For 5 years now we have been trying to find a niche. Every time we think we have it, it doesn't necessarily work out the way we had planned. We have been planning and organizing everything through out the seasons and have just been making it. We have not had that, "Wow" item.
So this past year (2011) we did a lot of things flying by the seat of our pants. For example we decided to throw a Fall Festival with only 2 weeks to plan it and get everything together. Well, that went ok. Not great but ok. However, it did start a ball rolling that we never really thought would be something we would do.
As I said before when I first originally told you about the Fruit butters it was one that was asked of us by Cornell Orchards (Ithaca) and then we just said ...hmmm "What the heck, Why not?" That then led into.... Englebert Farms (Nichols), Hollenbeck's Shurfine (Newark Valley), Cardinal Cafe (Newark Valley) and Greenstar (Ithaca).
After getting those accounts the winter was here and with winter comes a lower income for us because we don't have markets every weekend. So I was searching for more accounts to get a hold of. I had a few different wholesale distributors that we had met at a meeting in Caroline, I think. So I picked one that I had heard about through another vendor at Ithaca Market and had heard that they were easy to work with, they loved to work with you and were very easy going. They distribute through out all of NY state, Rochester, Albany, NYC and more! I said "What the heck, Why not?" I then emailed then. Of course I was thinking that I wouldn't get a response wouldn't get nothing.
Well not even 10 minutes later I had a response of huge excitement that they wanted to meet and they were very interested in carrying our fruit butters. He said they wanted them for the fact that they are made with local fruit and produced locally.
!!!!!! speechless !!!!!!!
This was before the holidays and he had stated in his email that he wanted to meet after the holidays just because it was a very busy time. So through the holidays we were thinking about it in the back of our minds!
We then set the meeting and the uneasy, nervous feeling set in! Can we do this? What are we thinking! Then this feeling came over of....We deserve this, we CAN do this..."What the heck, why not"
Headed to the meeting we knew that if it didn't turn out it wouldn't matter. There are others interested and other ways to do it.
As we met them we felt an extreme relief with the first few sentences. We had brought samples and they sampled a little and then continued through the whole meeting. They were enjoying them. They continuously said how good they were and that they definitely had a different taste compared to a normal Apple Butter. The chunks gave it texture and a different feel. Adult food, instead of baby mush.
So here we are meeting over and excited to no end.....We are working out some cosmetic issues but 1st order has already been placed!!!!!
What does this mean?
This means, I am freaking out!!!!! I am so excited I really don't know what to do with myself! Is this possibly the thing that is going to start to help our dream of living the farming life be a great thing and not a constant struggle? Is this going to bring us to that next level that we have seen so many times and been so close...just not quite?
The thing that makes it even better is that the original Apple butter recipe is one I found in my Grandmother's cookbook. So it makes it that much better to know it started in a previoust generation and we are continuing through to this generation.