The bake sale went well yesterday. We made $369 for Move On, which was very exciting to me. Even better, we registered 11 people to vote. Overall, it was a really pleasant experience. I can’t believe how many nice people stopped to tell us how happy they were we were having the bake sale for Obama or how much they were looking forward to the election. I love when people get excited about the political process! An intern from our local public radio station also interviewed us and took pictures of our table for background research for a NY Times reporter for the dining & wine section. Apparently they sent people out to all the bake sales across the country to do a national article on the food aspect of the bake sale, rather than the political side. I highly doubt my name will show up in print, but it would be exciting!
Overall, I learned some great lessons about having a bake sale:
- THINK LOCAL – Before the bake sale I read a lot of tips and pointers online from various blogs and websites to get some insight into what sells best. Ultimately though it seems more beneficial to take cues from your local area. Because most of our customers were on the go they preferred single-serve items that could eaten while walking as opposed to full desserts like pies. We were lucky in that our area had lots of little picnic tables where people could stop to eat their treats so little plates and plastic forks were appropriate and messy items easier to eat.
- HAVE A DONATION JAR OR ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO ROUND UP – Even though our $1-$3 items were the most popular people were more than willing to stick more money in our donation jar. It just shows that big ticket items aren’t the only way to get large donations.
- PIGGYBACK WITH OTHER LOCAL EVENTS – We were very lucky in that the garden club had a table a few yards down from us. It really helped to drive traffic and since they tended to be people who were civically oriented they were more than happy to support us too. Some people who saw our table first assumed that they were McCain supporters and that we were having ‘dueling bake sales’ which I found funny.
- DON’T FORGET SAVORY ITEMS – Shockingly my little croissants went quickly, which was amazing since they were kind of unfortunate looking (so much so that I didn’t bother to photograph them), though perfectly flaky. It turns out a lot of people wanted to help us with our cause, but didn’t necessarily want something sweet. I imagine that items like bags of flavored popcorn or homemade soft pretzels would have also sold well.
- KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS - Given the fact many people have allergies or specific food preferences this shouldn’t be surprising. Ask all participants to include the full list of ingredients for their items, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I swear one of the most common questions asked was “Does that have nuts in it?” I was actually also wishing I had made some Cooking Light recipes because I was actually often asked what the healthiest thing on the table was.
All in all I had so much fun and would gladly do it again. It sounds like Move On may have another weekend of bake sales right before the election so perhaps you will see a follow up post about another bake sale. However, I’m imagining more cold weather fare like apple cider donuts, creamy hot chocolate, and spiced cookies. Yum!
As for the recipes from this year, I’ll be posting my favorites in the coming days. Unfortunately because I was in such a rush to get everything done in time I didn’t photograph everything, but will show you the photos of those things I did manage to capture with my camera.