pan? Like buyers using a cookie sheet that most people already have? I usually have a DiGiourno pizza in the freezer for those days when nobody feels like cooking. They come on a cardboard circle and you put just slide the pizza off it directly onto the oven rack, no pan at all. That might seem to be the least expensive option if you could make a non-frozen dough that sits on a circle of cardboard, like one of those you set cakes on.

It just occurred to me...those crusts will keep rising while they're waiting to be bought unless frozen or refrigerated. Maybe form them and keep them well chilled in a cooler to prevent more rising until they're bought? I've heard some groceries sell fresh pizza dough and I wonder how they store it until sale. None of those around here. But if there are some in your area it would be worth a trip to one and have a little chat with one of the bakery folks there to pick their brain.

Another thought popped in: There are the pizza crusts like Boboli brand in groceries. They look like they are pre-baked a little. No need for that special pan at all! I've never had one so can't vouch for how good they are or not.
https://www.boboli.com/content/our-products

Your pizza thoughts are an interesting concept and really worth exploring! Everybody loves pizza but the dough is the one part a lot of people don't fool with. Possibly a few questions to your regular bread buyers to see if they're interested?
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Weedinhoe View Post
Just thinking out loud...

Do you think it would be possible to develop the recipe so that it would work without using that special pan? Like buyers using a cookie sheet that most people already have? I usually have a DiGiourno pizza in the freezer for those days when nobody feels like cooking. They come on a cardboard circle and you put just slide the pizza off it directly onto the oven rack, no pan at all. That might seem to be the least expensive option if you could make a non-frozen dough that sits on a circle of cardboard, like one of those you set cakes on.
Oh I appreciate any and all ideas.

I did think about that, and it was part of the initial idea. Two problems though.

1. Cookie sheets are not always consistent size, nor same baking properties.

2. Shiny Vs. Dark. Different results.

The disposbale pans come in the usual "take out pizza" sizes. 12, 14, 16, and 18 inches. By using the special pan, I can be confident that the consumer is getting consistent results. Not to mention, its the selling point of not having a pan to wash after the fact. People are lazy.

I did have the notion to try parchment paper. That might be worth trying.

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Originally Posted by Weedinhoe View Post
It just occurred to me...those crusts will keep rising while they're waiting to be bought unless frozen or refrigerated. Maybe form them and keep them well chilled in a cooler to prevent more rising until they're bought? I've heard some groceries sell fresh pizza dough and I wonder how they store it until sale. None of those around here. But if there are some in your area it would be worth a trip to one and have a little chat with one of the bakery folks there to pick their brain.
Oh yeah, part of the plan, they would be transported in a cooler with a whole bunch of ice packs to stay very chilled. And this does bring up a point. The "take and bake" industry has done a ton of reasearch on dough. The dough has to be able to handle a ton of abuse by the customer.

To help with over rising, the simplest solution is to cut back on the yeast. But, because of that you risk losing flavor. To make up for flavor, you need to ferment the dough with a starter. The industry has access to chemicals. FarmerChad doesnt. But thats ok. In my area, most customers want away from all the additives and chemicals. A starter solves a lot of those problems. Plus it sounds "extra fancy" and gourmet when you say the dough is fermented..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weedinhoe View Post
Another thought popped in: There are the pizza crusts like Boboli brand in groceries. They look like they are pre-baked a little. No need for that special pan at all! I've never had one so can't vouch for how good they are or not.
https://www.boboli.com/content/our-products
I think we tried one, once. Enough said.

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Originally Posted by Weedinhoe View Post
Your pizza thoughts are an interesting concept and really worth exploring! Everybody loves pizza but the dough is the one part a lot of people don't fool with. Possibly a few questions to your regular bread buyers to see if they're interested?
Oh I agree. One of my original thoughts was to offer Pizza Dough in bags, a ball. Around here that is common. You take it home and stretch it, etc. That idea then morphed into me stretching the dough, putting it on circles, and selling it as you put the toppings on it. Then that morphed into full blown take and bake.

Because I have my wholesale acct. setup with a distributor for the flour, yeast etc. for my bagels, I get my pizza supplies as well. I can get the fancy cheeses and stuff that the average consumer cant get. A lot of people who make pizza at home wonder "why does the pizza shop taste so different?" Its because the stuff at the grocery store is far, far different then what the pizza shop uses. And I have access to it all.

The cost difference between a dough ball and a fully topped pizza is very little. The profit difference is astronomical.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:13 AM
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I think we tried one, once. Enough said.
LOL! Right you are! What I meant was the possibility of you doing the slight pre-bake method with your dough if it would maintain quality and make a more stable platform for your toppings.

You sure have a lot of research to do but it will be tasty fun.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:29 AM
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Those bagels look SO good, I love everything bagels and there just aren't any for sale around here. I want one now !! What general area of NC are you in?

The pizza idea sounds great, but are you allowed to do that without a food vendor license? Here, they are really picky about stuff ( Virginia is somewhat a "police state" in some ways) . I could only give out free samples of my curry, not sell it. Can't legally sell cheese either, unless I give it away for free and ask for donations ( do that with milk)
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Weedinhoe View Post
LOL! Right you are! What I meant was the possibility of you doing the slight pre-bake method with your dough if it would maintain quality and make a more stable platform for your toppings.

You sure have a lot of research to do but it will be tasty fun.
Ya' know, I really dont know what the results would be. The crust style im planning on is NY style. Its pretty darn thin. Im not sure if prebaked would have too much advantage. Perhaps I can explore that one day.

Tasty research, indeed.

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Originally Posted by sonya1 View Post
Those bagels look SO good, I love everything bagels and there just aren't any for sale around here. I want one now !! What general area of NC are you in?
Thanks for the kind words. And I have to tell you, they are pretty darn fantastic.

Im in the Piedmont/Triad

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Originally Posted by sonya1 View Post
The pizza idea sounds great, but are you allowed to do that without a food vendor license? Here, they are really picky about stuff ( Virginia is somewhat a "police state" in some ways) . I could only give out free samples of my curry, not sell it. Can't legally sell cheese either, unless I give it away for free and ask for donations ( do that with milk)
Food Vendor here only seems to apply to "ready to eat" foods. The pizza will be raw so that would be Dept. of Ag. Same thing with the Bagels and Cream Cheese. Dept. of Ag.

Its something I need to investigate a little further, but all should be ok.

Last Nights Mkt.

Last night was ok. Business was a little slower then usual for a Thursday, and other Vendors took notice. In that particular area School has started back, which means Football practice as well. Some Vendors suggested parents may just be stretched for time and have other priorities. Makes sense.

I did talk to a few customers about the pizza dough idea. It seems that there is a general interest. On my dry erase sign, I indicated about having Pizza Dough available next week. And while that may be putting the cart before the horse, you have to sow the seed, to find out where you stand. I waited for customers to ask about it, or even casually mention it. As stated, some interest is there.

More to come..
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:16 AM
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My last Saturday market was OK. This week picked beaucoup tomatoes that I am getting ready to can. Spent yesterday afternoon and evening sorting them into three categories. Juice tomatoes, canning tomatoes and tomatoes to sell (I'm only about half way through the supply). Been slowed up by a cataract operation midweek. Still healing. I expect to can today and tomorrow afternoon plus continue until the canning is all completed.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:10 AM
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My last Saturday market was OK. This week picked beaucoup tomatoes that I am getting ready to can. Spent yesterday afternoon and evening sorting them into three categories. Juice tomatoes, canning tomatoes and tomatoes to sell (I'm only about half way through the supply). Been slowed up by a cataract operation midweek. Still healing. I expect to can today and tomorrow afternoon plus continue until the canning is all completed.
Glad to hear your Saturday was ok. Wishing you speedy recovery on the surgery. My wife had Cataract surgery a couple years ago, so take it easy.

Saturday Market


As always, Saturday was fantastic. I took a little less product then normal, but still had a great day. Im becoming known as "the bagel guy", and im fine with that. Seems each week ill talk to someone new, who has heard about the bagels, and they want to try them. Im slowly building a customer base. Thats what its all about.

Couple more regulars asked about the sausage. My response, "soon". Ill admit, I cant wait to fire up the smoker and hang some sausages to smoke. Im get'n the itch so to speak. Fall weather is slowly coming this way. All though its still hot and muggy out, its simply in the air. We have noticed some trees on our property beginning to shed some leaves, and even some trees have just the slightest tinge of orange in the leaves. Saturday evening me and the misses went out to a few stores to find me some nice Fall Tablecloths. Fall is coming no matter what, might as well embrace it. After hunting, we did find some. They were a bit more spendy then I normally like, $34 for 2, but it is what it is.

On the topic of tablecloths, I have a few observations. If your going to Market, in the long term, good quality fabric tablecloths will save you money. Sure, you can buy the cheap plastic ones from the $ Store, and they last about one day before they start tearing up. I got tired of buying those and started ponying up the money for fabric ones.

Wait for clearance sells to save some cash, if you dont have an immediate need. One particular set that my wife found a couple monthes back would have cost $35 per table. We paid something like $15 for the pair. Thats some serious savings. That set was a Summer Plaid print. Reds, Whites, and Blues, etc. Perfect for the Summer Market days. Im still currently using this set, but come September, they will be washed for the final time and put into the storage tub, waiting for next Summer. The Fall set has been washed and will be deployed next.

Do nice tablecloths affect sells? I personally think so. Customers like to notice subtle changes. It shows your a real person and not a mindless corporation. Plus it adds interest. I personally get bored with looking at the same color or print 3 times a week. I know some Vendors who have custom printed White or Black tablecloths. Everyweek its the same thing, month after month. Year after year. I couldnt handle that. But thats just me.

New Tuesday Market

Tomorrow is the new Tuesday Market. Ill be making an appearance there. As I type this, and sipping my coffee, I have been pondering how much product to make. A new Market, has challenges.

This will be my 3rd new Market, this year alone. You never know about the customers. How many will there be? How much foot traffic? I have learned something from the previous two.

1. "Will you be here next week?"

2. "Shucks.. I didnt bring any money with me.."

These are probably the top two comments. Guaranteed

This new Market is sponsored by the city that its in, and in the town park. I have been to this type of Market before. Hopefully they advertise it, to some degree. Im not going to go overboard. Ill make a nice assortment of Bagels and breads and call it good. If I have any Cherry Tomatoes ill take a few.

Time to get In the Kitchen, got Bagel dough to make.
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