Business Overview

As the creator and manager of a farmers market, you’ll create an environment where you bring the growers and producers of local farm-related food and non-food products to the food- and health-conscious public. You will need to find sellers, rent stalls and deliver a customer base in a convenient location for buyer traffic.   

Who is this business right for?

You should understand the appeal of locally grown food, have the mindset to be able to deal with local bureaucracy, and possess the marketing knowledge required to bring buyers and sellers together.

What happens during a typical day at a farmers market?

Your typical day could involve any of the following responsibilities.

  • Recruiting new vendors and meeting the needs of current vendors
  • Posting to social media and undertaking other marketing efforts to attract customers
  • Staying in contact to maintain solid relationships with your local government contacts and volunteers
  • Taking on the day-to-day financial responsibilities in maintaining your farmers market as an ongoing venture

What is the target market?

Your customer profiles can vary depending on the audience you hope to attract. If you open for business in an inner city food desert, your customers will be area residents of shopping for affordable groceries. If you’re opening an organic food market, you might appeal to “foodies” who are concerned about nutrition and locally grown produce. And if you open in a tourist location, you might most appeal to out-of-town visitors who are into the experience of shopping at a new location.

How does a farmers market make money?

Your income will be derived, in most cases, from the fees you charge vendors for a place in your market.

What is the growth potential for a farmers market?

With the popularity of cable food channels, the locally grown food movement, the appeal of organic food and other factors, food markets have seen the addition of more than 2,000 farmers markets nationwide since the mid-1990s. However, several obstacles can impede success, as you'll learn from this USDA web article. 

One important limitation is your market’s physical space. It will only hold a limited number of vendors, so your key to growth must be a buildout at your current site or additional locations.