Comparing September 2019 to September 2018 shows an actual drop in business. For example, last year we vended a total of 12 dates in three different venues. That included our usual weekends at the Oliver Indoor Flea Market plus our annual date at Similkameen Sizzle – the pepper festival in Keremeos – and one final outdoor vending date at the Princeton Chamber of Commerce Make It, Bake It, Grow It Market. In September 2019 we had 10 vending dates in two different locations – weekends in Oliver and one date at Similkameen Sizzle.
As for sales figures, September 2018 saw a total of 227 jars sold compared to 180 this month. The range was vast with our slowest day a year ago being September 15, 2018 with just 2 jars sold in Oliver (we were vending in Keremeos that day) and our best day that month was the same day with 120 jars sold at Similkameen Sizzle. For this month, our slowest day was September 28, 2019 in Oliver with 4 jars sold and September 21, 2019 in Keremeos was our best day with 99 jars sold. No new records for us in September of 2019. However, as for year-to-date figures, 2019 is still ahead of 2018. Currently, the difference is 74 jars!
The New Products
I was able to access a new pepper for our recipes this month. It is a Chocolate Habanero which is considerably hotter than the Red Habanero. For comparison, the Red Hab has a heat value of 350,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) while the Chocolate Hab has 577,000 SHU. I was pretty excited to get my hands on these beautiful chocolate-coloured peppers with quite a bite to them. So, I made a Chocolate Pepper Salsa, a Chocolate Pepper Jelly and something quite unusual that is an actual hot sauce. It uses a combination of peaches and Chocolate Habanero peppers and we call it Phab-Anero Hot Sauce. Get it? Fab-A-Nero because it’s so fab! Lol
Well, we introduced them at the Similkameen Sizzle in Keremeos on September 21, 2019 and sold out of the jelly early in the day. The Chocolate Habanero Jelly also took First Place in the 2019 Similkameen Sizzle Hot Jelly Contest which made both George and I quite happy as we entered two products this year after not winning anything last year with our entries. By the way, we don’t do this to win awards, but it is nice to receive some recognition for the interesting products I produce at home for fun. Plus, the Chocolate Habanero Jelly sold out before our First Place finish was announced so we knew we were onto something right away.
Winding Down For Winter
I wish I could say that we will be able to relax during October but that won’t be true. With a lot of peppers and garlic sitting in the freezer and cold storage for processing, I’ll be working in the kitchen for part of the month to catch up and replenish stock. Part of my canning and preserving duties in the coming month will also be to add additional stock as we have two Christmas events coming up in addition to our weekends in Oliver. But I will be slowing down on the number of days I’ll be in the kitchen each week as we have a lot of inventory currently ready and taking up space in our kitchen and hallway.
To find out more about our regular activities, you can follow JamBusters! on Facebook.