If you are a regular to Life After Lemons Candy Store or follow the postings on Facebook or Instagram, you know that the Mystery Oops Bags are very popular. I did not expect them to take off like they have. It’s the mystery of the bag that is intriguing customers. A lot of people ask us what is in the bags. I’m the only one who knows what goes into each Oops Bag. My friend who helps me at the store does not know the contents only the general idea of what I put inside.
The concept was suggested to me after talking to my Jelly Belly Representative who has had 20+ years in the candy store business. I was explaining to her that I make mistakes with candy sometimes and I don’t know what to do with them. I typically find a friend to give them to because the taste was always there, but the look was not. She suggested mystery bags that had the mistakes in them. I took that concept and added to it, the Oops Bags contain more than just homemade treats.
The Oops Bags can have items that I have been testing before I put them out in the storefront. I like to experiment with ideas and sometimes the experiments don’t go right or they do, but I’m not ready to go “live” with them. Again, the taste is good, but it’s not ready for display.
Then I got to thinking what if someone doesn’t like chocolate, yes, those people do exist and they do come into the store. When I receive shipments from distributors, sometimes things are broken or bags are torn. Again, the candy or treats are good, just not perfect for the retail shelves. The distributors will replace them, but typically they don’t want the broken or torn items back. That gave me the idea of putting them in the Oops Bags with my Chocolates.
For those who ask what’s in the bag, without being specific of what’s in each bag, the Oops Bags can consist of any of the following items:
• Broken homemade item.
• Homemade item that is close to expiration date (but still in date).
• Homemade experimental item that is not ready for display.
• Homemade item that is ugly but taste is still good.
• Broken piece of candy from the retail area.
• Candy from a bag that ripped in the retail area
• Candy that is close to expiration (but still in date)
• Candy that has not been selling well and is being replaced
• Jelly Belly that were extra in someone’s pull
The price of an Oops Bags is $2.50, I promise you that the value in the bags is always more than that. As I put them together, I am making sure to have at least $3.50 or more value in the bags. Sometimes I pull an item off the shelf to put in the bag if I am concerned the contents are not enough.
Other than the items maybe not being what a customer was hoping for in the Oops Bags, I have not heard a complaint. Well, I have heard customers complain that the bags are gone by the time they get there. LOL.
I will not save the Oops Bags for customers. I feel it is unfair since I know what is inside them. The whole part of the Mystery is picking randomly and not knowing. I will save any other item in the store including homemade items when asked by customers, but the Oops Bags are not one of them.
There are a lot of customers within the community who watch intently for when I post on Facebook or Instagram that I have Oops Bags and will come in and buy multiple. The record is a family purchased 9 Oops Bags in one visit. Prior to that I had a family purchase 7.
It makes us smile when customers come in and feel the Oops Bags. They think that by feeling the bag (which you cannot see through) they know what’s in it. The kids love being able to pick out a mystery bag and see the surprises inside. Plus they get multiple treats in each bag.
Follow Life After Lemons on Facebook or Life_After_Lemons on Instagram to know when Oops Bags are ready. I do not have them every day, but I try to have them once or twice a week. Trust me you won’t be disappointed.