Farmers Markets

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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby welsh wizard » Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:02 pm

ok, pulled brisket is totally fantastic, expensive but fantastic. I think I will try this at the Medieval Festival in Nov. Also, I have acquired a whole wild boar and ye gods it is a whopper. most of it will go into burgers and sausages cut 60% / 40% with normal pork. To go with this I am making large quantities of apple sauce with some fresh ginger added. Will let you know how I get on..............
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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby wheels » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:00 pm

I imagine that boar burgers will sell like 'hot-cakes'.

It's good to hear that the brisket is popular, but a pity that it's so expensive. I'd expect to pay around £5 per kilo, particularly if buying whole briskets as a trade customer. It may be worth having a word with your suppliers to see if there's a better deal to be done.

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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby Wunderdave » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:29 pm

Wow brisket is expensive over here too, just about the same price. We get whole packers at the restaurant store or 3.75$ per pound. retail markets are up to double that.
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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby wheels » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:59 pm

Yes but brisket has always been really cheap over here. We've never had the bbq brisket tradition that you have until now. It's not twenty years ago that I was buying rolled brisket at under £1 a pound. Nobody wanted it.

FWIW, brisket from the butcher I use who has his own abattoir killing animals from local farms, is £4.85/kilo retail if you buy 10lb or more. I'd expect it to be more than 10% cheaper than that for trade account customers - hence my suggestion. That's not rare or specific breed animals, but is good meat from small local farmers all the same.

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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby welsh wizard » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:36 am

Unfortunately there is brisket and there is brisket! Cheaper cuts tend to contain more fat. I started off with a cheaper brisket when I was trying things out (£5 a kg) but lost almost 20% in the slow cooking process which then ended up conversely more expensive. The way I worked it in my head was a kg is 2.2lb or 35oz, after cooking I got back c28oz or 5 portions, which then works out at approx £1 a portion, then taking into consideration cooking time etc its nearer £1.20 a portion, put that in a really good quality bun @ 25p each takes the total up to £1.45, then add bbq sauce, serviette, stand and staff costs we are now up to c£2.18 a portion which on the 100% rule means I have to sell it at £4.50 a roll, which I think is expensive. Pork rolls contain stuffing and apple sauce which cheaply "bulks" them out so they look better value for money.............ah well still thinking....

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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby wheels » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:59 am

I can see your predicament - and your costing also comes out the same using the "three times food cost" model.

...and, If you're selling all you can make, then it's not an issue.

Out of interest, how much are the roast pig in a cheap bun, with the worst apple sauce imaginable, boys selling their stuff for? However much it is, it'll still make yours look good value!

Do people at the shows in Ludlow do like here: talk of quality but buy cheap? I've always assumed that the people that visit would be willing to pay for quality?

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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby Wunderdave » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:48 pm

Brisket used to be cheap here as well but there's been a drought in the cow-producing states and some fast food market movers have introduced brisket products nation wide so the demand side is all jacked up.

4.50 GBP per roll is about right in line or less than what I'd expect to pay for a brisket sandwich at a farmer's market around here, prices for beef BBQ here for a decent sized sandwich would be easily $10-$13.

I agree with what Phil is saying - prices at farmers market here are considerably higher than traditional venue, with the implication that the quality is higher (I'm sure not every vendor's quality is).
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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby welsh wizard » Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:39 am

Perceived quality at FM's is always at question. The general public believe that because it is being sold in that arena then it goes without question it is better. It costs more, then it should be better, right! WRONG, so wrong. I have eaten "homemade" food at these markets and it has been rank, not all foods, just some. I have also seen cakes so perfectly produced I am sure they have been bought and re packaged, all of which has an effect on us genuine producers. I see Lidel is showing FM type adverts where they show their produce and when they tell the customers the price they are amazed at how cheap things are. Again not a true reflection on producers who do not have the buying power supermarkets do, marketing budgets or chemicals to enhance shelf life of produce. Some of our USP's are: local, super fresh, very high quality, and you actually talk to the producer, priceless! sorry rant over.

Yes wheels, people talk the quality road and go down the cheaper route a lot. In fact they will eat you out of tasters and then go and buy a mass produced pork pie from the butchers. However, thankfully people are getting educated but it is slow. I started some 8 years ago selling pork pies @ £5 on the general (not farmers) market and pushed hard the fact the pork used was free range, I only used shoulder meat for a 80 / 20 split and they were made with home made pastry etc. At this time you could buy a same size pie from the butcher for £2.15 so it was a hard struggle, but needless to say we survived and now sell lots of them, still at £5 though but pork prices have been extremely stable as has pastry so no need to budge.

Pork rolls here sell for £4 a pop and in all fairness they are good and I know exactly what you mean re yuck apple sauce. Why they don't make it themselves and save a fortune (a 1.5kg bottle of apple sauce is £6 from my wholesaler) I really have no idea.

Anyway, I have made a decision this week to leave the general market after 8 years of trading but I will still do the local produce market. I have just had enough of the same old same old and need a change. Interestingly when I started on the general market there were 4 food producers, these consisted of a fantastic veggie food stand, a fruit and veg stall, cheese stall and me. Now there are over 20 food stalls of various quality, which is brilliant.

Which leads me to another question (well you all knew it would), does anyone out there have any experience of "farm gate" sales and marketing?

cheers WW
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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby yotmon » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:37 am

welsh wizard wrote:Perceived quality at FM's is always at question. The general public believe that because it is being sold in that arena then it goes without question it is better. It costs more, then it should be better, right! WRONG, so wrong. I have eaten "homemade" food at these markets and it has been rank, not all foods, just some. I have also seen cakes so perfectly produced I am sure they have been bought and re packaged, all of which has an effect on us genuine producers.
cheers WW


A couple of years back I attend a 'Continental' market in my home town. One stall was selling 6 x Deluxe game pates in small glass jars for £10.00. It was actually part of Lidl's Deluxe range which they were selling for £3.49 just round the corner ! It's a shame when you get rogues like this jumping on the band wagon of hard working producers like yourself.
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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby welsh wizard » Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:13 pm

it really is pants. It not only hurts the genuine producers but hoodwinks the public. If I ever buy anything from a FM and it looks a little suspect a few simple questions should nail it such as: "what is the use by date" . If you are selling direct you are not required to put info on the product such as what goes into it, or when the use by / best before or consume by date, for example how many pork pies do you see at markets that are unwrapped, no labels and sitting outside the refrigerator? "what preservative do you use" (I use salt, that's it) etc.

Cheers WW
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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby yotmon » Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:54 pm

FYI of British members, Tom Kerridge the west country chef is on BBC2 tonight at 9pm doing a pulled brisket, may be worth watching.
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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby welsh wizard » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:37 pm

just finished drooling...............
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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby welsh wizard » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:14 am

I have kept on keeping on because I really like the idea of pulled spiced beef especially for our run of Christmas / Medieval shows and have found a really good source of brisket @ £4.99 a kg as long as I take 50kg or more, so I am going for it. the kitchen will smell all beefy and unctuous and the gallons of excellent stock and gravy I will get will be fantastic - cant wait. Going to try cooking, freezing then defrosting and reheating to see what effect it has on the beef. If it works out well it would save me a whole load of time. Will let you know how I get on.

Cheers WW (about to be in beefy heaven)
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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby welsh wizard » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:34 pm

Oh god am I into pulled meat! Has anyone heard of pulled turkey? if so are there any recipes out there in sausage land??????????

Cheers WW
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Re: Farmers Markets

Postby lemonD » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:12 pm

Hi WW and all,
I've been out of the UK for a while and having returned I find that gainful employment is a little thin on the ground. I can remember reading this thread when it first started and following WW exploits and at that time I felt more than a little envious, so I've decided to have a go at catering from home, selling hot food at street/farmers markets a couple of days a week and at events during the spring/summer.
The only way I can do this is by using our kitchen at home to produce the food but the kitchen is old and needs replacing so I thought that I would take the opportunity to invite someone from the local EHO to pop in and have a chat before changing the kitchen and before applying for a licence.
WW do you work out of a kitchen solely for catering use? Or is it a catering/domestic use kitchen?

Cheers, LD
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