or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Farmers' Markets - Are they ripping us off?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Farmers' Markets - Are they ripping us off?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I love the Ferry Plaza market (San Francisco), but six bucks for a loaf of bread - I think the baker is pulling my chef pants down! What do you guys think?
post #2 of 14
I suppose it's what the market will bear. The bread has to be really good to be $6 a loaf though, and probably really big too.
post #3 of 14
They can not rip you off, only you can rip yourself off buy choosing to continuously purchase it.

I bought some pumpernickel a few weeks ago from the 'Bread Man" at the farmers market. I paid $5 or $6. All their breads looked great. When I got home and tried it, I found it flavorless and boring. I won't buy it again. Obviously I was willing to spend the money if the product met my expectations.
post #4 of 14
Depends on what the ingredients are. Here in Ky I will pay nearly $4 for a loaf of bread in the grocery store. i.e a mass produced type of product although certainly not your basic white, nothing but air type of loaf.

Another thing that factors into price is overall production volume compared to production costs. That farmers market baker may only be able to make 4 or 5 dozen loaves in the same amount of time that a bigger commercial guy could produce 200 dozen loaves.

If the customers at your place truly like the bread and the chef is able to recover the cost then all should be OK.
post #5 of 14
$6.00 for atisnal bread is not excessive, especially here in the Bay Area. Routine, commercial loaves are selling for more than $4.00 here. Without describing the loaf it's hard to say if the price is high, but in this area I'd not necessarily consider it a ripoff.

Further, if you really knew what went into the creation of thatloaf - the amount of man hours, hand labor, even research and development (the Bay ASrea has several bakers and schools doing a great deal of research into making quality bread, and bread that will last a long time, even without preservatives or freezing.

While I don't get to Ferry Plaza too often (I live in the East Bay), I've found that many of the items in the Berkeley and Oakland Farmers' Markets are less expensive than inferior items sold in supermarkets and organic groceries in the area

Coincidentally, yesterday or the day before there was a show on the History Channel titled "Bread" in which several Bay Area bakers were featured, as well as a couple of the areas research teams and centers. Well worth watching. You may end up thinking you're getting a bargain.

scb
post #6 of 14
one of my favorite artisan bakers has a small bakery 45 minutes away.....bakes with flour ground especially for him in San Fran (um, we are in the mid-west)....wood fired oven.....last Monday he brought brioche, potato bread and bacon bread to a chef's potluck. Not only would I pay $6+ a loaf, traveling to his establishment would cost at least that much. He doesn't compromise and it shows. Would it be worth it for you? Don't know.
One of his competitor bakers who is making massive quanitities now buys roasted coffee from Matt (222 Artisan Bakery).....tried to talk Matt out of shipping in his special flour because it costs 7% more. Says alot about each baker. I'd drive 45 minutes and pay top dollar for great bread, than go to any grocery for mediocre bread.

Remember the bakers are not only baking through the night but traveling to get to Ferry Plaza....they also pay rent.....it's rough selling fresh baked goods at a farmers' market.....I know, for I ran a couple for seven years.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #7 of 14
Alas we dont have a farmers market. Closest thing is a continental one twice a year. One of which is just before Christmas. We pay through the nose for fabulous delicacies from all over Europe and I love it. I even thought about paying mega bucks for "Artisan" breads, till they were caught buying a consignment of baguettes from the local Tesco supermarket.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
post #8 of 14
If the bread's worth $6.25 or more, it's a great deal. If it's worth $5.75 or less, you're getting hosed. Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Or in the mouth. It's your call partner.

I remember when I first moved to Berekely in 1972, and was invited to participate in the "Food Conspiracy," which was a co-op of hippies, yipppies and other like minded flotsam and jetsam. One fine rainy day, they asked me to drive down to Watsonville to help pick up some organic produce because the other guy with a Class I had flaked. Happy to oblige and all, we picked up a rig and off we went.

Did I mention that I'd lived on a commune in Watsonville a couple of years before? Well sir, we get there and who should we buying produce from other than the biggest thieves in the central valleys. I knew them personally. They were a couple of lazy-@$$ mofos who stayed too stoned to feed horses they were paid to board. These guys were so nasty R. Crumb, who lived, more or less, in the area, used their caricatures as members of Captain Pissgum's crew. Yar.

These jabonies figured the way to make a million bucks was to buy the distinctly non-organic rejects from the local farmers, and put them in unmarked cardboard boxes, and sell them to poor, miserable sinners who figured anything that looked unattractive was probably healthy. I saw what was in those boxes, and blurted out, "this isn't organic, these are the f**king culls! (Never one to put too fine a point on it.) To be honest, I was not a great judge of produce, but I knew those characters. Fortunately, the maroons started laughing, thus blowing their own gaffe.

Sometimes farmers' markets are like that, and sometimes they're not. Usually a sort of mix. Nice atmosphere though.

BDL
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
post #9 of 14
Also don't forget the price of flour has skyrocketed because of the damage to the crops
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Reply
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Reply
post #10 of 14
Flour is so high priced because farmers are planting corn instead of wheat. Corn for ethanol is trashing the economy at the taxpayers expense on both fronts. Food prices are climbing and taxes pay huge subsidies to the ethanol companies to make them competitive with Brazilian ethanol which is sugar cane based. It takes 1 unit of fossil fuel to produce 1.6 of ethanol, not a good thing!
post #11 of 14
If I made bread, I'd charge $39.99/loaf.


What? When was the last time you baked? It takes time!!!


:D
post #12 of 14
Fuel costs are very high and those costs are reflected in the price of everything we buy.

scb
post #13 of 14
Heck, if I could find good bread for $6 a loaf near where I live, I'd be pretty impressed! The farmers market is quite expensive, but totally worth it for me; they are my cooking inspiration (if you live near a good one, not a scam like boar_d_laze mentioned...which by the way, what total s#&@'s would do that???:mad:...)
"Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use vermouth!" ~Julia Child

"No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime. "
Reply
"Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use vermouth!" ~Julia Child

"No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime. "
Reply
post #14 of 14
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Farmers' Markets - Are they ripping us off?