One Good Bake Sale Deed Deserves Another

In order for it to sell, it has to look good and taste good.I’ve been running a charity bake sale for several years. I love it, but I don’t always look forward to the work of it. It’s a good cause, but it takes weeks of planning, buying and preparation.

The bake sale is a benefit in honor of a friend who used to work at the race track with The Husband and I. Paul died of leukemia a few years ago, and as an animal lover and shelter volunteer, his last wish was for his friends to donate to a local shelter in remembrance. The bake sale was basically started to get those donations in exchange for something people would appreciate. Food is always appreciated, especially when it is sweet, fattening and comes in small bites that don’t seem too sweet or fattening. Hence, one of several positive points of a good bake sale:

  • You can offer lots of little sweets in small packages. A few cookies, a couple of candies, a single slice of pie. Less daunting for the waistline than a whole cake.
  • Speaking of whole cakes and pies, you should have those, too. They feed a crowd (or in the case of the race track, a crew). Offer to slice the cake and provide plates and forks. Trust me, these are good selling points.
  • It does not hurt to have breakfast-type treats on hand. I make muffins and breakfast breads, and will be adding bags of granola to the offerings this year.
  • If you really want to get outside the bake sale box, make pet treats. Yes, they stink up your oven a little, but no one can resist homemade doggie treats. Remember to label them with the ingredients used. For some reason, humans stuff their faces with anything of unknown origin, but dang, are they ever picky about what they feed Fido. I’ve done cat treats, too, but they did not sell as well.
  • Good packaging sells. I use nice plates, bags, and wrapping. I offer to deliver to wherever the driver and crew are located. I’ll “wrap and hold” in the cooler until the end of the day. Whatever it takes to raise money.
  • I hit up my friends for food contributions. I have some shame, but not when it comes to a good cause. And besides, some of them can really bake, too. I’m not the only one, you know.
  • Stick with items that people know pretty well. I’ve learned from my mistakes on this. I enjoy baking some off-the-wall concoctions, but they are of no value at a bake sale, since I’m the only one who understands what they are.
  • Pay attention to the weather. Some items just don’t hold up well in the heat. And bring ice. And have some big coolers on hand for storage of more delicate items.

The bake sale is Mother’s Day weekend. I’ve got the lists started and the work is officially underway.


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