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to have food or not that is the question

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  • to have food or not that is the question

    Ok now Christmas is over with my thoughts are turning to our alpaca farm open day which we hold in September, last years was a fantastic sucess and I want to build on it, but I'm in a dilema do I have food or not? Last year I didnt, and I encouraged people to bring picnics, although I did have some comments that they would have like to be able to buy food here. I think the smell of burgers and chips lingering around all day just puts me off. Any ideas people

  • #2
    Depending on the size of your event, you could always charge a catering company to have a stall.

    Doesn't have to be burgers - there are loads of different caterers out there that do such events and get charged anything up to thousands for a pitch, as do ice cream vans

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    • #3
      Why not invite local produce stalls or people who make cupcakes, that sort of thing, usually stall holders who make there own sausages etc usually cook them up for sampling...then your customers can make their own picnic from the stall holders! Do you get a large footfall for your event? You could also contact a local outside catering company to have a stand, that way they can promote their business and keep your customers happy as well! (I also organise craft fairs here so am bouncing about ideas for my own benefit too!!)
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      • #4
        I'm not sure burgers and chips would be a good idea or would match with the 'organic' idea of the alpacas. I would suggest something along the lines of cream teas. Scones, shortbread or fruit buns with jam and cream. Maybe some tray bake cakes, they are really quick and easy, just make a large square, add icing and cut up. Crockery doesn't have to match in fact it sometimes looks better if it doesn't - get along to your local charity shops, they often sell lovely old fashioned flowery cups and plates cheaply.



        • #5
          Open air catering doesn't have to be burgers and chips! How about a hog roast company? Recently we've seen stalls with huge pans of paella etc (levanter fine foods up around Lancashire/Manchester do them, and i'm sure I've seen around as well), or more ethnic type stuff - indian, jamaican, chinese....


          • #6
            How about cooking a spare alpaca? I've eaten and enjoyed camel - both old and stewed, and Sudanese baby camel - when I lived in the Middle East. Camel-sized t-bone steaks are huge! I imagine alpaca would taste and have a texture somewhere between camel (because of its genus) and lamb or goat (because of its diet and environment)... yum!

            Seriously, though, I bet there are lots of good independent caterers, bakers, butchers and so in in your area who would jump at the opportunity to have a stall. Even if you only have teas.coffees/cold drinks available, it would be an advantage.

            For many people, being able to get a drink and a snack is all part of the pleasure of visiting anywhere - much better than having to take your own, unless you're a family on a budget.
            Last edited by eena; 09-01-2013, 12:12 PM.


            • #7
              Hi how about a jacket potato stand alot healthier than burger and chips x hth


              • #8
                Thanks for all your ideas, this will be only our 2nd openday so not sure of numbers although last year was well attended and we and all the crafters who attended seemed to do very well, we will definately do tea and cakes and I think a couple of visits to the farmers markets in Lyndhurst and Romsey are in order and hopefully a New Forest icecream stall - now just to set a date and try and avoid clashing with too many other events


                • #9
                  I would vote for vegetarian items, and no deep frying - that's definitely a lingering fragrance....

                  At first I thought you meant you were going to provide food, but I see now you are talking about food booths. Based on personal experiences, I vote against cotton candy, popcorn, ice cream and shave-ice. They result in sticky fingers that strike fear in the hearts of most hand crafters. They also attract bees and wasps.

                  IMHO, ready-to-eat food booths can lend a carnival like feel to an otherwise lovely day out at a lovely market. But food booths selling fresh breads and jams, preserved veggies, pickles, packages of fresh cheeses, home made wines, hand made candies, etc., all lend a wonderful ambiance.

                  Maybe for the ready-to-eat foods, you could have it all in a separate area...maybe a marquee...and somehow make it understood it all stays there - lots of trash cans available...maybe even signs as you approach the hand made booths - "no food or drink beyond this point." That's somewhat uninviting, I suppose, but you could probably figure out a way to make it perfectly friendly and acceptable to all.

                  Anyway ... just some thoughts for you to mull over! I really like the image of people bringing picnics!


                  • #10
                    Vintage tea tent, this is so popular now and at a set price for tea think would go down well. Being held on a farm would hark back to the past more than the present. The smell of frying just makes me heave and can linger on in your clothes if onions are being fried, sorry not my thing at all. Plus visitors love to eat and drink and they have the option to picnic or not, or you may get a caterer that sells lunch boxes made of fresh local ingredients.
                    Last edited by Caroleecrafts; 10-01-2013, 06:15 AM.


                    • #11
                      Hi, you've had so many suggestions it hard to add anything else other than if we we're visiting we'd love to visit a Tea tent and maybe have Scones. We love Goat's cheese & Salad Toasties too.
                      Mouth watering now, so off to make the toast.
                      James x