Don't Hog the Samples


Since mid-January, my mom and I have been selling Hester & Pearl baked goods at an indoor farmers market in Port Jefferson, NY, a lovely and quaint little town about 35 minutes from our house. We set up our table with baked goods on one side and my handmade bags and purses on the other side. While selling there, we noticed that many of the other vendors offered samples of their product: homemade chicken burgers, coquito-flavored coffee, black bean soup, cranberry jalapeno spread, etc. So we decided that maybe we should also offer samples of our products.

Big mistake. Let me say that offering food samples to random strangers has made me lose faith in humanity. I think probably eight times out of ten, someone has sampled our food and then actually bought it. Maybe it's the crowd, I don't know. But I do know that the samples don't seem to be working.

Some people just walk past the table, take something, and then leave. Like a drive by. Some people let their kids clear the plate and take whatever we have left. Some people try it, tell us it's delicious (making us think they'll buy), but then walk away. It's maddening.

I've convinced myself it's more of an eating market than a buying market. It's held in the Port Jeff Village Center, which also houses an ice rink. People bring their kids on Sunday mornings/afternoons to skate, and then they wander upstairs to check out the market.

And eat free samples.