|A not so busy Claire|
|Pesto & roasted tomatoes|
They told us that the festival would open at 10:AM. We were organized, set up, plugs plugged in, fire stoked, aprons on and anticipating the crowd with baited breath. Then it was announced that a marathon running past the entrance would delay the opening until 11:00. We waited and then the health inspector showed up. We're good, I thought. Should be a cinch. That's when we discovered the electricity to our booth had shut down. No refrigeration, no hot water at the hand wash station. All the booths at our end of the fair were going to be shut down through no fault of our own. The city of Stockton had filed bankruptcy awhile back and they had only one maintenance engineer on duty who had completed his tasks and left. Now what? Fortunately somebody was able to reach him and get him back and the power turned back on. Phew! The fair opened up and a few people trickled in to look but nobody was buying pizza. What a shocker that was to me and a bit embarrassing as well. I kept telling my staff, "It wasn't like this at the Pear Fair. No, really."
Being new to this, I take the blame for being inexperienced and booking a festival that wasn't particularly pizza friendly. People come to a Soul Food Festival to eat soul food, not pizza. Even if we did have our Cajun pizza advertised everywhere, they came for what they can't get at home. Deep fried fish, shrimp, smoked BBQ etc. but not pizza. We didn't even clear the food costs but we did learn several important lessons. The main one I think is, don't try to compete with a whole class of foods. One item fairs like pears, garlic, asparagus, apples etc. is what people, I think, are looking for in uniquely prepared foods. Not to worry, I got the message and we'll rethink our thinking once more, I think!
|Chris as the fire keeper baking a pie|