[“Edges 3″. Part of “The Edges” Series. Click on image to enlarge etc.]
Alpine, Texas. A lot of my friends in this town work in the construction business; a lot of former big-city people are moving into the area these days, mostly trying to get away from the urban sprawl. So that’s where a lot of the local well-paid jobs are. As a result, knowing what I know, a lot of my friends end up picking my brains for marketing advice, which I’m happy to give them.
What I usually do is start out by telling them about the local Alpine farmer’s market, which happens here every Saturday.
Our farmer’s market has one main problem: This isn’t farming country. This is high mountain desert. This is ranching country. People harvest cattle and oil round these parts; they don’t do so well with legumes.
The people selling the produce for the most part are local amateur gardeners, who primarily grow what they need for themselves, then sell on whatever surplus they have to folk like me, for a little extra cash.
What does this mean? It means you have to get there early, because the market opens at 8.30 in the morning and is COMPLETELY sold out within 45 minutes.
Whole Foods? Forget it. You really have to drive to Midland, 150 miles away to get anything closely resembling what you’re used to in the big cities. The local supermarkets do what they can, I’m told they’re a hell of a lot better than they used to be, but… there’s still a long way to go.
There’s something so interesting to me, that in this modern, over-supplied world, the supply for something most of us educated, blog-reading types take for granted– high quality food– falls so short of actual demand. There’s plenty of people in this town who’d gladly spend more money on quality food if some enterprising person would set them up, so why isn’t it happening?
I’m optimistic. I believe it’s just matter of time before the aforementioned enterprising person spots the glaringly obvious gap in the market, and actually does something about it. This is Texas, after all. Sitting on your ass doesn’t get you too far in these parts. Stuff tends to happen if there’s enough people willing to pay for it.
So I tell my construction friends, well, what’s true in the local food market is also true in the construction market. There’s a lot of people from the big cities moving in with a lot of money in their pockets, compared to what the locals are used to making. And they’re used to a certain level of service which a lot of the time, THEY ARE SIMPLY NOT GETTING. The construction person who can ACTUALLY understand and ACTUALLY cater to their ACTUAL needs will win. The construction person who still wants to do it same-old-same-old will have a much harder time of things.
Then knowing this, the only question that remains is, which construction person are you going to be? The Trailblazer, or the Same-Old-Same-Old? Only you can answer that.