Last weekend, while driving around a neighborhood looking for homes to rent, my husband and I discovered a phenomenon called the “neighborhood pop up.” A sign stuck in someone’s front yard invited us to come and sip, snack and shop. Since we both enjoy flea markets and rummage sales — the last time we happened on one we found my more than a dozen Doctor Who T-shirts at $1 a piece!. So we took the sign’s invitation and drove to the event.
What we found was a mini fair being held in someone’s front yard. Each booth was run by someone from the neighborhood — usually a woman — and featured goods she made by hand. Many were jewelry and decor, but a couple were food-based businesses.
One Delightful Cookie
First, I have to say, you can’t each just one. These cookies are da bomb! I purchased a box of three and took them home. They didn’t last the night!
One Delightful Cookie is run by a woman named Audrey out of her home kitchen in California Heights, Long Beach. She loves baking cookies and after getting plenty of compliments from a wide variety of folks, she started her home-based business.
She is an example of one expression that kitchen creativity can take. She developed her how unique, signature cookie and is building a business around it. Isn’t that how Mrs. Feilds got her start?
You can find One Delightful Cookie on Instagram.
Sweet Ness Treats
Right next to One Delightful Cookie was Sweet Ness Treats, featuring the best chocolate dipped strawberries I’ve ever tasted. The woman behind these decadent treats said her secret was washing the fruit in alkaline water. Like Audrey, she’s running her food-based business out of her home kitchen.
In addition to chocolate dipped strawberries, she also offers cookie pops, brookies, cupcakes and more.
Home-Based Business Take Away Lessons from this Experience
It was really nice speaking with both these lovely ladies and when I left the Pop Up my mind was abuzz with ideas, possibilities and things I wanted to share with you. Here they are in summary:
1. Neighborhood Pop Ups are a great idea for building your home-based business. The ladies I spoke with there said they were a group of women entrepreneurs who held these events to support each other. If you are an entrepreneur — whether with a food based business or not — couldn’t you network with fellow entrepreneurs in your neighborhood to create such events?
2. Both women I spoke with above liked the idea of me sharing their business in social media, but both jumped out of the picture when I went to take them. I didn’t say anything at the time, but it seemed odd to me. Yes, their food is the center of their businesses, but their warm, enthusiastic personalities also help sell the products. If someone wants to take a picture of your business offerings and share them on their Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or whatever page, get in the picture! Show off your enthusiasm for what you offer. This adds emotional context and personality to your business. This is especially important for soloentrepreneurs.
3. Do you love being creative in the kitchen? Do you live for those times that you can be in the kitchen creating your signature dish? Then maybe you can build a business around that passion. I’m doing it with Carma’s Cookery. These ladies are doing it with their home-based businesses. You can do it too!