We all know that the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach, so this week’s Featured Stallholders are the delightful Cocoa Drop, Ginfused and The Herb & Spice Co., who each produce the most beautiful food and drink.
Valentine’s Day is nearly here, so treat yourself and the people you love to something delicious. Find out more about these great stallholders in our Q&A below:
Pedddle: Valentine’s Day is the theme of the week. What Valentine’s products are you promoting?
Cocoa Drop: This Valentine’s Day we are doing a number of products to celebrate, but one of our most exciting products is our exploding Hot Chocolate Heart Bombs. You simply put them in a mug, add hot milk and wait for the marshmallows to burst out!
We’ve also got our Lover’s Pack, which contains mini chocolate hearts, a hot chocolate bomb and a solid chocolate ‘love you’ heart, all for just £10. Plus as a special we’ve teamed up with a couple of local companies to offer a chocolate, flowers and wine deal as well.
Ginfused: Ginfused is a non-alcoholic alternative to gin, so for Valentine’s Day, Ginfused with Rose & Hibiscus is ideal. It’s the second flavour that I developed in the range and is always a firm favourite. It’s an alternative way to gift roses to the special person in your life… especially if they enjoy gin!
The Herb & Spice Co: We believe food is nourishment for the soul. They call the kitchen the heart of the home; the place where we all come together as one, talk to one another and make time for each other. We created our seasonings with the idea of igniting the fire of inspirational cooking and discovery, to make it easier for our customers to make spectacular dishes they can share with friends and family. Our recipe sachets will make a dish that feeds four generous portions, perfect for feeding families!
With this in mind, and as Valentine’s Day approaches, we thought it fitting to promote our Discovery Collection Recipe Kits, which are available as a one-off box or in a monthly subscription box; the gift that keeps giving!
Our tapas kits also offer a fantastic opportunity to get friends together and hold a tapas night, or are great for couples to experiment cooking something new with our easy-to-follow recipe sachets.
Pedddle: In the spirit of love, what do you love most about selling at markets?
Cocoa Drop: For me this has to be interacting with and meeting so many different people. I love the opportunity to talk to customers, passers by and share my love for chocolate. It’s amazing when someone tastes something we make and loves it like we do!
Ginfused: I love the people and the shopping! As a small business owner working from home, it’s easy to become isolated. Getting out to markets is the best way to interact with customers and meet other traders who are in a similar position to you. I’ve picked up so many tips and tricks from other stallholders, and chatting to the customers reminds me why I started making Ginfused in the first place.
The shopping is the other bonus. If I’m not selling at a market, I’ll be visiting one (a bit like Nicki at Pedddle!). If I’m having a good day, I always treat myself to something from another stall – it’s usually more than one thing though, as there’s so much beautiful stuff out there!
The Herb & Spice Co: It goes without saying that it not only gives us that direct interaction with our customers, but it also gives us an opportunity to see what the customers want to see from us. But it’s much more than that; it’s from selling at markets that gives you the drive and ambition to keep creating, trying new things and developing your product.
If you have a great day and sell lots of things, you leave with that sense of achievement that your customers have seen your vision and have loved your products enough to buy them (which is a satisfaction I can’t even begin to describe!). If you haven’t really sold much, it makes you think about what you could have done better and you can build a better picture of what works and what doesn’t.
Being a father and daughter team and being lucky enough to have the support and advice from other family has been paramount to growing our business. We listen to each other’s ideas and advice and create products we feel will suit all ages and cooking abilities, and we love bringing them to markets.
Pedddle: Markets provide a brilliant opportunity to smell or sample products like yours – do you think this is especially beneficial with a foodie type business?
Cocoa Drop: Yes definitely. As a handmade chocolate business it’s key for us to give samples, as people get to fall in love with our truffles before they buy. It allows us to share the story behind the flavour creation and also how we make it, which is all by hand!
It also allows people to try out more unique flavours like our blue cheese and goats cheese truffles which are always a talking point. Once people try, they tend to fall in love with them.
Ginfused: Markets are crucial to my business for sampling. Many people don’t believe that it will taste anything like a G&T, and I love watching people’s faces when they taste Ginfused and can’t believe it’s just a teabag in tonic water! It’s also the best place for me to get feedback on which new flavours people will be interested in.
The Herb & Spice Co: Absolutely! It’s the smells and tastes at a food market that ignite your senses and get those creative juices flowing! We always have a few of our seasonings mixed in mayonnaise or hummus for our customers, so they can taste the different flavours in each blend. We also invite customers to smell the seasonings and talk them through the different flavours so that we can find the best product for them.
Pedddle: What is your best selling product and why do you think this is?
Cocoa Drop: Our best selling products are definitely our handmade truffles. We make a range of traditional and unique flavours, so there is always something for everyone. Once you’ve had high quality truffles that are made fresh and with care, there really is no going back!
Ginfused: I have two bestsellers, and they are very seasonal. In the summer, Elderflower & Mint is really popular – people love the freshness of it and I can’t make it quick enough! At Christmas, Gingle Bells sells out at every market. It’s served warm with cinnamon and cloves, and tastes just like Christmas! The idea of not being able to drink at a BBQ or a party is inconvenient if you’re pregnant or have to drive etc, but having something to drink that still feels special is enticing.
The Herb & Spice Co: Our bestselling seasoning is definitely Sazón, our Spanish-inspired seasoning. It’s a mild seasoning blended with sweet paprika, turmeric, garlic and black pepper. Versatile and full of flavour, it has a beautiful aroma. It can be used in anything from paella to roasted vegetables and our customers can’t get enough of it!
Our recipe sachets, which we introduced last year, are becoming one of our best selling product now, with an ever-changing range of recipes designed to make inspirational cooking accessible & easy for everyone. Perfect if you are stuck in a dinnertime rut!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone – see you at the next market!