How Nice is Spice?

Written By: Haley Bernard, rising Senior at Catlin Gabel School
Vendor: Roundhouse Foods


This week was much cooler than last week so there were many more people. I gave out lots of samples because our stand was quite busy which kept things interesting. After a few weeks on the job, I feel much more comfortable working at Roundhouse Foods because I have learned how to set up the stand, how to answer (most) people's questions, and how to run the stand. 

Balsamic Pistachio is our best seller, but Sriracha Lime was a big hit this week. We also sold a lot of chips. In previous weeks we only placed a few bags of chips on the table next to our hummus, but this week we covered all available areas with chips and we sold about twice as many bags as we usually do! Many people wonder where we get our chips from. Roundhouse Foods actually fries the chips themselves in rice bran oil using tortillas from a local farm.

The weekly rotating flavor was Mango Habanero, the spiciest our flavors. It is funny to see how different people react to spicy hummus and how difficult it is to please everyone. Some people try our less spicy ones and say that it is too spicy for them, while others try our most spicy flavor and say that it needs more spice.

Some people also come looking for a plain hummus flavor, but we don’t usually have any. Our most “normal” flavor is Go Go Garlic, but it is made with both raw and roasted garlic so it is very garlicky. One man told us that he once bought it, but was overwhelmed by the garlic so he mixed it with peanut butter and it was good. I’m slightly skeptical, but I’ll have to give it a try. Bliss Nut Butters and Roundhouse Foods collaboration?

On Monday night, the first half of our class was about sales, taught by Bill Etheredge, and the second half was about PR, taught by Jordan Culberson. The main thing that I learned about sales that I will apply when I am selling hummus is to always stand up and look excited to talk with people, prepare a little elevator pitch about the hummus, and ask a provocative question to spark people’s interest. I am happy to have the kind environment of the farmers market to practice sales strategies in!

I was introduced to public relations during the second half of the class which I had never learned about before. We mostly talked about press releases, which Jordan writes about exciting events happening at food-related businesses in order to catch the attention of the press who then pass on the story to the public. The goal of this is to build awareness and a customer base for the company.

Overall, I learned a lot this week and look forward to next week. Stop on by the market next Wednesday to find out what our weekly flavor is or try the ever-popular Balsamic Pistachio, Sriracha Lime, Go Go Garlic, and/or Spicy Thai Peanut!

Meredith Goddard