Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kit goes to Market

Kit has always hoped to bake and sell goodies. Arkansas like all states regulates it's food industry. Arkansas has required use of a commercial kitchen for all foodstuff offered for sale. Kit's immaculate kitchen is cleaner than any restaurant kitchen I've ever seen. But, Arkansas law specifically excluded use of home kitchens, until recently. I suspect that there had been some political motivation. However, under counter pressure from emerging local markets, Arkansas lowered their standards to match the USA FDA. This revision opened the door for Kit.

Kit has joined the Hillcrest Farmers Market. Hillcrest is a classy and well kept residential and shopping area first built in Little Rock in the 1920's. If we were in another country and found an area like Hillcrest, we would call it "charming." To get her started, we made a "small business loan" to Kit from our savings. She baked cookies, muffins, granola, her famous poppy seed bread, and several gluten free cookies. She calls her bake business "Celebrate". Nearly everything sold out the very first week. She's already made enough profit to repay her loan.

Kit's enterprise has opened the door for Drew as well. In his raised bed gardens, he can raise commercial quality vegetables. But, he hasn't produced enough quantity yet to justify the fees to rent a stall in an open air market. However, the combination of baked goods and vegetables certainly justified the fees. His vegetables sold out as well, even though we had deliberately placed the prices high hoping to bring some home for ourselves. A commercial peach farmer once coached me, "If you can grow it, you can sell it." Turned out that he was right.

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