On Saturday I did my first demo at Central Market in Shoreline. It is definitely a different crowd than Uwajimaya… The area where I ran my demo was fairly quiet, but I did sample a fair amount. Yesterday the weather was cool, so I did all hot lattes, and today the weather was moderately warm, so I offered both hot and iced.
Sales were fair, but conversion was much lower than at Uwajimaya Seattle. I know there were a whole lot of demos going on, so that may be a factor; also, the ethnic makeup is a bit different and that quite probably contributes to a difference in what people are familiar with. Anyway, feedback was probably about 80% positive, 10% neutral, 10% negative… but I didn’t keep exact track. It seemed mostly positive, but slightly less accepting than the typical Uwajimaya audience, even compared to more heavily Caucasian-frequented locations like Beaverton.
Customers tended to be a little bit more conversational, and told me all sorts of things ranging from advice to long personal stories unrelated to tea.
I missed the Fremont Solstice Parade and the Fair this year, preoccupied as I was by work.
To make up for that, when I came home I actually ate fairly well. Usually after demos I eat as simply and mindlessly as possible, but I did a bit more than usual. Saturday I drained some good fresh tofu I picked up at Central Market, chopped some crunchy vegetable matter and some kimchi. I stuffed gyouza skins and made kimchi dubu mandu, served with rice and a little dipping sauce of soy sauce and black vinegar. I actually made a little bit too much filling, but I even filled a few too many dumplings to eat for dinner, so the leftovers ended up as an improvised cold breakfast this morning.
I didn’t want to eat more dumplings tonight, so I got fixings to make some corn quesadilla-ike nibbles, salsa, guacamole, and salad. Unfortunately, the corn tortillas seemed all broken by the time I got home… I don’t know if I transported them badly or if they were that way when I got them. An avocado turned out to have some distracting hints of decay so I had to replenish both from my nearby small-scale supermarket. Anyway, dinner was simple, but a little bit more time consuming than it could have been. Jennifer came by after an early evening kayaking run, so we had three for dinner.
Since dinner became a party, I was inspired to make use of some fresh local strawberries in service of strawberry margaritas, which I served on the rocks.
Hiromi made a trek to Mashiko to pick up some ceramics for me, some photos of which I’ll probably post tomorrow…