The Season has Begun

I did my first fruitcake demo of the season on Friday, and after two hours of standing was reminded of why I’m not absolutely wild about these events.  It was in a new gift store called Shop the Valley, inside the lovely setting of Summerhill Winery.  All of the store’s inventory is made in the Okanagan, from art to food.  It was their grand opening as well as the first day of Wine Festival, so very busy.

A nice young woman came in, and the owner asked if she was enjoying the wine-related festivities.  She pointed to her stomach, and said that she was expecting.  One of us asked, “Is it your first?” to which she replied, “No, it’s my seventh.”

Of course the three of us (all moms) working in the store acted thrilled.  As soon as she left, we did the circled index finger around the ear motion, ie, that woman is crazy!! She made the usual delusional statement that after three it just gets to be so easy as the older ones help out.  I felt woozy just thinking about it.

I was happy to have snagged another customer, and once again, it happened as a result of them tasting the product.  I phoned the Kootenay Co-Op in Nelson and asked if I could send a sample, to which they innocently said, “Why not?”  Like a spider building its web, I chuckled merrily to myself as I packaged the two fruitcakes and mailed them off.  I knew what would happen.

I’m currently awaiting a response from the Executive Chef at the Capilano Golf Club in chi chi West Vancouver.  If he thinks the product passes muster, it is added to their roster of gift selections for members to purchase at Christmas.  How very exclusive, non?  We schlubs get to comb The Bay for something for a loved one, but they get to browse giant olives, gourmet crackers and decadent fruitcake (we hope).

I’ll do one dreaded Christmas craft/food event, and that’s the huge trade show held at Prospera Place here in Kelowna.  I feel sick thinking about it, but it’s a great way to get lifelong customers.  I had attended one in Penticton a couple of years ago, but not last year, so received a panicked phone call from a woman who had gone specifically to find me, and I wasn’t there.  I delivered two fruitcakes right to her door, and she was extremely relieved.

There’s a brand new high-end grocery store in Kelowna called Choices which just opened.  I must put on my Jones New York suit and get over there with a sample.  It always throws them a bit, I must say.  However, as I’ve always said, my initials aren’t the same as Martha Stewart’s for nothing.

In the meantime I have four dogs to take care of, as mom and Gerry have left for three weeks of fun in Germany, so Schwartzie is here with us again.  As mom sadly cradled the dog one last time before leaving, with a tear in her eye, I also had one in mine.  I imagined the amount of pee that the dog is going to leave on my area carpets and felt wistful for a day at a trade show just to get away from it all.

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