Farmer's Market Fundraiser Ideas?
June 23, 2006 9:35 PM   Subscribe

My non-profit group needs a high profit margin, child and adult friendly food (or not) item to sell at a Farmer's Market by next Saturday. Any suggestions besides popcorn?

We're a Social and Educational Club for Families with kids birth to 5. We'll be doing a craft table and face painting, but we'd like to use this venue as a way to make some cash for our organization. Without getting to complex because we only have one week, what could we sell?
posted by Jada2929 to Grab Bag (25 answers total)
Iced tea and treats
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:35 PM on June 23, 2006

Funnel cakes. Mmm.
Cotton Candy.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:46 PM on June 23, 2006

Rice crispie treats. Everyone loves them, they are the easiest thing in the world to make (no baking required), and they are cheap to make (all you need is a few family-sized boxes of generic rice crispies, some margarine and marshmallows).

If you wanted to get fancy you could add chocolate chips or M&Ms, frosting or some other decoration on the top.

You can sell a big rice crispie sqare, prewrapped, for at least 2 or 3 bucks each, so that once you've sold a couple squares the rest is pure profit.
posted by SassHat at 9:51 PM on June 23, 2006

Freckled lemonade (lemonade with strawberries in it)
Iced tea or herbal tea (decaf?)
posted by acoutu at 9:57 PM on June 23, 2006

Cotton candy? Machines to make it can be found for rent in most areas (your profile doesn't say where you are), and the ingredients are basically sugar and food coloring.

I would advise you, whatever you do, to avoid chocolate if you're in a part of the world that's having summer right now. Few things make more of a mess than mostly-melted candy bars in the hands of small children.
posted by cerebus19 at 10:02 PM on June 23, 2006

Response by poster: Great ideas guys-- thanks, keep them coming. Question: do adults eat cotton candy? Ugh, I could puke just thinking of it, but I might be the minority.
posted by Jada2929 at 10:09 PM on June 23, 2006

Strawberry (or some other fruit) smoothies! You can charge a LOT for those.
posted by visual mechanic at 10:11 PM on June 23, 2006

I second the rice krispie treats. Things like sno-cones and cotton candy require renting a machine, which would eat into the profits.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:14 PM on June 23, 2006

Working food service, I was always told that drinks offer your highest margins. Now, that might only be true in a restaurant setting, but somehow I think it's applicable to your situation, too. How much can it cost to brew up a batch of ice-cold lemonade? Not much, I'll bet, and you can probably make a killing on it.

Pair the lemonade with a low-cost salty snack (in order to generate thirst), and you're well on your way to the big bucks!
posted by jdroth at 10:26 PM on June 23, 2006

Question: do adults eat cotton candy?

Some adults do. I don't, probably for the same reasons you don't, but I've seen people at various carnivals and such eating it who looked to be in their twenties or thirties.

Maybe they eat it out of nostalgia. Or maybe they like feeling like their teeth are coated with goo.

In any case, kids pretty much universally love the stuff (it's basically pure sugar, so this should be no surprise), and a lot of parents will buy it for their kids because they remember having it when they were kids.

Incidentally, a quick Google search came up with a bunch of hits, some of which had prices. They were all roughly around $50-$60 per day for renting a cotton candy machine.
posted by cerebus19 at 10:32 PM on June 23, 2006

Iced tea or coffee for the grownups, iced hot chocolate for the kids. Seriously, all you need is hot cocoa made from the mix, and then blend it with some ice, or pour it over ice. We made it once for a high school craft fair and people went apeshit over it.
posted by SassHat at 10:35 PM on June 23, 2006

Peppermint sticks. Popsicles and ice cream sandwiches (if you have access to a cooler/icebox for that day, or someone who can bring more from a freezer when needed).

Non-food ideas that work if you can buy things in bulk somewhere before next Saturday: cute novelty pens that you can buy by the dozen, foam clown noses (this might work with the face painting too), and if the market goes beyond daylight hours, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, necklaces, etc. Yeah, these are mostly for the kids (though I did buy a foam clown nose for myself for $1).
posted by PY at 10:49 PM on June 23, 2006

posted by PY at 10:52 PM on June 23, 2006

Here in New Zealand (and Autralia, apparently) the standard fundraiser is the "Sausage sizzle"
posted by slightlybewildered at 12:57 AM on June 24, 2006

If your non-profit could solict a local grocery store or maybe a large company to donate bottled water (or the money to buy bottled water), sell it for $1-$3 a bottle and you'll make PURE profit.

I second the rice krispie treat idea above. Maybe said grocery store would also donate the Rice Krispies (or their store brand equivalent). Promise them some free "thank-you" advertising in return. Get the kids to help decorate the treats. Put them on a stick! Nothing says "festival" like food on a stick.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:41 AM on June 24, 2006

My wife had the idea for our church sell (or even give away fresh fruit) at the county fair, after she realized there was nothing there that last year that wasn't fried when she was trying to feed our toddler. Anyone who had healthy food would have had a corner on the market.
posted by 4ster at 7:37 AM on June 24, 2006

Celery sticks, carrot sticks, and cucumber slices. Maybe this is more trouble than you were thinking of taking, since you all would have to cut them up and package them yourself, but I bet they'd be very, very popular.
posted by amtho at 8:30 AM on June 24, 2006

Be sure and check about any food service regs that might be in effect at the market, especially if the food you are serving is prepared by you. Probably packaged items like the bottled water would be okay, but you should check!
posted by anitar at 8:57 AM on June 24, 2006

Some pretty standard non-food fundraising items seem to be T-shirts, tote bags and baseball caps printed with your group's logo. Maybe there isn't enough time to get these things made for this week's market, but once they're made they don't spoil so you can keep hauling out your stock for other events. The unprinted items (called "blanks") are quite cheap and screenprinting isn't too bad, especially if you're doing a large run.

Check your local yellow pages for screen printing services and see what they can do for you. They will probably provide the blanks as well.
posted by Quietgal at 4:35 PM on June 24, 2006

Stick half a peppermint stick in half a lemon. Sell it for $2.
posted by Airhen at 6:24 PM on June 24, 2006

Stick half a peppermint stick in half a lemon. Sell it for $2.

Okay, this has been up for a day-and-a-half now and nobody has elaborated. Allow me to say: what the hell? Is this for real? What do you call it? Is it good?
posted by jdroth at 12:54 PM on June 25, 2006

Yes it's real, I promise. It's called a lemon stick and was supposedly invented in Baltimore for Flower Mart 90 years ago. It's good, if you like lemons (or even lemonade). It's that sweet/sour combination. (And, yeah, they really cost $2 at Flower Mart.)
posted by Airhen at 4:38 PM on June 25, 2006

Response by poster:

I still don't get it though? How the heck are you supposed to eat it?
posted by Jada2929 at 7:27 AM on June 26, 2006

Response by poster: Ok, here is the explaination--
posted by Jada2929 at 7:29 AM on June 26, 2006

You have to get special lemon sticks I think
posted by lannanh at 10:00 PM on June 26, 2006

« Older Is my great aunt hinting that she wants me to call...   |   Best cell phone / provider for data? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.