POSTED BY: ERIKA
Every year, the University of Oregon puts on two street fairs; one in the fall and one in the spring. Local vendors set up booths all along the main street of campus and sell locally made food and crafts! Last year we applied to be a part of this highly anticipated week and as a very young company we were chosen to be a vendor! It was that week that Keeley and I made our big debut with Wild Squirrel, formerly known as Flying Squirrel!
Sampling peanut butter to fellow students- May 2011!
That first street fair in May of 2011 was a pivotal point for our then very grassroots p.b. company. In 4 days, we made and sold 1,000 8 ounce mason jars and had hundreds of people try our p.b. for the first time! We still call those days some of the best days of our life because it was then that we realized we had something “real” on our hands. That was the week that we started dreaming of selling our peanut butter blends in stores.
Looking back, SO much has happened since then and last week we got to revisit the excitement of the street fair! We combined forces this year with our friend Evan, whose family owns an organic blueberry farm and makes delicious jelly…we made many students happy when they realized we were giving out samples of the classic pb+j combo.
A satisfied customer with blueberry jam and Honey Pretzel Peanut Butter!
Unlike other fairs we have been a part of, this year was stress free! Before we started working with a co-packer/food manufacturer, Keeley and I were making every single jar out of Cuisinart food processors…a very laborious task. After each day of the fair, we would have to go to the store, buy more ingredients, and then stay up into the wee hours of the night making peanut butter. So in comparison, this street fair was a piece of cake! All we had to do was show up every morning with our sealed, beautiful jars of nut butter and hand out samples to enthusiastic students!
Another Honey Pretzel enthusiast!
Reasons this street fair was awesome:
1) We got to sample our new almond butters and Squirrel Size single serve packets to students!
2) Since Keeley and I officially moved out of the Eugene “college world,” it was SO fun to see all of our friends who have been there since the beginning of this peanut butter journey! We have realized over the past few months that moving out of Eugene has meant moving away from people our own age, so it was nice to be in the hustle and bustle of college life…without having to go to class ;)
Camping out on 13th street!
3) We spend so much of our time on the computer, making phone calls, sitting at our desks or driving, that it was a nice break from the “norm!”
4) Another street fair perk?! The awesome food vendors! We ate Peruvian food, Thai, barbeque and snacked on many other delicious treats!
One of my yummy lunches!
5) The street fair culture is awesome! It encompasses everything that makes Eugene a great city…good people, good food and fun events!
To top off the week, we were on the front page of the campus paper!
Overall it was a great (tiring) week! We sold lots of jars, got awesome feedback about our new Chocolate Sunflower and Vanilla Espresso Almond Butters and enjoyed some down time :)
That’s all for now :)