I've loved every minute of my journey and I'm still on it...
An Idea is Born
An Idea is Born
My name is Sandy Whittley. I moved to the Seeleys Bay area in 2011 from North Bay where I had been an Occupational Therapist for 32 yrs. I lived on an island only accessible by boat or snowmobile. So we didn't go out to dinner often and loved to cook all kind of different foods.
In 2012, I separated from my husband of 30 years. Suddenly, I was faced with a lot of alone time, a need to make a little money and the challenges of learning how to live on my own.
My daughter, who is a nurse practitioner is Ottawa would call and ask what I was eating. I would describe a gourmet dinner like prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, twice baked potatoes etc. She would think I was crazy but my response was just because I eat alone doesn't mean I have to eat crappy food. I would then portion the leftovers and freeze them for future dinners.
I got a couple of jobs bartending and handing out samples in grocery stores but something was lacking. In the summer of 2013, I took out booths at two Farmers markets expecting to sell baking. But at both there were established bakers. So I started bringing in things like cabbage rolls, baked beans, stew etc all packaged for singles and small $5 pies.
Just before the market closed, I quickly typed up a menu and handed it out to those who said they may wish to order during the winter. Well over the winter, my customer base grew by word of mouth.
This summer, I only did the Gananoque Farmers Market mostly because it is all I can do to bake and cook enough for the next weeks market. Needless to say I gave up my demo job but I love bartending at the Gananoque Curling Club so do that when asked.
This year I began to send a newsletter out to my customers in advance of the market so they could place orders in advance and not have to wait or be disappointed I sold out.
I want to make it clear up front that my kitchen is not approved by the health dept. mostly because they would not allow me to have a cat and dog.They did visit my booth this year at the market and with a few minor changes allowed me to continue to sell my food.
I do have my National Food Safety Certificate and my Smart Card.
Being single, having been an Occupational Therapist and having run this business for three years, I have compiled a list of reasons people of all ages and walks of life order from me:
-not all people like to cook
-some are just too busy to cook
-some get home too late to cook
-one partner hates what the other partner loves
- one partner has different dietary needs than the other
- some handicaps make it difficult to cook
- people who can cook don't get the variety they enjoy because they end up with too many leftovers or have to buy too many basics to even make certain recipes
- children dictate most meals so now adults can order their own
- to help them through an unusually busy or crazy period of time in their life eg. family gathering