My name is Frieda and I am the sole proprietor of Strange Grounds Coffee House. I just opened the doors in May, and although it is a lot of hard work and long hours, I love it and hope it will become a place where people come to relax and enjoy the things I cook and serve. It has been the culmination of a life of dreams and hopes, but in all honesty I don't think I would have ever been able to start a business if I hadn't started participating in the HaHo. The thing is, I'm painfully shy and awkward. I've been a stay at home mom for the past seven years, and I very rarely left my house. I compulsively craft things. I sew, cook, bake, throw pottery, and glue random stuff to other stuff. But only for my small group of friends and family. Then a friend linked me to the HaHo website, and I thought about it, and after the summer was over I was still thinking about it, and when the 2010 Holiday HaHo came around I signed up, and it was terrifying. It was also wonderful. And I kept going, through the spring and summer of 2011, and every time I went I felt a little more at home, and a little more part of a community. The response has been so positive, everyone is upbeat and people actually want to know about the things I do, and share what they do and love. And the friends that I have made, through my association with the HaHo community, and the feeling that what I had to offer was worthwhile, allowed me to see that maybe I could do all the crazy things I wanted to do. So now, I have a coffee shop, and it's awesome and terrifying and wonderful, and I would never have been able to do it without having been a part of the community here. And I hope to continue to be a part, and maybe help someone else feel the positive support that helped me. So thank you, HaHo community. Just for everything.
Thanks to all those who came to the Town Hall meeting this past week, to Green Spaces for hosting us, and to Strange Grounds for bringing coffee, chai and hot cocoa for us to sip on while we talked! We will definitely be having more of these, so if you wanted to come but missed it, check back with us and stay tuned - we'll let you know when the next one is coming up.
At this meeting we went over changes to the Vendor Sign Out Fee percentages, the HaHo's expenses and revenue year-to-date as well as some upcoming expenses, volunteer opportunities, and some of the feedback we had received from the Town Hall earlier this year as well as from the May market. Here's more detail on what we discussed:
Vendor Sign Out Fee Percentages: In response to the fact that many vendors feel that 20% on their market-day revenue is simply too high, we've decided to make a change to the sign-out fee percentages. The new sign out fees will be structured thusly:
- Up to $50, 5% of revenue
- $51-$100, 10% of revenue
- $101-$200, 15% of revenue- For every dollar over $200 made, 20%
We hope that this will ease some of the sign out fee for our vendors making over $200, but also help the market to maintain and even grow a bit (the consensus seems to be that most people want us to grow at least a bit)!
HaHo Finances: At the previous Town Hall meeting, we heard loud and clear that folks are interested in more financial transparency. In response, we provided everyone in attendance at this month's Town Hall with a Year-to-Date (YTD) Profit and Loss (P&L) Statement. We're figuring out how best to present this information for all to see on the website, but in the meantime, we are willing and able to provide it to anyone interested! There are expenses that haven't been incurred by the market in the past, that we simply must consider going forward and which are not reflected in the YTD P&L.
Volunteer Positions: At the moment, we have a lot of tasks, and not that many hands! We want the HaHo community to stay vibrant, and by having more people involved we can be stronger and do more for the community. If you would like to take a greater role in the HaHo, we'd love to have you, your expertise, your commitment, and your enthusiasm! You can see more about the positions/tasks we have here.
Feedback from Future of HaHo Town Hall:
- Many want to see the market grow, many would like a cap of some sort on that growth
- Larger space, vendor workspaces
- Increased number of markets per year – year round
- Meet basic everyday needs of people, not just craft/prepared foods.
- Higher attendance from public
- More locations around the city
- Increased advertising
- Expanded workshops on how to start a new business
- Offer grants or small loans to new businesses
- Commercial kitchen and workspaces for vendors
- Serving as a example for other start up markets – aiding them in the process
- Expanded skill-sharing directory
- Expand on ways in which community members can participate and contribute
- Expanded bartering opportunities
- Expansion of use of Denver Dough
- More involvement in community – donation drives, food and clothing banks, etc.
- Vendor workshops on cooking, gardening, how-to, etc.
- Educate public on food issues – GMOs, organic foods, local production, etc.
- Outreach to local high schools, internship programs for students to learn about business and supporting local community
- More and more varied music
- Other performing arts during market
- Update website
Feedback from May Market (that differs from above):
- Coffee and tea vendor.
- Recycling, compost and trash bins in a central location.
- The back kitchen sink was pretty dirty and may leave a bad impression on customers.
- Adjust vendor sign out fee brackets