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Merry Berry

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  1. Merry Berry

    Selling at Markets Questions

    Yep, Pastrygirl, I agree with all that. I think I will focus more on things that will hold and sell better. Chocolate during the summer is a tough sell. Like I said, I am going to sell more than just chocolates, so I can come up with plenty more stuff to sell that can withstand the heat. Luckily the market is pretty diverse in stuff that is sold and people that attend it. While there are some farmer market booths, they are actually in the minority compared to everything else that is sold there. And rarely do people in the South find reason to only buy healthy haha. As I said, I know it will be a slog, but the recognition businesses get there is pretty great. I know of several that jump started their business by attending for a year or two. If you do an image search for Chattanooga Market, you will see how large the pavilion is and it stays packed nearly the entire time it is open.
  2. Merry Berry

    Selling at Markets Questions

    Yep, you both make good points, and I tend to agree with you. I am with you that it would make more sense to focus on other products and just get my name out there. Definitely do not want to begin with a bad mark against me. I have witnessed it sink many would be sellers in the beginning of their career.
  3. Merry Berry

    Selling at Markets Questions

    There is an old thread about this sort of topic, but it was last updated around 2013. I can bump it, if preferred as there is some good info in there, but thought times and ideas might have changed since then. Where I live, there is a weekly outdoor Sunday market which attracts huge crowds every weekend. While making money is always a goal, the main thing I want out of this is the exposure. Vendors I have talked with in the past have said it was invaluable in getting their name out there. Unfortunately, I live in the South which means the temperatures can be brutal from April to November which is when the market runs. I am thinking I can devise a system of small, shallow hotel pans filled with ice or gel packs which I then cover with a decorative cloth and place a plate or a tile on top of that with the product for sale sample. As for the product to sell, keeping it in a Cambro transportable container is probably for the best. I guess my questions are: 1. Is this doable for selling chocolate bonbons/truffles especially given the heat here? Anyone with experience of this type of setup? The basic premise is the vendors who have shown up the most in the past get first shot at the prime real estate under the pavilion which provides air flow and shade. Those who are new are oftentimes relegated to booths outside the pavilion under the sun although I will have a tent and tables. I go to a vendor's info session in a couple of weeks to find out more and see if this is still the case. 2. My commercial entity will be selling more than just chocolates such as pastries, confections, cakes, etc. Should I try to push those more as the summer months start to get above 90° F? 3. Does anyone have any experience with this type of selling and have any general advice? I plan on having business cards and a newsletter signup sheet. 4. I am in the process of getting the necessary licensing and inspections so those should be covered before the market starts. Anything else, I might be missing here? I have a million other questions, but do not want to overload this topic all at once. Thanks for any help you might have. ~Sweet MerryBerry
  4. Merry Berry

    I’m a new chocolatier help

    I 2nd this as someone who is getting ready to do something like this. I am trying to be a sponge on everything I can when it comes to online ordering and delivery.
  5. Merry Berry

    Customer requested a Mimosa truffle...

    I used this one a couple of years ago as a filling for bonbons. I cannot remember if I found it on here or not, but if so, sorry for not giving you credit. Obviously the sparking wine can be whichever champagne you wish to use. Mimosas 100g Hvy Cream 50g Glucose or Corn Syrup 50g Sparkling Wine 20g Orange Juice Concentrate 460g White Chocolate in temper 10g Cocoa Butter, melted in temper 1. Bring just a boil first 2 ingredients. Take off heat and add wine and juice. Cool to 105°F 2. Combine Chocolate and cocoa butter 3. Emulsify both mixtures 4. Cool to room temperature and pipe in shells
  6. Merry Berry

    What to fill in a Bon Bon?

    I like to tell my students to think more along the lines of what flavors you CANNOT put in chocolate making. Sky is the limit to be quite honest. Ganache, buttercreams, curds, caramels, mushrooms, liqueurs, fondants, and many, many more. Have fun with it. You cannot go wrong with those books and there are many recipes I have utilized on this site and others. Start simple if you are unfamiliar with the process and go from there.
  7. Merry Berry

    'Ruby' the Fourth Chocolate frontier?

    Little more info here https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-05/chocolate-gets-first-addition-to-color-palette-in-80-years-ruby Looks like they are wanting to break the China market open with it. And get the millennials on board <eye roll>
  8. Merry Berry

    'Ruby' the Fourth Chocolate frontier?

    I am a little skeptical, but I always enjoy trying out new things. So anyone wants to go ahead and ship me some gratis, I will test it for you haha. I wonder where this falls on the GMO scale and how heavily "engineered" it is. Not all GMOs are bad, but it definitely makes me want to conduct more research on it before I start using it.. Anyone with any insight?
  9. Merry Berry

    Drowning in Figs!

    With that much fruit, I would definitely second the paste, compote, or puree. When I have mass quantities of a fruit, I usually make them into a puree that I can freeze and use later for things like pate de fruit, ganache, etc. If you are looking to save them and use later, that is the route I would go. I love seeing the ideas on here. Some great ideas for figs. Wish I had your problem too!! haha
  10. Merry Berry

    About 10X and other powdered sugars

    Are you looking for a GF product or one without any starch? Because just regular 10x is (usually) just the sugar and cornstarch. Are you worried that cornstarch or tapioca might have traces of wheat in it? I do not know of any brands that have wheat gluten in them. I am surprised you could not get a good consistent product from using your thermomix. Those things can pulverize anything to dust haha. Now you have me wanting to try it to see if we can't fine sift it a couple of times halfway through to separate the larger hard to grind crystals.
  11. Oh my!!! And here I thought I was the only one
  12. Merry Berry

    Flavored Caramels

    With regards to the crystallization factor that everyone seems to stress over, I find it is much to ado about nothing...for the most part. I am way too lazy to constantly brush down the sides of the saucepan so I skip that step. Now, what I find to be the most important part to preventing crystallization (at least for me anyway) is to make sure everything is clean and spotless from the very beginning. Pots, tools, sugar does not have any foreign objects hanging out in there, etc. I find if I follow those things, watch the heat, AND do not scrape the sides of the pot, I never have to worry about crystallization. When my students are working with caramel, the number one thing they do to ruin it is not watching their heat and scraping the sides of the pot. You scrape the sides of the pot and reintroduce the sugar stuck there, the caramel in the pot will oftentimes "follow the leader" and start forming crystals. Game over from there. And other times, they do not clean out the pot very well before they start their caramel and the foreign object causes it to crystallize. Of course, it may vary for you all, but something to think about if you are having issues with sugar crystallization. Hope some of this helps.
  13. Merry Berry

    Intricate chocolate molds

    Thoughts on the Micelli molds? Their normal ones I mean.
  14. I think you are being a little hard on yourself about the colors. I do not know what you were going for, but I really like what you have in the picture. After all, it is always nice to take someone's creation and make it your own. I especially like the black specks embedded in the red since they look like the seeds in strawberries. Nice job.
  15. Whew, that is good to hear!!! I would hate to give up my chocolate and coffee combo!!!