I was lucky to be able to take Christmas off and I was really able to relax because I felt I had achieved something and the pipeline for Cracked was looking healthy.
I’m getting ready to start breakfasts in Bread & Bones so there’s a lot to organise. There are a good few offices around there and the footfall is really strong so I was hoping to target people either on their way to work or people willing to pop out for a healthy breakfast.
It’s nothing I hadn’t done before but this venture has had both great and bad affects on my confidence. A new location brings the unknown and I guess I was just getting used to my system at the Christmas market. I know I’m hard on myself because I want to get every detail right but it’s hard to do everything so you have to try not to sweat the small stuff. Consulting my checklist every single day is crucial not to forget anything!
I’ve also been working on getting into the all day markets. Preferably either Dun Laoghaire or Marley Park markets but also back ups like the honest to goodness in Glasnevin, Blackrock market and Bushy Park. Glasnevin would mean trading outside at an indoor market, Blackrock has promised me the first one applicable (although 6 months on I never heard a word and they’re supposedly desperate to improve the market!) and bushy park are slow to respond. Marley Park said they weren’t accepting any more hot food vendors for a few months and she was pretty adamant about it. I managed to get one of the guys who runs Dun Laoghaire to come down to the Cracked stall at the Christmas market and he seemed to like it but there is still an attitude that I don’t understand. There is concern I am in competition with the crepe guy because we both have a smoked salmon recipe and with the hot dog guy because I’m selling an omelette with sausages!!! I’ve been stalking those guys for months and I just don’t get much out of them on the phone. I get that lots of people want to get in there but I’m doing something that’s completely different, fits with the health trend and something people want! I’ve also developed a professional brand and yet they can’t seem to see the value. People doing average food with poor brands have been there for years, why would you not want to get interesting new businesses in there.
I’m all set for Bread & Bones with my menus, loyalty cards, posters, online launch campaign, branding paraphernalia etc. I’ve been down a couple of times to see how the set up will work best and test the cookers etc so now all I can do is get going.
It started well and the feedback was good. There were a few busy days but mostly it ticked over and there weren’t enough of my target market around there to get a significant portion through the door. Naturally people came in looking for Bread & Bones food too. I feel like this quirky type of idea of two different businesses operating out of the same space would fly in London. Pop-ups and things of this nature are at the fore front there but I’m not sure Dublin is ready for it or will ever be. I got some press from it which was great – Lovin Dublin came down to sample the goods and wrote a great article which really got people talking. I also learnt a huge amount running Cracked from a permanent premises and had lots of chats with the Bread & Bones guys which gave me a real insight into what’s involved in running a food business.