This summer something new and exciting is happening. Three of our girls: Catherine, Samantha, and Care are starting a new venture. They are making homemade bread and baked goods and selling them at our local farmers market, Harbor Market.
Why I like our farmers market
I like our farmers market because it builds community. I have learned so much about Benton Harbor just by going to market. Because of Harbor Market, I know who the local produce growers are in our area. I know about the Mosaic Cafe and Thrift Store that hosts the market in their parking lot. Harbor Market also introduced us to the Cycle Recycle shop. It is a shop on the other side of the parking lot. They teach bicycle safety, maintenance, and repair to local people and give them the opportunity to earn a bicycle of their own through volunteer hours at the shop. They also have a large porch where Harbor Market has live music each week. Its almost always local artists that are trying to get their name out, so we get to meet them each week too. Its just so much fun going there, meeting other shoppers and talking with the vendors. Each week during the summer is themed differently and always something different going on. Its a great place to be.
Finding our Spot
Four summers ago we sold flavored popcorn at Harbor Market and it was fun, but the girls were too young to stay there all day alone and Adeline was barely one. It was just not the right season for us. This year however, is a good time for us. The girls are older and we know a lot more people who sell there. We live pretty close and I am comfortable with them staying there with each other. The lady who used to have a bread stand there got so busy with her second market and private orders that she decided to give up her place at Harbor Market. That opened up a spot for the girls and a chance to start a new business of their own. They aren’t making a lot of money yet, but they sell quite a bit every week. They already have a couple of people who come down weekly to get bread from them. They are doing well and I am so proud of them.
Here are a few valuable lessons I think they are learning.
They are learning profit and loss concepts.
Every week the girls count the money they made, subtract out their expenses. (cost of the booth and cost of goods) They can then determine how profitable their week was.
They are learning inventory management.
In order to get to market with bread and baked goods, they have to keep up with inventory. What baking supplies are we out of? Which supplies do we need to replenish to have enough for baking day? Also, they track what sold well each week and what didn’t. They try new things and eliminate others.
They are learning time management skills.
Market opens at 10:00 a.m. on Friday morning. They have to work backward from there to get all of their baking done. There is no boss and no one making a schedule for them to follow. They did speak with the lady whose spot they took and she made some suggestions, but it is up to the girls to make sure it happens.
They are learning to work together
Sometimes it is hard to work with siblings on an ongoing project. People have different ideas about how things ought to be done. They have to work it out among themselves. They try different ideas and go with what works best. They learn to listen to each others ideas without shutting the other person down. It gives them experience at being supportive to other members on a team in a meaningful way.
I am sure there are other valuable lessons, but these are the obvious ones that came to my mind. I don’t expect them to get rich on this quest, but I think it will give them a wealth of experience and knowledge and courage to go on to new things as they come up in life.
So Long for now,
From the Kitchen,
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