Well, hello from the other side of the 2018 Roots and Blues festival. I’m happy to report that we survived and did exceptionally well over the course of the three day event.
Let’s break it all down…
Most importantly, we navigated the three days without significant panic or notable mental breakdown. I did have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday afternoon and the nurse noted my elevated heart rate…for which I immediately assured her that if she had hundreds of tarts to bake, she too would need a few moments of deep breathing. And a Xanax.
We were given a TOP NOTCH location at the festival this year…immediately adjacent to the main stage and a beer tent. We also had that location in 2016 and it is my favorite for not only the sales traffic, but for the ability to hear all the music while we are working. Oh, and we were immediately next to a booth that brought tens of fully roasted hogs to carve up and sell, which is anything if not interesting to watch.
Since this was our fourth year to participate, we’ve finally learned a thing or two about what we need for our booth and how to quickly set it up. That doesn’t mean it was any easier, but it was definitely less frustrating than in previous years.
Most importantly, I noticed a significant reduction in the number of trips Jeanne needed to make during the days from PJP to the festival to re-stock our tent. In previous years, she would bring 200 or so tarts and then tear off toward Buttonwood to see what else the baking team had finished before then bringing THAT back to us…and then repeat all afternoon. Both full days limited her to one visit only (mainly to drop off staff) AND had her home by 6 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, which is a win.
And probably what you want to know more than anything…how many did we ACTUALLY make and sell? Well, we had a total sell out by 6:30 pm on Sunday and the reports I received today showed us at just shy of 2,000 tarts and 88 bags of cookies. Daaaaaaannnnnng.
So the real hero of this story is Team PJP, who baked without abandon over the weekend. Even when I texted everyone late on Saturday night and asked for an 8 am Sunday start time…which was probably the last thing they wanted to read.
And let’s not forget Sydney and Katie, who stayed with me the whole time at the booth. Even when it was freezing on Friday night and hot on Saturday and when I left mid-afternoon on Sunday to celebrate my son’s birthday and didn’t have to come back to help.
And my son, who has endured three years of birthdays on Roots and Blues weekend. Next year, his birthday will be on a Monday but NOT on Roots and Blues and that is the gift that keeps on giving, Clark.
All of this positive is not to say that we aren’t tired from three long days, because we are. I feel worn out and it is only MONDAY. And oh, hey, $5 Friday is this week AND we have 2,579 jars due next week. Deep breaths.
Even so, we deem the festival to be a total win for PJP. We meet a lot of new friends, see a lot of old friends, learn to work better as a team with each challenge, and sell a lot of pie. Count us in for 2019 and don’t tell Team PJP, but I’m planning for 2,500 tarts next year…