2023 - Volume #47, Issue #4, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Waffles Draw Customers To Produce Stand
“There was an old guy in the area that sold sweet corn, but after he died, I started planting some for our young family,” recalls Hubscher. “One year, I grew 15 short rows and shared with family and friends. Another year our kids sold a few buckets of ears, and so the next year, we expanded to half an acre and sold more.”
As sales grew, so did the planted acres. Hubscher reports doubling his acreage almost every year until he reached his current 10 acres. Sweet corn is all pre-picked and sold at farm stands set up in nearby towns.
Until last year, he sold it as The World’s Sweetest Corn. That’s when the Hubscher family added strawberries to the mix. Now the stand reads World’s Sweetest Corn & Strawberries.
“We have about 24,000 strawberry plants on 2 acres,” says Hubscher. “There was no challenge getting customers. People knew us from our sweet corn sales. All we did was post to Facebook that we had strawberries, pre-picked and U-pick.”
The response to available strawberries might have been enough by itself, but Hubscher sweetened the pot with a waffle maker.
“I was at the farm show in Regina last year when I saw a double waffle maker,” he recalls. “We like waffles, so I bought it for our family’s use. However, when I called home from the road, I said I bought it for the strawberry stand so we could make and sell waffles.”
Hubscher intended the statement as a joke. However, his wife and daughter took him up on the idea. Customers can now buy waffles loaded with fresh berries, whipped cream, and Grandma’s Secret Sauce. Waffle sales extended through corn sales and into September.
“We’ve sold as many as 80 waffles per hour,” says Hubscher. “This year we’re expanding to include homemade cheesecake and soft serve ice cream. We expanded the food prep area. I think I have more electricity running to the stand than to the kitchen in the house. We also added 10 new patio sets with patio heaters.”
Waffles were just one part of a successful first sales year. Another big part was being family-friendly. Hubscher installed play structures and designed the berry beds, so they’re easy for kids to maneuver in.
“Some pick-your-own growers don’t want kids, but we encourage them,” says Hubscher. “Our walkways are well defined, and we have little or no damage from the kids.”
Hubscher even gives the kids little red buckets to pick their own, although picking to eat is not discouraged. He just adjusts his prices to cover it.
In addition to strawberries and sweet corn, Hubscher plants pumpkins for families to pick each fall. He also plants about 250 tomato plants each year, which the family picks and sells to restaurants in nearby towns as well as at their corn and berry stands.
“It’s not a big income thing,” says Hubscher. “It’s just fun to see happy faces.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Darin Hubscher, Box 3004, Swan River, Manitoba, Canada R0L 1Z0 (ph 204-281-4440; email@example.com; Facebook: Worlds Sweetest Corn and Strawberries).
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