August 26, 2011

Entrepreneur Spotlight – Cowgirl Crepes

In the heart of Washington State, fresh produce is the norm.   This part of the country is known for their apples, cherries, and other fruit trees which extend for miles in every direction as far as the eyes can see.   It’s now also a part of the country that may be known for its crepes.   Over the summer, Erin Weber, a full-time employee with a major corporation, started a part-time food business selling crepes at her local farmers’ market.   As someone brand new to the food world, I asked Erin about her experiences thus far:

1. Why did you decide to start a farmers’ market food business?
I love to cook and feed people and have long had a pipe dream of owning my own little bistro/diner. I’ve also had a pipe dream of being a jazz singer ala Diana Krall… Starting a Farmer’s Market food stand seemed like a fairly easy and low cost way to scratch my itch of getting into the food biz and keep my day job. Our local Farmer’s Market is great for produce and crafts but there was a definite lack of food available for immediate consumption.

2. Why crepes?
Crepes appeal to almost everyone, satisfying both sweet and savory tastes. They’re are quick and easy to make to order and are fun to watch being made. The start up costs were fairly reasonable.

3. What did you do to prepare for your first day at the market?
We invested in a commercial crepe maker, obtained a business license, food handlers permits and Health Department permit and contacted the Farmer’s Market manager. We practiced making lots of crepes at home for friends and family. We also had to secure the use of a commercial kitchen to do our prep work and did a lot of shopping for food, food storage and utensils.

4. Did anything surprise you about your first experience at the market?
We were busy! And people were fascinated with the making of the crepes. We didn’t really know what to expect so we couldn’t be surprised by too much with the exception of how much we sold.

5. What was your favorite part of the day?
Counting the money!  It’s been very consistent for the Saturdays we’ve been at the market and we already have repeat customers.

6. What’s up next for Cowgirl Crepes?
We want to partner with a local jam maker to use her products in the crepe and with some other vendors for fruit and herbs. We’d also like to pair up with some local wineries to do special events for their wine club members.