Friday, 18 May 2012

SHOW REVIEW #2 Buckhorn..for the 31st time!

In the beginning...there was Buckhorn.

31 years strong in Buckhorn Ontario and coincidentally this is our 31st trek through Felon Falls, Bob Caygen,, past the Big Buck to the Timber Wolf  lodge

15 years ago The Wandering Bean was all about 'BEANS'

VANILLA BEANS were made into extract, bottled and sold in little bottles, 2 beans in an empty bottle and the recipe tied to the top. Vanilla sugar was a best seller. The sweet smell of the sampler

COCOA BEANS (chocolate!) was bought in blocks i could hardly carry and we learned to temper on a marble slab. thermometer in hand we produced brittles and covered ginger, nuts and spoons

COFFEE BEANS. Initially we covered them in white and dark chocolate and sold them in 1/2lb bags as part of gift baskets

oh the gift baskets

it was the best of times and the worst of times. i had a wee obsession with auctions and believed i could strap vanilla sugar to anything and sell it

i sold a whole school's worth of vintage textbooks.once i sold a ratty silver hairbrush, a British 'fairing', many Pyrex bowls, hundreds of tea cups, hatboxes, eggcups, anything that was in that 50cent box no one else wanted i could make into a basket

just last weekend at the Milton Craft Show two ladies admitted they still have not not unwrapped their baskets because they love the way they look on the counter. they wanted to know why i stopped making them. i stopped over 10 years ago 

we knew nothing about coffee back then although I did know how to make a great espresso since i had done a few summers on the patio at Diplomatico in Little Italy. so we found a small second hand Brasilia pour-over espresso machine. the smallest of commercial machines and asked our first show if we could sell coffee

our very first "YES, WE'D LOVE YOU TO SELL COFFEE!!" was from the Buckhorn Community Centre. they had a onsite lunch room but they saw that what we'd be providing would be different. not every show understands that we don't take away from the other food service

specialty coffee is a category all on it's own. no one chooses chip truck coffee. drinking it is an act of desperation. sometimes they substitute tea or hot chocolate and some times still they submit to the small white styrofoam cup, praying for an exception to the rule. the next year they remember to drop by Timmies on the way  

it takes us time to change that habit but as our trash fills with Second Cup cups, customers take a chance on a second cup from us. they begin to realize they don't need to search for the nearest Starbucks on the way home and year by year the other cups in our garbage decrease. nice :)

So was born The Wandering Bean Coffee Co. 

15 seasons ago Buckhorn Craft Show took a chance on us. we gave away free chocolate covered spoons with every cappuccino. the lines were very long and very patient as we chugged away on our little machine. each spring and each fall we trek up north and that makes this the 31st show we've done in the little hut. trilliums in the forest and hopefully no rain

UPDATE: great times up north, as always