Tales from the Burlingame Farmers Market: Little City Kitchen Co. is Open for Business

I did something on Sunday that I haven’t done in nearly 10 months…I set my alarm for 6:00am and got up early for work.  Even though my body rebelled at getting up when it was still dark, I must admit that I woke up with a smile on my face and hopped out of bed for what would become Little City Kitchen Co’s first revenue-producing day.  I didn’t even hit the snooze button once – holy cow, I was really excited.

I arrived in Burlingame by 7:30am and proceeded to unload my packed-to-the-gills car.  I’m happy to report that even my tent setup went smoothly…thanks in part to some practice time in the backyard of my best friend’s house and to the very nice egg vendor that helped me at the market <insert sigh here>.  Setup in general went easily and before I knew it, it was 9:00am and the market was open.

My First Customer

My First Customer!

My first sale was a pack of the sweet potato and coconut brown rice, a flavor which would turn out to be my most popular of the day.

As I’m putting the baby food in a bag for my first customer, I’m thinking to myself “how much of a goofball would I be if I asked for a picture with her”?  I decided a huge one, but asked anyways.  Abbie M. was a great sport so here’s a shot with her, me, her two kiddos, and the first baby food pack I sold.

One big unexpected thing happened.  About 30 minutes into the market I started noticing a lot of toddlers (12-24 months)…more so even than babies.  Once I told people that these purees were a great toddler snack alternative to applesauce, they went crazy for it!  I developed these recipes with babies from 7-12 months in mind, but at the end of the day, almost half of the people that bought baby food were parents with toddlers over 1 year old.  Who knew??

I brought 3 flavors to the market with me.  The sweet potato and coconut brown rice sold out in about an hour and a half.  The Cuban black beans sold out in another hour after that.  And I returned with only a few packages of roasted golden beets.  Here’s a picture of the last sample, handed out about 10 minutes before the market closed.  Good planning!

And the Verdict is?

And as far as the reaction from the Burlingame parents…overwhelmingly enthusiastic! I had people telling me they were so excited to see someone finally selling baby food, and one mom even texted 3 of her Burlingame mommy-friends to tell them all about me.  Considering it was the first market of the season, and according to the market manager, foot traffic was extremely light, it was a great start AND it looks promising for the future.

So that’s it folks…the end of the startup phase and the beginning of a real business.  More good news coming too, like when you can find Little City Kitchen Co. baby food in Alameda <hint: starting May 3 at the Alameda Tuesday farmers market>.  Now it’s time for me to get back in the kitchen to finish food for this week’s little ones!

21 Comments to “Tales from the Burlingame Farmers Market: Little City Kitchen Co. is Open for Business”

  1. Sharon says:

    Jill – thanks for sharing. I am so glad that you had a successful first day!

  2. Matthew says:

    Great reading about your successful retail launch. Look forward to hearng about many such good days.

  3. Colleen says:

    Congratulations Jill on your first successful day at the market! How exciting!

  4. Jenn says:

    Yay!! I am so excited for you!

  5. Samantha Seto says:

    Great to hear about your success Jill!! Soo happy for you!! :)

  6. MaLanie says:

    Yay!!! I’ve been thinking of you this week, and wondering how the farmers market went–so glad (and not surprised) to hear it was a success! Congrats–this is the beginning of a whole new chapter!

  7. Jessica says:

    That’s so great to hear it went well!

  8. Patty says:

    Jill – I knew your product would be a hit…fabulous!

  9. Valerie says:

    Jill – Many Congratulations!
    You inspire me!
    I’ll be by to visit you in Alameda on Tues May 3rd!

  10. Emily says:

    What wonderful news, Jill! I’m so happy for you, and super-proud of you!

  11. Kim Bailey says:

    Jill, I am so happy that this market was a success for you and a vision of what is in your future! Baby food that tastes good, what a concept! It’s a far cry from “insert global baby food company that shall not be named” strained peas! BTW, I LOVE reading your stories and have forwarded them, via a client on the east coast, to her friends with babies.

  12. Jessica (JC) says:

    So proud of you Jill! Keep the momentum going. Would love to see you do toddler food for kids that are 12-18 months. The super markets have such limited prepared food options available for when busy moms are short on time.

  13. Heather Reed says:

    Love it Jill!

    I’m so excited for you and cannot wait until May 7th!

  14. Sabra says:

    Excellent news, you are making great progress. How about tot pops – can you eat any of your baby food like a popsicle. My youngest nephew is 16 months and he loves posicles – somehing made of real food instead of sugar water might be a big success.

  15. Rebecca says:

    Great news, Jill. Congrats on your success right out of the gate!

  16. David Horton says:

    4, 3, 2, 1 . . . BLASTOFF!!!!

  17. Connelly says:

    So glad it turned out to be such a productive day Jill! It was so great to run into you too. We will definitely see you there sometime soon as I miss our old market :)

  18. Emilie (a.k.a. your cousin) says:

    Cousin of mine… WOW! Congratulations! I am so happy for you :) I can’t wait to give you a real live hug in just a few days!!!!

  19. Grammy Ruth says:

    I have nothing to add except: I knew you would fill a void and be successful. I must say that if you could make them in a popsicle form that a friend suggested is a marvelous idea!! Do you think it is possible to freeze the food to stay together long enough for the slow “licking” of a child?
    Loved the picture–you look like a real professional.

  20. Michelle ray says:

    Can’t wait til you begin the export business! Would love some sweet potatoes in Boston!

    Michelle and ross

  21. [...] the case.  I’m not sure whether my expectations weren’t realistic (because of how well the Burlingame market has been going), or if it’s not the right place for me…it’s a little too soon to [...]

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