This week we started selling our fruit preserves and chilli jams at Borough Market for the next 3 weeks in the run up to Christmas. When Borough Market invited us to have a stall there this Christmas, we were completely honoured to get the opportunity to sell our products here.
Food markets are where Nicola first sold Single Variety Co jams and preserves, and over the last two years she has built up a wealth of experience of running a market stall. So, I decided to pick her brains and discover her top tips for running a market stall to share with you in this week’s blog.
1. Plan your logistics
Market stalls, particularly in London, are usually difficult to get really close to, especially in a car / van, so make sure you know where to park, how you’re going to transport everything to your stall. We would recommend getting a trolley for this. For Borough Market we are using a really big suitcase!
2. Think about how the stall will look for the customer
Having an inviting and enticing display will really help attract customers to your stall. Make it really easy for them to identify your brand and products. Check your stall throughout the day to ensure it stays looking how you want it to.
3. Give yourself more time to set up than you think you need
We still find that setting up a stall always takes longer than we think so plan in extra time to set up. You don’t want a market opening and you’re not ready to sell.
4. Draw customers in
You want to get as many people to your stand as possible, so think about how you’re going to draw them in. Talk to customers as well as thinking about offers and tasters.
5. Have a special offer
You may want to have a special offer at your market stall to attract customers in. Try a few out and see which works best for you. Display your offer really clearly for customers to see.
6. Have samples to taste
The best way to sell food is to let customers taste how amazing your product is. We always have tasters available and encourage customers to try our products. Make sure you’re fully prepared for tasting and think about how customers will taste it. For example, we use crackers to sample our jams with. Routinely check the stall to keep it clean and clear of rubbish, and that samples are topped up.
7. Make payment easy
We would recommend having a card machine available as increasingly customers will not have any cash on them. We use Izettle. For cash payments, remember to bring lots of change with you.
8. Plan for the weather
It sounds obvious but wrap up really warm in the winter! And if it gets really hot and you need to keep your products cool, make plans for this too.
9. Befriend your neighbours
Being at a market alone all day can be really difficult when you need a break, so make friends with other stall holders so you can cover each other’s stand.
10. Find the right market for you
And finally, not every market will be right for your product or brand. There are a lot of food markets out there, so we would suggest spending the time to find the right one for you.
If you’re in London, we’ll be at Borough Market every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday until Christmas, so pop by to get your jam for Christmas.
Much jam love,