Farmers Markets – are they right for your business? 7 questions to ask before setting up a stall.

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Each weekend crowds of foodies flock to school ovals and public parks to spend hours and dollars searching for special products and special connections.

 

Farmers markets can deliver commercial and community goals for customers and producers alike, but how do you know if a farmers market is the right sales platform for your business?

 

Question: How do farmers markets work?

Answer:  ordinary paragraph format but leave the word Answer in bold Consumers are want to shop for food and beverages and fresh produce from sustainable small businesses selling local, healthy and small batch products. A huge appeal is the chance to buy directly from the maker. The farmers market format also delivers raft of entertainment experiences for all the family and a feel-good factor from shopping.

 

Question: What are food and beverage businesses looking for by selling at farmers markets?

Answer:  ordinary paragraph format but leave the word Answer in bold There can be a range of outcomes, for example, testing the market, diversifying your revenue stream or you main source of revenue –  and it is important to work out which ones fit in to your business plan. Just because everyone else seems to be at it doesn’t necessarily mean you should be too.

 

Case study 1 –  Reasons why a food business might book a stall at a Farmers Market (FM). (FM)

Although they had a manufacturing facility and retail distribution models in their business plan, Marissa and Adam Bielawksi, the team behind premium charcuterie brand Poach Pear,  booked a monthly stall at a very popular weekend FM to achieve specific aims.

 

Adam Bielawski, Charcutier, Poach Pear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The farmers markets were a Meet the Maker opportunity rather than a key revenue stream.” Says Marissa. “We used them as a chance for our customers to meet Adam and learn about his skills and passion for the product and about the and Poach Pear brand.

We gathered feedback from our customers instantly on our core products such as the Duck and Orange Pate and the Farmhouse Terrine and also on limited releases and flavour experiments. This strategy helped us to grow our brand and work out which products were popular and how customers used them.”

 

Once the crowds have gone home, bags bulging and Instagram feeds fully loaded, you have to pack up your stall. But you are not alone, this is your chance to network with your peers.

 

“Adam and I got a lot out of the farmers markets personally and for our business.  We developed our networks by meeting other producers and growers. Adam got some of his inspiration for new Poach Pear products from being around all the amazing fresh produce and we thought up ways to tie our range with other business’ product.”

 

For Adam and Marissa the farmers market sales model was an important part of developing their brand.

 

 

Top left: just some of the Poach Pear premium charcuterie range; top right: Poach Pear pork and pistachio terrine; bottom: some of the Poach Pear terrine range

 

 

Even if your business model is not quite so advanced, it is still important to work out precisely why you are booking stall space.

 

 

 

Is a farmers market sales platform right for my business? The 7 questions you need to ask

1. Are FMs going to be my sole source of revenue? If so you done the maths?

 

2. Is my product appropriate? Is it seasonal, handmade or local? Does it really need to be?

 

3. Am I the kind of producer people want to meet? Be honest, not every food business entrepreneur is a people person.

 

4. Will the experience further my long-term business aims? Will it refine my costs and business model?

 

5. Am I cut out for the early mornings and long drives?  Will your fuel bills be greater than your profits?

 

6. Am I across all the different Health and Safety requirements of each Shire and the Department of Health? Does your product need special care?

 

7. Does selling at Farmer’s Markets take me out of my business at the expense of my business? Am I more valuable behind the scenes than meeting and greeting?

 

We are compiling an in-depth e-book to answer all these questions and more. This tool will help you decide if Farmers Markets are the right sales platform for your food business and how and if you should work them in to your plan for success. Sign up get on the waiting list for this free e-book.

 

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