After years of baking have been successfully tucked away beneath your apron, chances are good that you have attained an arsenal of recipes bred for success. Perhaps, it is the naughty nature of that bourbon-spiked peach cobbler, or the festive flair tied in with your eggnog-flavored cookies, intricately molded to form a lattice. If you have received a high degree of positive feedback regarding one of more of your decadent delicacies, then it might be time to take your baking one step further—bake sales!
Indeed, bake sales provide an ample opportunity for the world (well, the local community to be more realistic) to sample the tasty treats that until now, only close friends and family have tasted. Baking is generally a rewarding experience all by itself, but wouldn’t an opportunity to monetize your baking be even better? Whether you are pocketing the extra money, or donating it to a charitable cause, bake sales present the perfect opportunity for bakers to debut their success and generate a bit of revenue in the process.
Before you can even begin to plan to sell your baked goods at any venue, you should take a bit of time to truly assess whether you have enough recipes constitute your participation. While you may be known for that iconic lemon-meringue pie, complete with a flaky, vodka-infused crust, and whipped meringue topping that is to-die-for, do you feel as though it will bring you a day’s worth of business at a bake sale? If so, then please accept my respect for being a baking pariah. For most people though, multiple recipes are the key to a healthy amount of bake-sale success. So while you’re chilling your lemon-meringue pie, perhaps you could make that banana bread you have not made in a while.
Bake sales are usually a community affair. Basically, that just means that most of the patrons who flock to the sale will probably have familiar faces since they most likely reside in the surrounding community. If you hope to expand your reach, then expect to do a bit of promotion on your end. Even though, the pie to the right is a mouth-watering sight, it shouldn’t be your only means of marketing. Instead, rather than committing all of your creativity to your baking efforts, devote some to developing somewhat of a marketing scheme. Promotional products such as pens, business cards, flyers, and even t-shirts, are a great way to promote a bake sale. Not to mention, they generally can be found pretty cheap too!
Of course, finding a desire to sell at bake sales is relatively simple; actually finding an open bake sale on the other hand might prove to be a slightly more difficult task. With that being said though, why not just organize a bake sale yourself? In fact, most businesses, organizations, and especially churches, are eager to help (or even host) a bake sale as long as a portion of the proceeds are for a charitable cause. Moreover, while you want your baked goods to stand out, you certainly do not want them to stand alone. Luckily though, most businesses and organizations are more than happy to contribute their own tried-and-true recipes, with some being so generous as to donate tables and chairs to accommodate the culinary confections as well.
When the actual day of the bake sale comes, it is time to let your creative juices flow once more by presenting your dishes in an aesthetically-appealing manner by incorporating elements such as colorful paper, foil, and plastic wrap, accented neatly with ribbons, bows, and other finishing touches. You can even use this opportunity to market your baked goods a little more by “accidentally” leaving your business card in the packaging.
The baked goods themselves are not the only things that benefit from added decorations. Make it a point to arrive at the bake sale an hour or two early so that you can decorate the tables, chairs, and other prominent features of the venue. You’d be amazed at just how far a simple frilled tablecloth can go in boosting appearance. Think of your table as a freshly-baked cake, fresh from the oven. That cake would be plain and boring by itself, so we add a delicate layer of buttercream icing, followed by a smooth layer of fondant to really set it off. In this situation, think of the cake as your table, which is pretty boring all by itself; therefore, it is up to you to doctor it up a bit.
That is really all there is too it! Simple, right? Moreover, the beauty of bake sales are that they offer a productive and fun way to spend an afternoon; even if you end up selling less than what you had originally hoped. That recipe your grandma left you for a chocolate-praline pecan pie that you love so much, might encounter just as much love from other people too. So grab your apron and get cooking!
This post was written by Andrew Brusnahan, who owns QuiteHungry.com. He has been following his passion for baking for quite some time now, creating interesting posts like this one to entertain us all. If you would like to hire Andrew, or simply ask him something, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.