Thursday, November 6, 2008

Powell’s Windsor 5th Anniversary Kids Flea Market and How to Host Your Own Flea Market

Powell’s Sweet Shoppe in Windsor, CA, the first sweet successful candy wonderland, hosted their 5th anniversary party on Saturday October 5th, 2008. To celebrate the five-year milestone, the Powell’s franchisees of the Windsor store decided to host a kid’s flea market, much like the event held in Willow Glen a few weeks prior. Kids were asked to sign up before the event took place and were given a space on the town green, which lies just outside Powell’s front doors. The Duke Marketing Team was thoroughly prepared for the event. We were responsible for managing the contests for hula hooping, cotton candy eating and bubble gum blowing, getting kids to guess candy in the jar for a special prize and face painting in the spirit of Halloween!

All the kids were very excited and arrived bright and early, despite the impending clouds that looked like there may have been a chance of rain. Thankfully, not only were the Powell’s franchisees optimistic about the flea market and insisted that it would go on rain or shine, but the kids arrived with appropriate tents and tarps. Kids were thrilled about setting up their booths and participating and in face painting, as well as the contests. A clown from the local community even showed up to provide extra entertainment and creative balloons for all the kids.

The kids had some great items to sell including apples, clothing books and toys. One of the little boys even had a sign on his chest to promote the items that he had for sale at his booth. Walking around kids offered to give away some of the toys for free that they decided they could part with. Parents were happy to get involved too and sold homemade bracelets, soaps and purchased toys from the various booths. Kids learned how to exchange money and used their math skills while they managed their booths.

After setting up their booths, the kids were eager to sign up for all the contests and to guess how many candies were in the jar. It was so cute to see some of the younger kids guess how many candies that they thought were in the jar. Mike had to let some of the kids know that there were probably more than 12 candies in the huge jar. In between signing up for contests and running back and forth from their booths the kids had time to get heir faces painted by Laura and Julia. Laura and Julia even painted their faces like little kitties to have fun like all the other kids.

Soon enough it was time for the contests to begin. Linda was in charge of managing the contests and the kids were ready for the first contest, cotton candy eating, to begin. After the kids gobbled up sugar and had blue mouths they were ready for the bubble gum blowing contest. One of the younger girls blew the biggest bubble we had ever seen! Once the kids were filed with sugar they were ready to expel their energy in a hula-hoop contest. Some of the little girls kept their hula hoops going the entire time, one even had her arms crossed for most of the time and didn’t drop it once. This made the contest hard to judge because there were no winners. Therefore, we asked all the kids that had been hula hooping the longest to do tricks to prove that they were the best hula hooper. Some of the kids did could hula hoop with one arm up and while dancing, all the tricks were so awesome that we had to choose more than one winner.

The Contests

One of the best parts about the flea market were the Jelly Belly representatives that came to the event to sample. However, it was no ordinary sampling. The Jelly Belly reps had a great game in which participants had to spin a wheel and depending on which spot the participants landed on, they were given a random Jelly Belly from a choice of two flavors, one gross and one good. The good and the gross Jelly Belly’s looked exactly alike so the representatives had no idea whether the candy was barf or peach flavor or grape or pepper, it was up to the brave taste tester. It was funny to see the faces of all the kids trying the gross Jelly Belly’s and many wanted a second time around. Laura had the choice of either booger or pear. Unfortunately, she got the booger Jelly Belly, which was pretty salty and gross!

The fun flea market lasted until the rain started to come and overall was a great success for all the participants. The participants even got Powell’s gifts for taking part in the anniversary flea market.

Some more great pictures from the event:

Would you like to host your own kid’s flea market in your community?
Here are some easy steps to follow to have your own kid’s flea market:

1. Choose a date for the flea market. You may want to pick a date that coincides with a milestone in your company history or an event in the community.

2. Decide on where the flea market will take place. Perhaps in front of your store, at a local park or in a close by parking lot.

3. Promote the event in the community. Make sure to let participants know what materials they will need, where the event will take place and what time and date the event will take place. Promote the event in key places in the community such as the newspaper, flyers around the community and post the event on the chamber of commerce calendar.

4. Ask participants to sign up at least a week before the event so you can plan accordingly. Give the participants an incentive for their participation in the event.

5. Coordinate activities for the event such as games, face painting or contests. Make sure that you have decided on a captivating way to collect the community emails.

6. Call your local charity such as Goodwill or Salvation Army to arrange for a pick up of the unwanted items at the end of the flea market.

7. On the date of the event, section off parts of the chosen location for the number of participants that have signed up. Hang balloons and signs to make for a festive environment and to attract the attention of passerby’s.

8. Set up tables for contests and an entry table to capture emails. Make sure that you are actively capturing the emails of community members with your enticing offer.

9. Put an employee helpers in charge of the contests or games.

10. Pass out gift incentives to participants in the flea market towards the end of the event and introduce yourself to all the participants.

11. Inform guests that unwanted flea market items could be donated to the local charity truck at the end of the event.

For more detailed instructions on how to host community events, please purchase Recipes for Restaurateurs at

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