Sales Held Strong In September 2020
We sold a total of 136 jars of product during the month. That is up just one jar from August 2020. However, there were just four sales weekends this month compared to five in August. We also sold dozens of Watkins items over the past month. This has become a trend for us as we are becoming better known in the region as being Watkins Consultants. I even delivered an order to someone in West Kelowna a week ago on my way to visit my mother in Kelowna (about 2.5-hours from our home in Princeton, BC).
As for individual day stats, our best day of the month was this past Saturday (September 26) when 26 jars were sold over the day in the Oliver Indoor Flea Market. Our slowest day there was Saturday, September 5 with just 8 jars sold. Every other sales day was into double-digits for jar totals and one day saw Watkins products outsell JamBusters! There were two other sales days where Watkins also matched JamBusters! totals for the day. Overall, September was a pretty solid month for us from start to finish.
No Pepper Festival This Year
September is usually our busiest month with JamBusters! as we have annually set up to sell our products at the outdoor vendors market that is held as part of the annual pepperfest in Keremeos, BC. It is called Similkameen Sizzle and we have attended it each year since we launched JamBusters! It is not unusual for us to sell 100 jars of product during the full day on site. Earlier this year, George and I looked over our annual calendar of events and decided to "skip" Sizzle for 2020. We were going to do this for a few reasons.
First, it is a lot of work for me to prepare for. Second, although it is a great sales day for us, it eats up a ton of our inventory that takes me weeks to replenish. Third, we really didn't think George would be healthy enough to work the full day with me this year. So we took Sizzle off of our schedule for 2020. COVID helped us a bit on that one as Sizzle ended up getting canceled this year (along with every other public event in the region). As it turns out, we had a great weekend of sales at the Oliver Indoor Flea Market on what would have been Sizzle weekend. We also had customers tell us they were looking for us at Sizzle (although it had been canceled) and found us online and came to Oliver to stock up on our products.
No Canning Jars To Be Found
Here's the hit in the background COVID has given us I was talking about before. The combination of COVID driving people indoors and keeping them home working on home projects has introduced a lot of them to canning. Plus, this is now the prime canning time of the year. As a result, canning jars and supplies are in short supply. I had to venture out of town to find canning jars last week. We even had two people approach us over the weekend at our vending booth asking if we had any jars to sell. I've been lucky with some customers bringing me back jars from our products that they have purchased but noticed that hasn't been happening like it used to. First toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Now canning jars. What will be the next hot COVID item to experience a shortage?
Picked Fresh Fruit This Month
The upside to the COVID situation for me is that I have been able to access fresh fruit from a couple of sources we have used in the past. Earlier this past month George and I picked grapes at a location in Oliver where we did the same thing last year. This past weekend, we had a chance to pick pears off of a tree that had a bumper crop in Penticton. Last year that same tree did not produce well but we did get other fruit from the same source. This year, I have reduced the amount of fresh fruit we pick ourselves simply because I don't want to be in the position where I can't catch up. The grapes and pears we got this month will go to good use as I need both for some of our better-selling products.
George Keeps Making Progress
My hubby and business partner, George has had a good month. He has been putting a lot of effort into his recovery from congestive heart failure and has set two personal bests as a result. He walked for 95-minutes in one afternoon and on another, he climbed 1,052 stairs. He got the approval early this month to add stairs and inclines to his daily walking routine from a specialist in Kelowna. He has a few operations yet to undergo but it taking advantage of the time to strengthen his heart with all the extra activity. He still only joins me at the market on Sundays as he works Saturdays as part of his home-based business, but that may change once winter arrives.