Friday, November 4, 2011

Even In My Dreams

I spend a lot of time thinking about the Farmers’ Market. I spend even more time getting ready for the Farmers’ Market. Then, we spend time actually doing the Farmers’ Market.

So, it was no real surprise when I started DREAMING about the Market as well. Usually dreams are odd little snippets of no great consequence.

However, not too long ago, I dreamed about something that has ended up changing a part of our marketing strategy. Cool!

Real estate is at a premium at the Market. The spots allocated are a specific size and vendors are supposed to stay within their borders. This means sometimes in order to display all our items, we must get a little creative.

The Boss built a stand that holds a number of baskets, we label the baskets and keep them filled from stock that we have in our Market trailer. Since the bags of lettuce tend to mat down in the bottom of the baskets, he made little false bottoms that make the bags sit up so the customers can see them. This system means that only a few bags make it to display at one time.

When the morning rush starts around nine o’clock, keeping the baskets stocked while waiting on customers gets a little distracting (to say the least). More than once, I have noticed someone look at the empty basket and comment, “oh, they don’t have any more…let’s go.” This was frustrating, as I knew there was more, but I was busy with a customer, and answering questions for another. I also thought it would be more than slightly rude to leave that customer, jump over the table, and re-stock the baskets, and jump back again. Although it would have made for a memorable shopping experience!

One night I had a dream where we had put messages on the bottom of the baskets. I do not remember any other details, but awoke with the intention of buying a Sharpie that day to mark all those baskets.

Right after I put the new bottoms in the baskets, we began to see results. Folks will ask us if they are looking for lettuce and the basket tells them we have more. I made a sign on the reverse that says when we are sold-out as well.

I hadn’t thought about my brilliant dream much lately; it’s been a while since we implemented the change. Last week, B came to visit the Market. As she was looking around, she came upon our little basket signs. “WOW! Why didn’t we think of this one before?” she exclaimed. All those years she worked the Market, and we never thought of that one. “COOL idea! I like it!” I do love it when the “kids” are impressed with the old folks!

Since my dream has proven to have a practical use, maybe I should schedule some naptime into my days around the farm work. You just never know what I’ll dream up next!

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