I’ve just completed the three-day gig at Urban Fare in Yaletown in Vancouver, and am both dizzy and giddy from the experience. It’s an incredibly busy place, as I believe about 2,000 sample pieces were eaten!
I estimate that I spoke with between two and three hundred people. I had the pleasure of hearing the famous, “This is the best fruitcake I’ve ever eaten” statement from a few. However, each night I would arrive at my friends’ place feeling like a wrung-out dish rag.
I was lucky to be placed at a table with Dan, the really nice wine maker of Therapy Vineyards in Naramata. My fruitcakes were being paired with a sharp English cheddar, and the wine was Therapy Vineyard’s Freudian Sip.
On Friday I had driven from Kelowna to Vancouver, arriving a bit early for the gig, which started at 3:00 PM. I was half-dead from the drive, so walked for a few minutes along the sea wall in Yaletown. As I walked I prayed for the Muse of Yuppie Buying to descend upon me.
As soon as the event started, though, I realized I needn’t have worried. People flocked in eating and buying like Parisians on the eve of Bastille Day. On Saturday there was a huge crowd of people, probably thanks to the buckets of rain pouring down outside.
When I left at 5:00 on Saturday, after starting at noon, I realized that my left knee would no longer bend. I guess I was standing stiff-legged for so long that it forgot it was a joint. Eventually I was able to haul myself out of the store, and scraped what remained of myself into my car.
I met a lovely food vendor at the event who makes beautiful sauces containing tequila and Grand Marnier. Her name is Ann Kirsebom, and she owns Chef Ann Kirsebom’s Gourmet Sauces. I tasted her absolutely fantastic sauces and she tried my fruitcakes, and we generally provided each other with a few laughs throughout the three days.
It’s funny, though, even at Urban Fare, where my fruitcakes retail for $19.99 and a package of cheese the size of a large eraser costs over $5.00, some people still act in the same way as those at the craft fairs do. They arrive with their small kids in tow, and encourage them to just grab and eat whatever they like.
One woman grabbed samples and fed them to her toddler and one-year-old in a stroller. Another customer came up, obviously wanting to sample some for herself. So I said to the nice customer, within earshot of the rude mother, “The one you’re trying right now is soaked in rum, and the ones the children are trying are soaked in brandy.”
The mom then laughed, kind of embarrassed, and mumbled something inane. The public can be tough, but all in all, I can say the three days at Urban Fare will be a huge boon to my business. Now if I can just feeling back into my tortured body everything will be fine.