Archive for the ‘Garlic Dipping Board’ Tag

Choosing: A Very Good Idea   Leave a comment

This was one of my Mrs M’s best ideas of 2019.

The idea was so good, fortunately, that I was required to make a LOT of them. A good problem to have, yes?

Garlic Dipping Boards, for the win. These are 2-sided boards. One side has a carve-out to sit the Great Garlic Grater into, and the other side is plain … to be used for charcuterie, or serving bread, or whatever you like. You’re an adult, you get to choose.

There are 2 shapes of Great Garlic Graters, hexagonal & square. The buyer also gets to choose which shape, then the color of the GGG, and then the wood design of the Garlic Dipping Board to pair with it. Choosing is part of the fun.

Some say that I make the choosing very hard … and I believe that is my job. You see, I get to choose, too.

The Board Chronicles: Gilroy Garlic Festival 2019   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.

** ** **

A note about my absence. After a few months of getting more and more behind … I still haven’t caught up.

I will, just not today. In the interim, here’s the latest installment of The Board Chronicles for all of you that have been missing my missives.

Enjoy, and thank you for your patience!

** ** **

Yes, we were there.

We were at the 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival, and had a perfectly wonderful time until the crazy guy showed up and started shooting at 5:41pm on Sunday, July 28. I’ve already told that story in a special edition of The Board Chronicles: Terror. I’ve also told the story of how we picked up the pieces, Recovery.

This is not that story. This is the story of the event up until the crazy guy ruined a great weekend.

New Ideas

  • I created a brand new product for this event, Garlic Dipping Boards. Mrs M is taking credit for the idea, and I am wisely giving her all of the credit. Our good friend Nicole makes the Great Garlic Graters, and I make the boards. The customer get to choose the GGG that they like, and then pair it with the GDB. I hope this works! I made 24x new boards for this weekend!
  • Display of the GDBs required food, I thought. We had olive oil, garlic and bread to show how you could use a Dipping Board.

Observations

  • Signing up for the event proved to be a bit of a challenge: they sent me a commercial application. Fees for a double booth were something like $3,000.
  • Uh, no.
  • I carefully explained that I made everything I sold, and eventually – eventually – I was given a revised contract at the handmade vendor rate. My double booth cost “only” $1,450. Plus, we were paying for 5 hotel nights, meals … I was not facing a small number when you add it all up.
  • This event is a big idea. Mrs M has had it on her bucket list for a long time: if you’ve ever eaten at her table, you know she likes garlic. No, she Loves. Garlic. She didn’t want to be a vendor at the world-famous Gilroy Garlic Festival, she just wanted to be there to enjoy this ultimate Foodie event.
  • Check.
  • So, I set up the Trimline and my typical double booth, and Mrs M got to be my assistant (“sit there, look pretty, and wrap up the purchases if you can.”) Her other duties were to enjoy the festival and get lunch.
  • Oh, and, come to find out, they serve alcohol at the Festival. They have commemorative copper mugs in which they serve a very nice Moscow Mule.
  • Very nice.
  • We each had one each day.
  • We needed a set of the mugs … how else would we get them?
  • So, you see, we were intent on enjoying the Gilroy Garlic Festival, and we did a good job.
  • People came to the Festival from all over (60,000 is the estimated attendance). Local people volunteer, and are “paid” with contributions to local charities in their name. So, high school cheerleading squads volunteered and bought uniforms, food bank patrons volunteered to fund operations, and so on. This is a very big, very well-rooted community event.
  • Did I mention there was alcohol? People have a good time at the Festival. One of my early customers was wearing a hat with a solar powered fan in the crown. Lovely! And, come to find out, she did field archaeology, so the hat was a professional tool as well.
  • The biggest problem we found on Friday was that our cellphones didn’t work. At all. Verizon didn’t work in the park??? Come to find out, no. Verizon had zero signal in the park. We had this VERY big event and we couldn’t do any transactions with PayPal?
  • Nothing to do about it … but go buy another phone from Sprint that evening after the event closed. We had just enough time, and went back to the motel to download the software and get the phone ready for a big Saturday. It worked perfectly. So … don’t use Verizon at this event. Check.
  • I should have expected it. I put a display of food on the table … so people helped themselves. My goodness, what were they thinking? The bread was a crouton after a day in the sun, and people were still eating the bread! I couldn’t believe it.
  • But I should have expected it.
  • Quote from a wise male customer: “I don’t need Google. My wife knows everything.”
  • A young couple took a while to make their decision … but they eventually decided that a small end grain board just wasn’t big enough, so they bought the biggest board in the booth. Love that.
  • Sunday, I was examining the booth, and I had a very good idea of my inventory at that point. I realized that I had a heart-shaped board stolen that morning. I believe that $60 board is the first piece that’s ever been stolen from my display, after 6 years of vending. It had to happen.
  • After the dust settled, this was a very good event (until 5:41pm on Sunday). Total sales were strong. In fact, this was the #3 event of the year in 2019. Very good.
  • On the other hand, with costs skyrocketing due to the terror event, the event was not nearly as profitable as I had hoped. Is it fair to attibute the crime-caused costs directly to the event? There’s no good answer here.
  • So, will I be back? I hope to … but I’m going to wait until I see the communication from the event producer. I assume attendance will be down in 2020 because of the terror event in 2019. Will my costs go down in recognition of the (assumed) lower attendance?
  • I’ll wait & see.

The Food

  • Best Meal: We had a nice Italian meal on Saturday evening at Maurizio’s in nearby Morgan Hill. This postage stamp of a restaurant did not have enough seating, and no waiting area for those, like us, waiting for those all-too-rare seats. But, the food was good.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: This should have been about 625 miles, but ended up being a lot more, as you know, due to the terror incident
  • Booth cost: $1,450
  • Food cost: irrelevant because of the extra costs incurred
  • Travel cost: see above. 5 hotel nights turned into 7 hotel nights. 1 round trip turned into 3 round trips.
  • Total sales: $4,792
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 2
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 2
  • # transactions: 54
  • # soap & lotion vendors: no clue
  • # woodworking vendors: no clue
  • Returning next year? Probably. Maybe. I hope so.

Boards sold: 68

  • Garlic Dipping Boards: 16
  • Signs: 22
  • Magic Bottle Opener: 1
  • Hearts: 4
  • Pig: 1
  • Cheese Slicers: 2
  • Trivets: 1
  • Cribbage Boards: 2
  • Custom Order: 2
  • Cutting Boards: 4
  • Wine Bottle Coaster: 1
  • Cheese & Cracker Servers: 1
  • Serving Tray: 1
  • Large Serving Piece: 2
  • Bread Saws: 7
  • Small Board: 1
  • Cheese Boards: 1

Flipping A Dipping Board   Leave a comment

I started making Garlic Dipping Boards just a few months ago, and they’re a hit. If you missed the story of the Boards and their Great Garlic Graters, then please follow the link to read about the launch of the GDBs.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

The “A” side, if you will, is perfect for sliced bread, oil, garlic and your favorite spices for dipping.

However, there are times that you need a presentation board … without the Great Garlic Grater.

Got’cha covered. These Boards are made to flip … unlike most of the cutting boards I make, these are made to use on both sides.

The “B” side is perfect for charcuterie, bread, or an appetizer like Velda’s Bruschetta. And, yes, they were delicious. I love photo shoots.

24 new boards just made it to the finish line in time for this weekend’s event, and they’re shown below. I have paired each board with one of the Great Garlic Graters (12 Boards have square Graters, and 12 have hexagonal Graters). But, you get to choose the set that you like when you make your selections. Some people like a matching/complementary Grater, and some people prefer a more, uh, colorful statement in their pairing.

You’re an adult, you get to choose.

If you see one you like, don’t delay: 3 are already spoken for!

More

Velda’s Bruschetta

New: Garlic Dipping Boards

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