Okay, so the above title is probably a wee bit of an exaggeration. But after finding out all the restrictions about what I can sell at the Farmer’s Market, that’s kind of how I feel. As I mentioned in a previous post, the items I’m allowed to sell at the market are highly restricted by the Health Department. There’s a long list of things I can and cannot sell, but the gist of it is everything has to be shelf-stable and the final step has to be it baking in an oven. They’ve also specifically excluded any caramels (bye salted caramels…..I’ll miss you), anything with frosting or filling (so long Whoopie Pies and Crack Frosting), and anything with a cream or egg filling (peace out cheesecakes and cream pies).
Now, I understand where the Health Department is coming from. Their goal is to minimize people’s chances of becoming sick from the products sold. I think we can all agree that this is a good thing…..no matter how much of a wrench it put in my menu ideas. Also, for the record, I have to say everyone I’ve talked to and dealt with at the Health Department here has been incredibly nice and more than willing to work with me. I guess what I’m most bummed about is that some of my best desserts are on the restricted list. Whoopie Pies and pretty much anything with Crack Frosting (try it and you’ll understand why it’s called that) are my two most requested desserts, but unfortunately I won’t be able to sell either of those at the market. I was also stoked to do some homemade versions of Nutter Butters and Samoas, but that idea went out the window when I heard about the restrictions.
Alright, enough of my whining – let’s look at the bright side of life (and now that Monty Python song is stuck in my head…..awesome). The bright side of all this is that it forces me to get out of my comfort zone and is an awesome opportunity for me to get creative. So far, I’ve had some great moments of inspiration and come up with a few product ideas I’m really stoked about. My goal is to stand out at the market and bring something unique to the table. I don’t want to be just another baker with the standard assortment of chocolate chip cookies and dark chocolate brownies. I have a few tricks up my sleeve (don’t want to reveal too much yet), but I wanted to get your guys’ input.
Here are a few of the general items I’m thinking of doing: sticky buns, brioche, individual bundt and coffeecakes, and vegan and gluten-free cookies (for the health-conscious crowd). This is definitely not everything I have in mind and I’m playing around with different flavor ideas – but like I said, still got to leave a little mystery out there. What do you guys think of those items? Anything catch your fancy? What items would you like to see sold? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear what you all think and what ideas you have!