Most of us have been to a farmer’s market. They are quaint, intimate, and can provide some very fresh food. Did you know that farmer’s markets are a very popular place for wood-fired pizza stalls? There are a few things to know when looking to operate at a local market.
There will most likely be licensing requirements, fees and inspections which will vary from state to state, county to county etc. on top of those already required just to run your normal truck or trailer. There can also be a stall fee which is usually good for an entire season or a full year. Each market can be a little bit different.
Farmer’s markets are always a popular draw. Patrons come from miles around to purchase their food stuff as well as get a quick meal. There can be a long waitlist to receive a spot at a very popular market. Check with the organizers to see what that list is like, and get yourself on it!
While you are at it, talk with the organizers and pre-plan to find out specifics of the market: how much square footage is allowed, what type (if any) tenting is needed, and what kind of marketing you are allowed to display/have. Some markets have regulations regarding decorating and signage so it is good to check beforehand what is acceptable. Getting to know the specifics of the market will help increase your success rate.
When allowed, a farmer’s market is a great place to promote your business through “schwag” like shirts, hats, stickers etc. Check with the head of the market if there is anything different that has to be done in order to sell these.
The farmer’s market is a great place to interact and network with local businesses who can provide you with ingredients for your business. It can be a great advantage to partner with local growers, farmers and artisans and feature their products in your creations. Think local cheese, tomatoes and produce, meats etc.
Lastly, keep in mind that even though farmers markets are great fun and can produce a lot of income, they are usually only held two days a week. Many oven owners will use the market to promote their business, experiment with recipes, and use it as a supplementary source of income.