The Board Chronicles: SCV Charity Chili Cook-off   Leave a comment

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

Chili Cook-offThe 4th Annual SCV (our home: Santa Clarita Valley) Charity Chili Cook-off supports two local charities. From the event’s website:

The Santa Clarita community will once again show their support for two great non-profits, Single Mothers Outreach and SCV Food Pantry, while sampling 40 excellent chili entries.

So worthy charities, food … and the event takes place 4.5 miles from our house.

We’re in.

New Ideas

  • This is our first-ever Happy Hour foodie event.
  • This is our first-ever Tuesday evening event.
  • Another solo appearance for Mr M’s Woodshop, as we only have one 6′ table. This is event # 70 for us … and the last time I soloed on one table was at event # 11. This time, however, Mrs M will join me to sample the chili and make sure I get sustenance while I’m vendoring.
  • I took one of my new display crates, turned it to the side and used it to hold small sous chef boards, large sous chef boards, pigs & pizza servers.
  • No room for a wrap station … so if anyone buys a board, they get it, unwrapped, in a bag or just under their arm. Never done that before!


  • Our Spring Fling. After doing only 2 events in the first quarter – and celebrating the birth of Granddaughter # 2 – this is our third spring event. We’re doing 8 events in 9 weeks. Come June, I will be tired.
  • I love local.
  • We’ve got a long-standing theory that food events involve cooks – and cutting boards belong there. Wouldn’t you think? Oh, and this event is held in the micro brewery for one of our favorite local restaurants, so I’m thinking alcohol will be involved. OF COURSE we’re interested!
  • Magic Bottle Openers are surprisingly popular … and it was really wrong for me to sell out of them before this event. My work list grows ever-longer.
  • Surprise! It’s an outdoor event. Who knew?
  • Surprise! It’s an 8′ table, not a 6′ table. No worries; I filled it.
  • Canopies are great when they keep the setting sun from blinding your customers. Too bad I didn’t have mine.
  • Lights are great after dark so people can see your stuff. Too bad I didn’t have mine.
  • Great crowd. Nice people; saw several customers & key people to stay in touch with. Was promised a couple of orders to come in soon. Soon.
  • About 400 people were there, I think. 5 vendors. 40 chilis to try, and a brewery to sample.
  • Goal accomplished. I broke even – almost exactly. If you don’t count labor. Or admin costs. Or my aching ankles.

The Food

Tuesday Dinner: Chili. Right? I had 7x one ounce servings. Or something like that. And a brew from Wolf Creek Brewery.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 18
  • Booth cost: $150 (plus 2x Chili Cook-off tickets for $50). Note: it’s a charity event. I hope to sell several boards, of course, but breaking even would be great.
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 2
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 2
  • Total sales: $250
  • # containers of product taken: 8
  • # boards available: 58
  • # transactions: 1
  • # soap & lotion vendors: nope, though the wonderful Refined Vintage Boutique was there, offering handmade soaps as part of what they do
  • # woodworking vendors: just me
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 0:1
  • Returning next year? Maybe.

Boards sold: 1

Cutting Board 16 - End 018. Purpleheart, Hard Maple & Jatoba. End grain. 14" x 21" x 1-1/2".

Cutting Board 16 – End 018. Purpleheart, Hard Maple & Jatoba. End grain. 14″ x 21″ x 1-1/2″.


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