What is the name of your shop and how did you come with the name?
The name of my shop is Janemariefoods. The name was derived from the pen name I used for the Cuban cookbook my 85 year old mother and I wrote a few years ago. http://www.lulu.com/product/
This link will take you to the hardcover which is expensive due to ‘print on demand’; paperback copies are a little more reasonably priced.
To promote the book I built a web page www.janemarie.snappages.com , then I began to sell breads made from the fruits and vegetables sold at the corner farmers market (Cedar Creek Produce)
and the tags read ‘janemarie loaves’. One of my stepdaughter’s told me about Etsy and….I realized I had my own little ‘janemariefoods’ thing going on. Realization is a strange feeling. Good and scarey!
What is your product line?
My total product line is very diverse, but on Etsy I keep it to loaves, muffins and a pecan pie.
How did you decide what items to put in your shop?
Initially I decided to showcase my shop with the same products I sell at Cedar Creek Produce. Live and learn that some products do not sell the same online as they do at the farm stand. Then there’s the shipping; whoa, that still has me in a whirl. The shipping for one loaf costs more than the purchase price for a single loaf. Since the loaves and muffins have a long freezer shelf life, I try to encourage customers to order in quantity and freeze for future use.
What challenges did you encounter when you opened your shop and how did you over come them.
The challenges were many when I started janemariefoods on Etsy. I was extremely lucky to find a shop owner, www.pomegranite80.etsy.com. This lady turned into my mentor and helped me in every facet on Etsy. I found that some people wanted things for free, there are those that request a special item which they never pick up. I became very cautious and it has paid off with a small, but top of the line customer base.
Then there are the issues with shipping…..
Because of the bumps that were padded by the help of pomegranite80; I will do my best to help any new shop owner get started.
What advice would you give to someone trying to get started?
Be patient and do what you can to the very best of your ability, keeping it pleasurable for yourself and all those around you.
If someone reaches out to help you, let them and if someone reaches out for your help, help them.
What would you say makes you passionate about what you do?
I am the happiest when creating in my kitchen, even more when I know I am creating for someone who is going to enjoy my creation.
Do you feel the social networking is helpful in making your business a success?
Of course, but social networking is not my forte, so I am very grateful that somehow the interviewer of this questionnaire fell into my shop! Thank you Lynda, www.abundanceyeah.etsy.com. May your shop thrive!
As mentioned above selling my loaves at Cedar Creek Produce has been successful. Also I have a friend who is a crafting queen and between her and I we started baking cakes for special occasions. This is a picture of a cake we created as a caricature of my girlfriend’s yard for her 60th birthday.
Everything on this cake is edible!
There have been football cakes, race track cakes, but the latest, greatest and funniest is the Burrito Cake. Again everything is eatable!
Where does your inspiration come from?
Anything, everything and everywhere! My latest creation the ‘Strawberry Colada’ loaf comes from the drink!
How long have you been baking, who taught you and what was the first thing you baked?
My first memories of cooking and baking come from watching a cousin who lives in Louisiana; it was mesmerizing watching her in the kitchen. I was very young and had to go to bed early, but she would stay up all night cooking and baking. The smells I would wake up to and the tastes are still ingrained in my mind and sometimes I think I try to replicate those.
The first time I remember actually baking was when I was a teenager and my mother would make chocolate chip cookies. She only put one chocolate chip in each cookie. One day while she was gone, I pulled out the packages of chocolate chips, followed the recipe and dumped 2 packages of the chips in the batter. I still overdo it when it comes to chocolate. My motto is if you’re going to be decadent, really be decadent; like these double chocolate chunk cookies.
If you had to pick a favorite from your shop, what would it be and why?
My favorite is usually whatever my latest creation is, right now my fleeting love is the Strawberry Colada Loaf; but that’ll change tomorrow.
What is janemariefood’s bestseller?
Probably the sampler packs. They started out as packs I put together for people to sample the loaves. They have turned into party foods, gifts and some people just like to keep them in the freezer in case guests pops in!
Do you have special names for your edibles and how did you come up with them?
I try to name my loaves so that they describe the actual product. It just makes it easier when people are browsing.
I think most of my products are unique since the recipes have evolved through years of trial and error.
What does it take to get your edibles delivered freshly?
Shipping is my worst nightmare. I only ship Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday otherwise, you get an extra sitting in an unknown place day!
Baking also involves cooling, packaging warm loaves results in the ‘m’ word, a baker’s worst nightmare. I bake the night before shipping, let them cool under a fan overnight, get the boxes, packaging and labels ready, in the morning I finish packaging and wait for the mail carrier to pick them up.
Then I sit and worry for 3 days.
What has been the overall reception your shop?
I think I have been very lucky, my customers are all wonderful, patient, and communicative. They love my products, which is an unexplainable wonderful feeling.
I do not put a lot of different things out for the holidays since most of my products make good gifts; but I do try to put one or two special items, I just posted the Death by Fudge Crypt for Halloween.
For all holidays the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars sell well.
What would you like our readers, potential customers, to know about you and your store?
I love my little shop, I am very excited with every order I receive because I get to play in my kitchen, which warms my heart and soothes my mind. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to bake for you.
Is there anything I haven’t covered in this interview that you would like to add?
Yes, a toast of thanks to Lynda alias abundanceyeah for taking this on.
Where can the readers find you?
And always in or near a kitchen!