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Individual Skills For Collective Good


By gatewaycollective, Aug 24 2014 08:49PM

Well it’s been 3 days since our first ‘proper’ market. I would have blogged earlier but it’s taken me this long to thaw out! We obediently arrived in Prescot at 8am (like the letter said we had to). That was our first mistake. No-one else arrived till 9am, we could have had an extra hour in bed! (note to self- next time ignore the letter) We set the stall up, made sure everything was labelled correctly and had a bacon butty. Things were initially looking positive. The market was on the high street so we anticipated a decent footfall and we were placed right next to the Liverpool Cheese Company which surely had to be complimentary. We made about £20 in the first hour, even making a sale while we were still setting up. Then the rain started. Well I can’t even say it was rain, more like ice falling from the sky. It was so cold. The ground instantly became an ice rink. At one point I had to just let a man take his change from my money pot as my hands were too cold to give it to him! Precot is hardly chutney capital of the North West as the best of times but on Saturday no one was interested. We made £32.50 all day – ‘all day’ ended at 1pm as we were too cold to stay till the official end time of 2pm. The highlight of the day was an old mans trousers falling down while he was looking at the pie stall- and then not noticing for 30 seconds. Seriously! Not noticing your trousers are round your ankles for 30 seconds in sub-artic temperatures seems a little extreme to me. He probably wanted to show off his rather large used-to-be-white-but-now-they’re-grey pants to cheer us up. Well it worked. Jan and I laughed for 20 minutes over that. (it was probably hysteria due to cold induced temporary insanity)

Anyway needless to say it wasn’t the triumph hoped for. The good thing was that everyone who tried our products bought but I think we’re gonna need more than £32.50 to change the world! Anyway we will still carry on and have faith that this is the right thing. We’ve got a few different markets to try & the red onion marmalade is selling well. We need to get on with getting a website, Facebook page, twitter feed etc and we need to develop our Gateway Collective crafts lines. But there is only so much you can do when working full-time as well so for now we’ll carry on taking one step at a time whilst giggling about a man whose trousers fell down. :)

By gatewaycollective, Aug 24 2014 08:38PM

Been a troublesome week at chutney empire HQ! We’re booked on to do our first non-Christmas farmers market on Saturday. We had a great idea about going with ‘Gateway Collective Food’ – chutney, pickles, jams, chocolate and fudge. We planned the type of handmade chocolates we would make and bought the things needed to make chocolate lollipops. Then the market organisers said we couldn’t go with chocolate as they have existing providers. “What about fudge?” “No. But we’re really keen on chutneys and jams.”. Hmmmmm that gave me 6 days to make about 50 jars. Not impossible but it would be a challenge, especially as my normal day off in work had been cancelled due to a request to meet with my boss.

So Jan put her craft making stuff down, picked up a pinny & came to help! The chilli jam and beetroot relish worked well but tonight I’ve had a nightmare with my tangy marmalade :( it just won’t set! I’ve re-boiled, added more pectin and then jarred it up hopefully, however I suspect in the morning it will be marmalade goo. To top it all today I found out that we need to be on the market for between 7-8am on Saturday. I will repeat; 7-8am ON A SATURDAY!! Now that’s dedication to the cause!

Anyway Rome wasn’t built in a day, all empire building will experience difficulties and I’ll keep smiling. Time to put it all aside and go watch Match of the Day and enjoy the mighty reds give Wolves a 3-0 hiding. You never know when I wake up tomorrow the marmalade may have miraculously set. If not, anyone for Marmalade goo?