Does anyone else have a farmers market near where they live? I have 2 within a 20 km radius and I can’t even begin to tell you how great they are. Well, technically, one is a satellite location, but still. These markets have been around for centuries and continuously growing as the demand in urban areas increase. I’m pretty sure I was in New York and stumbled across one last summer., same thing happened in Massachusetts. One of my all time favourite markets was in Barcelona. I’m pretty sure we wandered around for a good two hours looking at everything. The problem with backpacking is that shopping is out of the question, so you have to settle for window browsing.
What is a farmers market?
For those who don’t know what Farmers’ Markets are, they are a place where local farmers sell directly to the public. Usually the prices are lower than most grocery stores and you know that you are supporting the local economy. My mother was the one who sought out and found the market when we first moved into the area some 16 years ago. Back then, the talk about organic food wasn’t as predominant, but the spirit of community was alive and well. The city that I live in has about 300,000 people in it. And while not everyone shops at the market, the majority have been there once or twice.
One of the best parts of going to the farmers market is the ability to barter. You all know how much I love bartering. I even try to get discounts at regular department stores.
How do farmers markets benefit the consumer?
Offerings include produce grown on local area farms, fresh pasta, prepared foods, gluten-free baked goods, and even home grown soap. All of the business owners are friendly and engaging, walking the fine line between chatting and selling. Honestly, its a place where you can go and get food and other products directly from the source.
Tip: If you ever want a large quantity of any given product, go closer to the closing time and barter for the remaining stock. I have been able to get a lot of fresh produce for picnics and parties for 1/10 of the price.
How do farmers markets benefit the vendor?
Vendors largely benefit from taking time out and setting up show at the local farmers market.
One of the major benefits is having consumers come directly to you. While the setting is a lot more conducive for smaller vendors, the time needed for marketing is minimal. As long as you pay for your table and are in the same location weekly, customers will find you. You are also have the ability to upsell other products if you have a regular store. Our markets has everything from bakers to photographers present every week. Its the best type of marketing; face to face. It allows customers to buy directly from the vendor and become acquainted with the person behind the product. You can’t buy that kind of loyalty and word of mouth.