Tag Archives: stall

Manning the Stall, the Avengers and the Hillcrest Berry Orchards My Life 12 MAY 2012

Wow, for a change I got to pretty much spend the entirety of last weekend in Chantelle’s company, something which probably hasn’t happened in literally months! :)

After working from home on Friday (official office move was still in progress, meaning I was getting more done from here than what I could achieve over there), the evening was pretty much dominated by me rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in with helping Chantelle finish off all the preparations for the Willowbridge Market the next day.

Saturday kicked off like most market Saturdays, with Chantelle bolting out in the wee early hours of the morning, leaving me to take care of Jess until early afternoon before joining up with the family in Bellville, though this one took a sharp twist as instead of taking Jessie with to visit mommy at her stall as per usual, I dropped her off in the capable hands of Rob and Monty and headed out solo to the market, where I joined up with Cheryl and Chantelle in their stall, muscling my way to the front before donning my gleaming salesman demeanour as I worked the available foot traffic and in the process, managed to net quite a number of sales as well as the incredulous stares from a rather astonished pair of Chantelle and her mom!

After closing up shop following a now rather successful market, next on the weekend stop list was a spot of shopping at Ackermans in Tygervalley in the hopes of finding some replacement pyjamas and long sleeve tops for Jessie, following the accidental permanent disposal of some of her clothes by Rob the previous week.

As it turned out Ackermans once again didn’t let us down, meaning that the next item on the agenda was to drop Jessica off back with her Ouma and Oupa and Chantelle and I prepared to head out to meet up with the posse Evan had managed to round up in order to catch the awesome Avengers movie at Cape Gate.

A quick round of McDonald’s before the start (well, he had the group of 12 assembled an hour before the screening just to be safe!), and after a lengthy queue to grab some popcorn and drinks, it was into the cinema where we proceeded to all marvel at the fantastic Joss Whedon spectacular that is the Avengers movie (in 3D!).

Jaw-droppingly satisfying comic book action film is perhaps the only way I can explain it – truly Avengers cannot be criticised on any level, bringing with it an intensely enjoyable mix of fine actors, awesome visuals, action, humour and a great story. (To be quite frank, I haven’t stopped gushing about the film and it has been a week now!)

Being parents now for the most of us meant no hanging around to chat after the group filed out of the cinema, but it did mean that Chantelle and I got a good night’s sleep in, unexpected and rather pleasing considering that two weeks ago Jessica had made it almost impossible to sleep with whatever was paining her so on the night!

Refreshed, we tackled Sunday morning by getting stuck in to the packing up adventure, before heading out in convoy (Chantelle was driving her Dad’s car, Monty and Cheryl were in the Tucson, Mom and Dad were in their Lexus SUV and I of course was in the Getz), winding our way out into the Cape Winelands region, targeting the interesting sounding Babylonstoren Farm for an afternoon out and about.

Of course, we should have picked up something fishy when GPS revealed a POI named Backsberg/Babylonstoren, as it first lead us to Backsberg wine estate, before allowing us to reach a closed due to over capacity Babylonstoren farm. Not wanting to waste time by sitting around and doing nothing, the Lotter/Montgomery convoy opted to continue the journey out to Pniel, targeting the always fabulous Hillcrest Berry Orchard, where in the end we feasted on some of the most delectable scones, cream and jam you’ll find anywhere in the Cape!

After an enjoyable kuier, it was time to part ways, meaning a trip back to Gordon’s Bay for Chantelle, Jessie and I, which really brings me to the end of this little weekend update post.

Nifty.

Putting on my Sales Cap for Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes My Life | Personal Musings 11 MAY 2012

So Chantelle’s Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes baking business venture has been running for more than a couple of months now, and pleasingly it is going quite well, especially after we discovered the world of food markets through which to sell her produce. (No more wasted effort in printing flyers and trudging from postbox to postbox in the wee hours of the morning in the hopes of drumming up business for this old horse any more!)

Of course, this really is no surprise considering just how HUGELY talented Chantelle is when it comes to food, baking and of course decorating!

Unfortunately we’re not making a huge amount of profit just yet, certainly not enough for her to quit her day job and move into baking full-time (the ultimate goal of this plan), but the profit that we are making is most definitely a very welcome (and desperately needed!) added income stream for the Lotter’s monthly budget.

Like I mentioned above, at the moment our primary sales come through the stall at the Willowbridge Slow Food Market which is held every Saturday at the open air Willowbridge Mall, with trading from 09:00 in the morning to 14:00 in the afternoon.

Because of Chantelle’s shift work at the guest house, she can currently do a market every second weekend, which means that for two weeks of every month, Chantelle is faced with the daunting task of working pretty much 15 hour days for five days of the week, mixing the baking and packaging in with her regular work at the guest house.

So not to beat around the bush here, but quite frankly she needs a helping hand (and because we need the money, we can’t just quit this, and do in fact need to be able to service more markets), meaning that I have decided to don my hitherto untested salesman’s cap, roll up my sleeves and dive in head first to assist my wife in making her baking venture a success!

As it turned out, last weekend was my first taste of Cookies & Cakes life as I squeezed myself into the kitchen on Friday night, working alongside Chantelle in packaging and getting everything ready for Saturday morning’s early departure.

Of course, Chantelle won’t let me behind the oven just yet, but based on how impressed she was with my assistance on the night, I can’t see how she’ll manage to keep me away from the actual baking for too long! ;)

That of course meant that Saturday was my trial by fire, and half-way through the day’s trading, I pitched up in Bellville with Jessica, dropped her off with Monty and Rob for safekeeping, and then proceeded to Willowbridge where I relieved Cheryl and tagged in next to my wife, knocking the socks off both Cheryl and Chantelle as I exhibited my previously repressed natural charm and ability to sell, making an absolute killing at the table in the process!

Needless to say, after doing such a fabulous job and selling a hell of a lot of cake, I got the job, which means that tomorrow if you happen to be hanging around Willowbridge between 09:00 and 14:00, you’ll find yours truly (along with Cheryl), manning the fabulous Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes stall.

And yes. It really is the perfect little gift to pick up for Mother’s Day come Sunday! ;)

Photo Gallery: Willowbridge Mall Slow Food Market (2012-03-24) My Life | Photo Gallery 24 MAR 2012

Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes were again represented by Chantelle and her Mom at the Willowbridge Mall Slow Food Market, and just as before, their stall was a great success, receiving plenty of sales, compliments and business leads along the way! And even better yet, they pretty much sold out on the day too! :)

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A Successful Slow Market Stall My Life 12 MAR 2012

So Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes first ever market appearance was undeniably a roaring success!

And because I ghost write for wifey’s site most of the time, I don’t have the energy to type up a second post about the day, meaning that I’m just going to do a straight up copy and paste job off her site for here. Sorry about that.

So from Chantelle’s perspective:

Having roped my mother Cheryl into manning the stall with me, the Montgomery Clan helped set up the Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes stall in the early morning hours of Saturday 10 March, easily making the set cut-off time, meaning that come 09:00 when the first footsteps dropped, we were all suited up and ready to sell!

We were pleasantly surprised by the foot traffic numbers, with the amount of people streaming past our stall pretty much staying constant throughout the selling period, which basically runs from 09:00 in the morning until 14:00 in the afternoon.

Interesting note. The rules require that you man your stall for this period without exception, meaning that if you make a mistake in guessing your stock numbers beforehand, you’re pretty much stuck there for the day, even if you have sold out by 10:00 in the morning! (As it turned out, we were pretty much spot on with our numbers, a huge relief when you consider that this was our first market experience and that we were going in pretty much blind!)

Each exhibitor received a spot under a fantastic red shade netting, meaning that despite the lovely warm Summer’s day we were experiencing, we were sufficiently protected from the sun and the heat, meaning that melting chocolate didn’t become a headache as we feared it might.

The stall itself came out exactly as what I had hoped for, with a classy feel and a well-stocked look which brought with it a lot of positive feedback from our customers and even the organiser herself! We invested in some beautiful display cases and jars, not to mention decent sized tasters, complemented by a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a home-made blackboard to round everything off.

In terms of what we had on offer, Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes brought to the table the famous Super Moist Dark Chocolate Box Cake (by the piece), Caramel Fudge, Peanut Brittle, Chocolate-dipped Turkish Delight, Chocolate Brownies, Shortbread, and of course our famous Dark Chocolate Truffles!

Professional, but also warm and approachable, we did brisk business, selling far more than what we thought we would and at the end of the day, stepped back, breathed out a big sigh of relief, and then patted ourselves on the back for a job well done!

We even made provision for a luck draw, providing a spot for everyone purchasing treats of R30 or more on our lucky draw list, the prize of which was a Super Moist Chocolate Box Cake, worth R160 and to be delivered on a day of the winner’s choosing! (Lucky Leon ended up being the winner in case you were wondering.)

So definitely a huge success then and certainly a market we will be returning to.

Actually, scratch that. You may as well book the date in your calendar already – if you want to catch Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes in action and come and taste our delicious, decadent treats for yourself, Saturday 24th of March 2012 will be when we make our next appearance at the awesome Willowbridge Slow Market!

Looking forward to seeing you there! ;)

(For more pictures, check out the gallery here)

Photo Gallery: Cookies & Cakes at Willowbridge Slow Market (2012-03-10) My Life | Photo Gallery 10 MAR 2012

Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes first ever market stall, situated at the Willowbridge Slow Market. Needless to say, the day was a roaring success! :)

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