It was quite honestly an experiment for both George and I. I don’t think I would have been as interested in it if I knew last February we would be so busy. There were weeks where I worked in the kitchen for day’s straight building up inventory. The plus side to that was our product kept selling which meant I had to put time into replenishing it. I also would have not done many vending events if I had to load and unload on my own.
Having George jump on board as a full-time ‘grunt’ – as he likes to refer to himself – took a huge load off of my shoulders and allowed me to concentrate on the JamBusters! product line. I also enjoyed having him along as my vending partner. The first three events of the year he was not involved other than helping with the set up and take down. When we switched to weekly outdoor vending he was there all the time.
I think that he may have discovered how much fun it was to be serving samples and sharing stories with potential customers. George has always played a big role in the background handling all the online website, social network and promotional elements connected to the JamBusters! brand. It was in 2016 when he got much more involved and once he had the time to put into it he took vending very seriously.
There was one venue we were at where he tried to convince me that other vendors around us were watching what we were doing very closely. I thought he was possibly imagining things until one point when he told me that the last two sales we made were to vendors who said they had noticed our table was one of the busiest and had to come over to see what was going on. George knew then that we were on to something.
The New Year sees our entire inventory in storage in the house along with all of our vending supplies. The big items sit in the shed. George got my computer workstation completed a few days ago so I can now work on labels and recipe lists in space away from where he is working on his freelance writing. Before this we had to ‘trade’ off so one of us could work at a time in the only area with a computer.
We are looking at several ways to keep JamBusters! products available even when we are not at a vending event and are working with the local Chamber of Commerce exploring new ideas that will enhance our already busy vending calendar. The difficult thing for us right now is keeping the right balance in place. We want to expand but also see the increase in workload that such a move can bring.
The plan is to increase exposure without sticking me into the kitchen longer than I have been in the past. One way that will probably assist is if I spend the odd day canning products each month leading up to our normal scheduled events. I have had success working in the kitchen on smaller batches and I can do a few days at a time without problem and with some of the recipes I use, this is not a hard job for me to do.
George says he hopes to do a rebuild of the JamBusters! website to update the product lists and to add the new ones more frequently. It’s all part of our plan to spend more time focusing on what the JamBusters! brand can do for us in 2017 and if 2016 is any indication, we see another great year ahead of us and now is the time for us to prepare and get ready for it.