On Sunday 23rd we graced The Quayside Sunday Market with our first appearance, and it's been a long-ass journey to get there!
As you may know if you've been following our blogs and social posts, we had a little downfall in December when a potential collaboration with a local business fell through. Its was really disheartening, especially for me as I've put my heart and soul into getting this thing off the ground for a little under a year now. I'm not particularly educated in business, my mission is to use my skills in the creative arts to better the live's of people in the local community, so the ACTUAL business side of things has been a steep learning curve. It's also required A LOT of seminars, consultations and an incredible team of business advisors to help me figure out where I stand in this completely alien territory. So this first downfall after putting in all the work was certainly a hard hit to take.
But I put on my big girl panties and got back out there. In early 2020, I met with Eli, a wonderfully eccentric and skilled businessman who owns Cafe La Verne in North Shields. This being just one of his many successful businesses, Eli and his team have a wonderful budding coffee business within which he sources coffee beans from all over the world, and hand roasts in small batches to create honestly some of the best blends of coffee I've every tasted.
So when I was presented the opportunity to work with such a quirky brand I jumped at the chance. Like, literally, Super Mario-style. We've been working closely since then on a collaboration that can see Verne Coffee grow across the lovely North East, and work on blends that go hand in hand with the wonderful variety of cakes I've been working on for the Spring Collection. We planned, prepared, we did extensive training during which Eli shared his vast knowledge of artisanal coffee production to ensure all of the products we sell are high quality, low price, and flippin' delicious if I do say so myself.
And once the mad rush of February was almost over, we were on the Quayside Market. The day itself was quite a slow trade day, we were told by some of the regular traders. The weather wasn't brilliant, and my God it was baltic. But it was 100% worth it. Even for a slow day, we did much better than expected, and we learned a lot about trading on a market too.
As of January, all of the cakes The Palette Newcastle makes are 100% Vegan and Nut Free, but some people didn't realise this. We sold out on cakes by the end of the day which was such an amazing feeling! But I wish I'd have made it clearer to my customers that we're producing products that are as inclusive as possible! So we're working on some advertising and marketing strategies this week in preparation for our second run!
We've also been working hard to extend our specialist foods on offer, testing out some weird and wonderful things we hope to sell in our own cafe once we find that elusive perfect premises. This week, we're launching our range of Organic Vegan soups along with the return of our Vegan savoury muffins and beer breads.
We're also working hard behind the scenes with other local small businesses to see what fabulous products we can offer on our little cafe on wheels - so keep an eye out for more products becoming available VERY SOON!
And all of this success just means I'm one step closer to finally opening up our creative arts workshops to this lovely Geordie Community!
Things are really looking up in 2020, and I can't express in words how excited I am at all the possibilities that have arisen in just the first two months of the new year. Let us know what you'd like to see in the comments, or on any of our socials!