FARMERS MARKETS

HOSTING A MARKET

Sustainable Sandhills is planning for our spring 2020 farmers markets! We are expanding our reach this year, so if your site is interested in hosting a farmers market, contact our Market Manager Hannah Swartz at market@sustainablesandhills.org.

INTERESTED IN HOSTING A FARMERS MARKET, BUT HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROCESS?

FARMERS MARKETS FAQs

Q: Why should I consider a farmers market at my site?

A: Sustainable Sandhills is dedicated to increasing public access to local food and enhancing our regional economy by providing venues for farmers, artists and other entrepreneurs to sell their goods and connect with the community. We believe that your site will benefit from a farmers market and that the market will attract patrons to your business. Sustainable Sandhills can work with you to create a farmers market that suits your business model: a quarterly market, a weekly market, a weekday market, a weekend market or even a night market. We will work with you to set a season, hours and more.

Q: What are the benefits of hosting a farmers market at my site?

A: Farmers markets generate customers and name recognition for your business. In fact, market days have typically generated significant attendance increases and high sales volumes for our business partners. A partnership with Sustainable Sandhills will also provide an opportunity for you to work with the non-profit sector (or with other non-profit organizations in the region) and to demonstrate to your customers that you care about your community’s resources for current and future generations.

Q: Who is responsible for recruiting the vendors, managing the market and handling market operations?

A: Sustainable Sandhills will hire a part-time, paid team member to manage your market. That team member will be responsible for all aspects of market management – from recruiting vendors to promoting the market in the media. We only ask that you appoint a site point of contact to work with your market manager.

Q: Who is responsible for promoting the market?

A: Sustainable Sandhills will be the primary point of contact for market promotion. Your market manager will create and maintain a dedicated social media presence for your market, and we will promote the market through other local media outlets. We only ask that you assist us by promoting the market on your social media channels as well and tag Sustainable Sandhills in your posts.

Q: How does Sustainable Sandhills recruit vendors?

A: Any entrepreneur who sells locally produced or handcrafted goods farmed, raised or crafted within a 100 mile radius of the market may apply to be vendor in one of four categories: producer (plant and animal farmers), arts and crafts vendor, value-added vendor (honey, baked goods, jams and jellies and the like) or services/entertainment provider (henna artists, live musicians and the like). Vendors are selected by a jury based on the quality of their products and the need for their goods in the market. We strive to provide a variety of vendors. However, multi-level marketing campaign products (such as Scentsy and Lularoe) and mass produced goods are not permitted at the market. Vendors may apply to sell at the market every week or on a rotating basis.

Q: What is required of vendors?

A: All potential vendors must pay a one-time application fee. If they participate in the market, vendors pay a nominal, per-market, non-refundable vending fee to Sustainable Sandhills. Vendors are also required to retain all necessary licenses, liability insurance policies and certifications to conduct business at the market. Sustainable Sandhills maintains copies of these documents on file. In addition, vendors must pledge to adhere to ethical business practices at the market.

Q: Who retains vendor fees?

A: If your business sells products or services on site to the general public during market hours, Sustainable Sandhills typically retains all vendor fees to cover the pay of your dedicated market manager. However, we will waive any vendor fees if you wish to host a sales booth on behalf of your business. We are willing to split vendor fees with other non-profit organizations that host the market but do not sell products or services on site to the general public during market hours.

Q: Can we claim our partnership on our business taxes, since we are providing services to a non-profit organization?

A: If there are typically fees associated with the use of your space or the provision of your services, all you need to do is to provide the total value of those fees to Sustainable Sandhills at the end of each market season. Sustainable Sandhills will issue a tax acknowledgement letter to you at the end of each calendar year stating the value of your space and/or services as an in-kind donation. In-kind donations are tax deductible.

Q: Will my business be liable for any issues that arise at the market?

A: Sustainable Sandhills maintains an insurance policy that covers our business partners in these ventures. We will provide your business with an “additional insured” certificate. We ask that your business provide the same consideration. Vendors who sell consumables are required to have insurance that covers product liability as well.

Q: I’m ready to start a farmers market at my site! What are the next steps?

A: Sustainable Sandhills will create a comprehensive Memorandum of Agreement between our organization and your business. The Memorandum of Agreement will outline all of the details of the partnership that we discuss, as well as provisions for conflict resolution and termination. The MOA covers the interests of both of our organizations and provides a clear roadmap for a mutually beneficial venture.

To learn more about the Sustainable Sandhills farmers market model and how you can partner with us, contact us at 910.484.9098.