Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vendor Profile: Confectionery

Cupcakes have taken Portland by storm over the past five or six years. No longer relegated to kids' birthday parties and office potlucks, cupcakes have assumed a personality of their own. They have turned up in style at weddings, baby showers and even at farmers markets, like Montavilla's Confectionery.

It makes complete sense. They are portable, versatile, and just the right size. You can pay homage to the seasons, taking advantage of the freshest fruits and berries that summer has to offer. If you are feeling particularly virtuous, you can buy a mini cupcake. Or if you worked particularly hard in the yard and need something to revive your energy and your childish spirit, you can indulge in a big one all to yourself.

Jessie Smith is Confectionery. Jessie does cupcakes and more. She has this to say about her wares and where she gets her inspiration....

> 1) What types of products do you specialize in?

Confectionery specializes in small treats (cupcakes, cookies, french macarons, cotton candy) along with special treats like wedding cakes. We utilized unique Northwest ingredients and combine it with a playful and adventurous spirit to provide our customers with a one of a kind experience.

> 2) What are your biggest challenges in operating a farm/business? And what makes it all worth it?

The biggest challenge in running a small business is that you must handle all aspects of the business yourself, you must be able to handle juggling many things at one and be willing to be a jill-of-all-trades. The interaction and positives responses from customers and those who enjoy what you produce make it worth it all the while continually learning about food and the pleasures of eating.

> 3) What food policy issues do you think are critical to the future of agriculture in Oregon?

Not necessarily a food policy, per se, but there has definitely been an increase in the everyday person's awareness of food and their relationship to it. Whether it be to be comforted by it, be educated by it, be inspired by it, etc. it seems people are more curious (or returning to their natural curiosities?) about what food means to them.

> 4) Why do you chose Montavilla Farmers Market to sell your products?

Confectionery was originally interested in Montavilla Market because of its youth and location. What drew us in further were the people that make up the neighborhood and its surrounding areas. There is an expanding culture near Stark street, which is a vital street for the Montavilla neighborhood, that is burgeoning and blossoming in an artistic and creative way, which we hold a kinship to.

> 5) Do you have a favorite cookbook that you cook from?

Favorite cookbook would be: Organic & Chic by Sarah Magid. Favorite food blogs that I read on a constant basis: SmittenKitchen.com, NotSoHumblePie.com, thePioneerWomanCooks.com

> 6) What food/agriculture related book, magazine or movie would you recommend?

The Gastronomical Me, by M.F.K. Fischer

Mix Magazine

Chocolat (movie)

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