When we had our Easter pop up sale and what would be our 3rd pop up sale since we had the idea. For anyone that knows us closely, you know we've been talking about our farm market dreams for years. What most people don't know is that we were committed to risking everything, including financial security and leaving our full time jobs in the floral industry in July of this year to throw every ounce of our hearts and souls into this dream that's only been a dream for so long. This was certainly not something dreamed up over night. If you look back on our Mink Street Market Facebook page, I think it was started in 2016 on mere hopes and dreams that someday we'd be sitting here really starting things.
Someone asked me if it was scary. I said ABSOLUTELY. With the support that we have received thus far from people in our community that we've never even met, I can also assure you it is humbling, it's fulfilling, it is joy and it's something I can only hope we're able to do and sustain ourselves for a long time to come. Of course it's scary to leave an industry you've been so passionately invested in with everything you have for 45 years combined between the two of us. We literally poured our hearts and our souls into the floral industry and the jobs that we had.
We've had our sign out front for over a of year now that shows the farm raised meats that we offer but the problem is, no one is ever home because of our other full-time jobs away from the house. It's not that we didn't want to share our yummy sausage or deliciously amazing brats with the whole world but finding the time to be there for these sales have been difficult while maintaining jobs for an extremely busy florist in Columbus.
We both sat down and said how are we going to make this work? We can't do this part time, we have to be all in or really...all out.
We signed up for farm classes at OSU to understand technicalities and certain things we had to do in order to get an official business rolling and learned a plethora of other information, gathered great contacts and resources, etc. We learned so much from these classes and it was a real ignitor to get the things done that we needed to do and get serious if this is what we truly wanted to do. Not too long after we finished our classes is when this whole pandemic started.
My mom came to me and she said "want to do a pop up sale this weekend?" I said sure. Egg business on a regular ordinary day is already hopping, even from our tiny little self serve fridge on the front porch, we have loyal egg customers. Add the world happenings right now and an already solid egg business expands. We threw the idea together, threw up a little tent, went to our Amish friends to see if she would make staples like homemade bread and noodles for us and away we went.
I made a post on Facebook about it and what we were going to sell having absolutely no idea if one single person would show up or not. Which is scary. They came. With no building yet just a simple little Harbor Freight pop up tent, they showed up. People didn't have to get out of the car, they drove around the driveway loop, right up to our tent, we'd give them a menu, they'd tell us what they wanted and away they went. It got us so excited we were thinking we needed to do it again. I quickly got online and ordered a square reader so that we could easily take cash AND cards for the next one. On a whim, we did another and to our surprise and joy people came and some of the same people from the first one came. We thought, how about an Easter pop up sale and we can get our Amish friend to make pies. We started that Saturday with 52 pies and sold out in 2 hours. (whaaaat? I know. It was crazy). I had just picked up a hog we had butchered the Thursday before the sale and we sold HALF of it that Saturday. We sold all the flowers, all the bread, the rolls and the noodles.
Maddi and I had spent the previous week making Thank You cards for the customers (we also ran out of these) because we all have been so humbled by the support and encouragement we have received from friends, neighbors and strangers. It brings me to tears and it feels surreal because fear is what has ultimately driven us to keep putting this dream of ours on the back burner.
I'd like to say years ago I didn't think I'd be sitting here looking at pre-orders on our website for our Mother's Day pop up sale, while that is true, honestly even just a couple months ago I didn't think I'd be seeing pre-orders come through on OUR website. I never dreamed I would ever see someone tagging us saying "the flowers I got from Mink Street Market" (because, well, we are still flower people too) and it honestly brings us more reassurance, joy, hope, fulfillment and positivity than I could have ever guessed. We are so looking forward to providing good stuff for this community in the future.