Market Success Stories: Utz

Did you know that Utz is the largest privately owned snack company in America? Yes, the company selling cheese balls by the barrel is held in independent hands, and is determined to stay that way. Utz is a classic, all-American success story that continues to this day. And it all started in a small home, in Hannover, Pennsylvania.

Utz started in 1921 as the “Hanover Home Brand Potato Chips” with nothing more than a $300 investment and some hard work. Each batch of potatoes chips was cooked by hand by Salie Utz. Salie could only produce about 50 pounds of chips per hour, using hand operated equipment. Her husband William would then take those chips, and sell them locally at farmers markets and “mom and pop shops” in the Hanover/Baltimore area.

Utz girl next to the company name.

Word of mouth helped them expand, and just a few years later in 1930, they built the first section of the first Utz plant, an extension on the rear of their home. By 1938, a new plant was built on the very same spot with professional equipment, churning out 300 lbs per hour of their widely popular chips.

1948 held a post-war boom that allowed them to build a new production facility, on 10 acres of land. They never looked back and have been growing ever since. To this day, it is still a privately owned company, currently in the hands of Michael Rice, the grandson of Salie and William Utz.

Utz is popular nationwide, and manufactures1,000,000 lbs of chips and 900,000 lbs of pretzels, each and every week.  It employs over 2,500 people across the country. Even renown businessman Warren Buffet is a fan, but unlike See’s Candies and Dairy Queen, Utz is assuredly not for sale.

Utz is another great example of how hard work and perseverance can pay off. $300 dollars, a home kitchen, and local markets took this couple from obscurity, to the founders of a multi-million dollar operation.

Check out past market success stories! Like Pipcorn and Vegetabowls!

BoothBooks creates best-in-class market management software. Easily handleing payments, vendor registration, layouts, reporting, and more. To find out more visit our website, or check us out on social media.

Market Success Stories: Vegetabowls

In past Market Success Stories, we’ve looked at well known figures like Pipcorn which reached national fame on Shark Tank. This time we will look a less well known artist, Melanie Mckenney. The creator of Vegetabowls.

Vegetabowls are gorgeous handmade bowls and plates that resemble fruits and veggies. What is now a full time business for her and her husband, started with simple trips to the farmers market.

She got the idea originally while teaching pottery in Boston when she used a cantaloupe to demo plaster mold making and slip casting. She then glazed it like a cantaloupe and when her husband saw it, he told her she should sell them, and call it Vegetabowls!

She soon sought out the best place to discover new fruits and vegetables to cast and found that location at the farmers market. In an interview with Etsy, Melanie described visiting the market. “It’s my favorite place to be inspired and get my creative gears going.” She goes on to talk about meeting all the local producers. “Being able to connect with the person who made a fruit or vegetable, and then taking it home and making something new from it—it just extends the creative process.”

Eventually, the market would also become where she would start selling her handmade creations – and the response was phenomenal. The support and customers from the market would allow her to start working on Vegetabowls full time, and eventually, her husband left grad school to put his time and effort into the business as well.

Now located in Buffalo, New York, Justin and Melanie operate a 2,000 square foot facility. Half of which is used for production and order fulfillment of their online store, the other half acting as a storefront for locals to come and create their own pottery.

In case you were wondering, the best selling piece, it’s a tie. Between the cantaloupe and watermelon. You can learn more about Vegetabowls and their business over at their online storefront.

Be sure to keep coming back for more market success stories, and if you have one of your own, be sure to share it below in the comments.

BoothBooks creates best-in-class market management software. Easily handleing payments, vendor registration, layouts, reporting, and more. To find out more visit our website, or check us out on social media.

BoothBooks Vendor Tip #25: Payment Methods

There is no denying that now more than ever, technology guides the way we do things. In our world, we rely on it to get us through our daily life. For many of us, we have transitioned away from the almighty dollar and gone to the (hopefully) mightier debit card. Even something as simple as our morning bagel is now a technological experience. As vendors, it is important to stay up to date on the easiest ways to buy, and while it may seem like cash is the simplest way to go, you could be putting your business at risk by clinging to that cash register.

Thankfully, there are solutions, and as the technology grows, those options are easier to obtain. Debit and credit cards have changed the way we pay, but companies like Square and PayPal allow you to stay ahead of that change, by allowing vendors with a smartphone to accept payments via mobile card readers. This keeps your business from missing out on those last-minute sales when everyone has emptied their cash reserves after a long market weekend.

Even without cards, there are other purchasing options available to customers. Apple Pay is a great new way to allow businesses to accept a payment from an attached bank account. Customers can sync their Apple Watch or iPhone with their accounts, making purchasing even simpler. But what about our non- Apple customers? Programs like Venmo and CashApp let you send money directly between phones, and it is simple as a retailer to accept payments from customers, at no cost to you.

Although there are many non-cash options, we can’t forget about our green friends. After all, cash is king, and it feels good to walk away from a busy market with spendable profit. However, we must keep in mind that carrying large amounts of money can be risky, so it’s good to practice caution. Never keep more than $20 bills in your register, and try to only keep what you need to make change. Also, it’s recommended that vendors keep a sturdy safe or lockbox, preferably out of site, like in a camper or car, with the doors locked. No one wants to walk away from a day of sales with less than what they started with, so be vigilant.

No matter how customers choose to pay, it’s up to vendors to stay ahead of the ever-growing technology. Utilizing the resources that are available, retailers can keep up to date on mobile card readers, payment apps, and even Google for those newest fire-proof lock boxes.

Be sure to check back regularly for more great market tips!

BoothBooks creates best-in-class market management software. Easily handling payment history, vendor registration, layouts, reporting, and more. To find out more visit our website, or check us out on social media.

How to Get Noticed Selling at Farmers Markets

When the average shopper wanders around the farmers market, it would be harder not to find someone selling tomatoes. The same could be said for carrots, lettuce, and other ubiquitous foods. Some vendors may corner the market on specialty produce like kiwano, but most vendors out there simply don’t have the means to stock them. So if everyone has the same produce, how do you convince shoppers to choose you, over your competition?

The answer? Sparklers!!

Ok. So maybe not sparklers. But the premise is the same. You need something to draw the attention of your potential customers. Whether that is by sight, sound, or smell.

Lauren Arcuri provides a great starting point for some specialty value-added products that you can grow on a small farm. This is a great way to stand out from the rest. Stuff can easily catch a consumers eye when it is different than all the others. If you’ve got 6 others selling potatoes, why not try selling fingerling potatoes instead? They are tiny, adorable, and delicious! People may be unfamiliar with them, drawing them in for a closer look.

Samples are also a smart way to entice people. They find out first hand how juicy those tomatoes are or how sweet that local honey is. Its hard to pass up! What’s more, it’s a lot harder to walk over to your competitor and buy the same product when they just tasted it from your stand!

One reason someone may not pick up some of your fresh fruits and veg is they don’t exactly know what they can do with it. “Why do I need this giant thing of ginger?? What could I even cook with that?” Source some great recipes, or come up with your own that allow people to be inspired!

If they see something that looks great, and you can give them a recipe on how to make it, why wouldn’t they buy from you? Even better, allow them to taste it! You could bake a fantastic sugar-free banana bread with that honey. Or mini cupcakes with strawberry rhubarb icing liberally applied to the top. These can be easily prepped ahead of time, and combined with recipes, are quite hard to pass up.

Alternatively, why prep things ahead of time? You can do live cooking demos at your stand. Either yourself, or have a chef join you for the day. Sauté up some fresh asparagus that will allow people to smell from a block away! That combined with the sizzling of the fry pan, and the visual of tossing them in the air are clear ways to draw in a crowd. Hopefully, when they walk away from your booth, they walk away with a recipe, and a handful of asparagus in tow.

All of these can clearly differentiate you from your fellow vendors. Allowing people to get the full experience of what you’re offering and giving yourself a solid competitive advantage.
If all else fails, pick up some sparklers!

BoothBooks creates best-in-class market management software. Easily handleing payments, vendor registration, layouts, reporting, and more. To find out more visit our website, or check us out on social media.

6 Reasons to Visit Your Local Flea Market

You most likely don’t need another reason to visit your local flea market. There’s a whole host of them. We found 6 great reasons of why you should spend each weekend scouring the local swap meet for unique finds.

Community/local

Supporting your local community is one of those feel-good things anyone can do. Spending some time at markets is a great way to fulfill your sense of community, while still looking for great bargains.

Most vendors are your fellow townsfolk. Buying produce or odds and ends from them is going to help them out, as well as supporting the market as a whole.

Deals Galore

Like haggling? You will surely get your fill at the market! Vendors are almost always ready to barter on their wares. Score discounts for quantity, quality, or competing offers. With so much variability in the market, its easier than ever to score some quality discounts.

The Freshest Produce

As Chloe Biggs from Insider Monkey points out, flea markets are a great place to stock up on produce. If you’re interested in the freshest fruits and veggies, grocery stores or specialty stores can cost a pretty penny. Since a lot of vendors happen to grow their own, they are able to offer it at prices below what you’d find at your traditional retailer. Plus, its going to taste so much better!

Rare Finds

Shows like Pawn Stars and Storage Wars have given people the itch to go out and strike gold at pawn shops, garage sales, and storage lockers. Flea markets are a great place to score for rare finds too! Vanessa over at Mint Life put together a handy guide on how to be the ultimate “garage sale millionaire” so check it out to get started!

Meet New Friends

Some people hang out at bars. Others at the local park. Why not the flea market? Its got everything you need. Regulars, who come back week after week. Great food. And always the chance to find some great deals.

Come back to your local market a few times in a row and you could meet some great new friends that makes going to the flea market a much more social event.

Family Time

Markets are a great place to hang out as a family. Compared to tradition options like a movie or theme park, swap meets are super affordable, and have lots to explore. There will be new inventory available each and every week. Its also full of lessons like how to barter and the value of money.

Whatever your reason is, there is no bad one to pay a visit to your local flea market. Go explore, spend some time with your family, and discover the next lost work of great art.

BoothBooks creates best-in-class market management software. Easily handleing payments, vendor registration, layouts, reporting, and more. To find out more visit our website, or check us out on social media.

Market Tip #214: Vendor Loyalty

No matter what their specialty may be, markets are an amazing place. The open venues, the community feel, and the mystery of what may be on those tables can always be counted on to keep customers coming back. But is that the only thing that matters? In the market business, so often we look only at foot traffic in and out of our booths to measure success, when we should also be focusing on another one of our greatest assets—our vendors.

Vendors are truly what makes a market work, and the variety of products they bring is only a small part of it. The craftsmanship and pride that many take when hawking their wares can draw people in from all over the state, especially if they are known by shoppers for their quality. This kind of rapport and familiarity brings in more shoppers than may be apparent, which brings up the question—how do we keep our vendors coming back?

Vendors come (and keep coming back) to those markets which are memorable for treating them well and give them a chance to succeed. Making the markets successful for them is only half the battle—you’ve got to make it fun. Your vendors can join in on events if you include them, and you could even offer discounts for the off season to encourage year- round profits. A membership card at your market for vendors which included showers, RV hook-ups, and other possible amenities can keep your retailers pampered. Often, the competition of markets forces us to forget that vendors can be family that keeps coming back, and with them, their loyal clientele. Something as simple as a loyalty card for returning vendors can help create that extra push for your last available booth, and make retailers look forward to coming back.

Markets thrive when vendors are happy, and BoothBooks can help. With such a variety of people bringing their products in, it can be difficult to make sure everyone has the same opportunity to thrive. By giving vendors an efficient and user-friendly resource to book their booths and see the amenities, pay their rent, and get a feel for the venue, it helps build trust in your market and lets them participate more in the process.

The next time you’re wondering what you can do to make your vendors more excited to reserve a booth at your market, think about what you love about it. Do you have great events that keep things from getting bland? Is your market community open and friendly? Do you have brag worthy amenities for the vendors that keep coming back? Share these things with your retailers, and they will not only love your market, but will be loyal for years to come.

Be sure to check back regularly for more great market tips!

BoothBooks creates best-in-class market management software. Easily handleing payment history, vendor registration, layouts, reporting, and more. To find out more visit our website, or check us out on social media.

Market Tip #98: Use Special Events to Increase Visitors

Whether its because you’ve hit that off-season slump, or you’ve lost your “new market” appeal, seeing your customer numbers slip is the last thing you want. In a world where people judge businesses off of word of mouth and Yelp reviews, we need to keep our customers coming back.  Whatever the case, you need something to boost those numbers, and spicing up your market with different events can be a great technique.

Events are  a great way to draw people in. They can be anything, and are super easy to promote. These events keep your market from turning into a forgettable venue, and can be as simple as bringing in local food trucks, or as extravagant as a themed market weekend.

While these events can mean large crowds and big bucks for your market and booths, it also helps create a community experience. Bringing in local bands can be a great way to show your support for not only them, but for your city and local arts as well. Something as simple as asking the local high school marching band to come play at your market will foster a sense of community and grow your clientele.

Why not have a local produce weekend dedicated to the family farms that people pass on their way to work everyday? You can help create a sense of unity in your market, and keep people coming back for the quality products they’ve grown to love.

Any event will give you something to differentiate yourself from any other markets near by.  People will take note and stop in to support your market, and that added traffic will mean happy vendors. They will experience larger crowds, and higher sales.   

As your market grows and sees more foot traffic, your vendors will be more willing to pay a more competitive rate, increasing your overall profits. By using  market management software like BoothBooks, it’s simple to adjust booth rates based on your events, and to give vendors a more efficient way to work with you. That means vendors earn more, and you still see increased revenue as your market thrives.

The next time you think that your market is not meeting its full potential, think again. You may just need that little extra boost, and BoothBooks is here to help.

Be sure to check back regularly for more great market tips!

BoothBooks creates best-in-class market management software. Easily handleing payment history, vendor registration, layouts, reporting, and more. To find out more visit our website, or check us out on social media.