Here are a few things I have learned since starting a gourmet popcorn stand at the weekend outdoor markets late last month:
- Everybody likes popcorn, but not everybody likes popcorn before their first cup of coffee in the morning.
- The building on the southeast corner of Higgins and Pine is 169 bricks wide, if you count (as I did) the half-brick on the end.
- Some people think “free samples” means “please, take all the samples on my table.”
- And, most soberingly: It takes money to make money – and it takes more than twice as much money as you thought it could possibly take just to hope to break even.
Actually, I had heard various versions of this last pearl of wisdom before I ever conjured the idea that would become my new weekend venture. I have even owned a small business in the past, and know from that experience how expensive it can be just to hang a name on a sign.
But apparently it was time for me to re-learn some old lessons when I decided, with just ten weekends left in this year’s outdoor market season, to introduce Missoula market-goers to Junkpit Von Lederhosen’s Cornutopia of Popped Delights.