Our first year selling lamb at a larger scale is almost over. Time for an honest assessment of how our year has gone.
Our initial plan was to build both retail and wholesale capacity in Boston and New York. We contacted several wholesalers and have one wholesale company to partner with.
We have also made sales in Boston and Holyoke, Massachusetts.
But so far, retail sales have been mainly to friends and family. We have not developed ways to reach out in Boston. My sister lives in Boston, but her friends and coworkers are mainly Hindu vegetarians. I don’t really feel appropriate asking family to do my outreach for me in any case.
Wholesale has been a non-mover- I have not made any sales through our wholesale partner, nor have I had much success in getting our lamb into restaurants or stores near here. The main issue is that my retail prices are really the best prices I can offer. Even dropping base prices a dollar or two leaves retailers adding a 50-100% markup, pricing my lamb above (non-Welfare Certified, often imported) competitors.
The one bright spot of growth has been in my third-choice outlet: Farmer’s Markets. We had tremendous success at Montpelier and today at the Craftsbury Holiday Market. I want to pursue these markets, but they are frequently scheduled at the same times and many have established lamb vendors and are not accepting new lamb vendors. Further, going to markets in Vermont doesn’t really help to spread the word. Vermont is fundamentally saturated for lamb sales
How can I reach consumers out-of-state more effectively?