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Tips for a successful bake sale

I’ve had a fair amount of success selling my wares at a local craft show. So the first thing I think you should know is….be a good cook! Use time tested recipes that you are comfortable with, this is not the time to try something brand new. And the 2nd thing you should know is your customer. What area do you live in, upscale, down home, country? What kinds of local flavors are popular in your area? Do a little research and learn who your customer is.

Now for some hints and tips from Jill Gosden Pollock. She’s a homemaker and mother of 2 who has chaired some very impressive bake sales at the St Chrysostom’s Day School in downtown Chicago.

1. Price the perishable cakes, ones with whipped cream, reasonably so they sell quickly

2. Loaves sell. Assign bakers to bake 4, 5, even 10 loaves instead of the usual 1 or 2. The reasoning? Once you crank up the oven and have the ingredients out, it’s easy to double or triple a recipe.

3. Stock up on pretty packaging materials, especially clear cellophane paper and cellophane bags with seasonal decorations. Don’t think twice about rewrapping baked goods that are donated

4. Labeling is important. To make sure you have a label large enough to include the name of the food, its ingredients, and any cooking instructions, begin with self-adhesive nametags.

5. What cakes sell best? Coffee cakes fly out the door. Nothing fancy, just comforting, homey things with crumbs and pecans. Plus, any cakes that appeal to kids, the white cake with chocolate frosting and cookie crumbs sell well. Also plan on several whole fancy cakes that mom can cart home and give to a friend or serve at a party. Don’t cut cakes into slices or squares, whole cakes sell better

6. To tote those whole cakes home, make sure you’ve got cake boxes from the local bakery or a mail order catalog

7. Consider stocking gift baskets for people who want to bake a cake at another time. include all the ingredients for the cake, even the pan, and a recipe. or do the same for a cookie recipe, including the cutter.

8. For those folks who want a little something but not a whole cake, offer a selection of smaller items: cupcakes, muffins, cookies, on a pretty platter

9. Sell milk, juice, lemonade, along with your baked goods for sipping as you eat. It sells well and helps the baked good sell

10. Set it all up on a pretty table with a pretty cloth, but don’t get carried away with decorating. The baked goods should speak for themselves and not be a backdrop for your decorations