Season #2 of Philo Collective at the Kankakee Farmers’ Market is in the books. We are exhausted, but so thankful for a second great season of sharing our business with the local community.
To celebrate, here are some of the things we are thankful for from the past six months at the 2022 market:
1. Opportunities to grow.The first season at the market, we did a lot of trial and error. We knew we had delicious product to offer our community, but we weren’t sure how things would go. This year, we refined our products, processes and packaging to streamline our operations. We were more realistic about baking schedules and wiser about quantities to bake each week.
Having a year of experience under our belts really helped inform our business decision-making abilities, for which we are very grateful! Having another six-month timeframe to grow also helped us adjust along the way. Being a weekly vendor has a few downsides, but overall, it gives us space to continue to make changes.
Owning a small business is tricky, but teamwork makes the dream work, and we were both stretched and challenged to make the 2022 market even more successful for us individually, and as business partners. Yay for best friendship!
2. Beautiful weather. Overall, we really lucked out this year. So few rain/wind storms and so many gorgeous mornings to spend outside. Again, our spot was the perfect combination of sun & shade.
3. Trying new recipes. We added olive & Italian herb focaccia bread to our menu this year and it was a hit! For the spring and early summer, we also offered lemon madeleines – the perfectly tart, scalloped tea cake.
4. Building relationships with people (and other businesses) in our community. Honestly, the Kankakee Farmers’ Market is special & successful because of the people. Our community is full of lovely people who really seem invested in bringing joy & harmony to others.
We were THRILLED to see our regular customers from last year return for more baked goods, bottled plants and affirmation cards!
We also loved chatting with other vendors at our end of the market (Songbird Hill Farm, Heidelberr Farms, Llama Bean Coffee Co.). Of course, we looked forward to seeing our friends at The Flower Cart, C-Mac Smoothies and Lilla Made too! If you don’t already, consider following all of these vendors on social media. They all offer great products and many do other pop-up events in the area during the off-market season.
Bonus: a few of our Philo yoga clients/market customers opened their own stores in downtown Kankakee this summer: Madame Saint Vintage & Roze Lingerie Boutique! Congratulations to Nina/Melissa and Sydney!
5. Eating delicious things other people made. We frequented Connect Roasters, The Neighborhood Kitchen, Bamboo Island Snack Shack and/or Martinez’s Tacos) on a weekly basis for our own breakfast/brunch options. Soooo yummy!
6. Great background music. We were thankful to keep the same booth location that we had last year. Being right by the gazebo, we had an excellent view to enjoy the weekly rotation of talented local musicians.
7. Meeting new people & sharing about the Philo Collective mission & vision. There were so many people who asked us about what Philo is and what our dreams are. We are very grateful to be surrounded by people who genuinely care about our business and support us as we grow.
This experience was even better than our first year (which was pretty hard to top). We are already looking forward to the 2023 market, but before then, we have lots of fun plans for Philo throughout the winter. Be sure to follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay up-to-date on everything we are doing!