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Any luck at the farmers market?


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#1 seussiii

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 12:48 PM

Anyone have any success selling their produce, plants, or dried flakes/powders at local farmers/flea markets? I'm considering testing the waters.

 

I know it varies from city to city I'm sure but just curious to hear your stories.



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#2 D3monic

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 01:48 PM

I think a good handful of the sauce makers on this site started out selling at farmers markets and some still do. There's a guy at my local one that sells hot sauces and mustards ect. I've traded him fresh peppers and powders for sauce before. 


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#3 Rymerpt

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 01:55 PM

I've read a lot of posts about people selling at farmers markets here on THP. I seem to remember that there are lots of hoops to jump through to get legal clearance.


Maybe some will chime in to help educate you on the process. Good luck!
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#4 hogleg

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 02:00 PM

The hoops to jump through really depend on what you are selling. Fresh pods or powder/flakes, not so much. Anything bottled or canned, many hoops.



#5 NinjaR

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 02:41 PM

I'm planning on doing a few test runs at a local market.  No idea how it'll turn out but I made several passes by there last year and no one was selling them.  I don't know if that's because there's not a market for them or simply because no one grows them.  I'm really hoping one of the boutique eateries happens to come by and make an offer so I'm not sitting in the sun during the summer.


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#6 Rymerpt

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 03:51 PM

I gotta tell ya, if someone sold supers or even powder at our local farmers market I would be there every weekend.
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#7 Jubnat

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 04:11 PM

I'm planning on doing a few test runs at a local market.  No idea how it'll turn out but I made several passes by there last year and no one was selling them.  I don't know if that's because there's not a market for them or simply because no one grows them.  I'm really hoping one of the boutique eateries happens to come by and make an offer so I'm not sitting in the sun during the summer.


You could always drive around to restaurants you think might buy them after the market.
Happens sometimes at a few of the restaurants I've worked at. They'll usually cut me a good deal if I buy them out of their leftovers.

Or you could stop by some of those boutique eateries and introduce yourself and give them a few sample pods, or whatever. You never know...you might go to a dozen that never talk to you again...but you might have one that buys you out of all your stock for the summer.

#8 SL3

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 06:35 PM

I was thinking about trying the whole Farmers Market thing out here in Arizona, now that I’m retired and have a little more time. I decided to do a little test yesterday by advertising a plant sale last week for superhot pepper plants to be sold at my daughter’s house in town yesterday. I used the local Buy/Sell website everyone uses out here as well as Facebook. My daughter and son-in-law seemed to be helping me generate some good energy for the sale through their friends on social media.

 

I advertised 1 plant for $7 or 4 for $20. I was prepared to go 5 for $20 to reduce my stock, if I had any type of turnout.  I got two people to show up and only one real chile head excited about the superhots. She was very surprised that no one else was there fighting her for plants. The other young man bought strictly mild pepper plants. After the sale I did continue to get some more inquiries but for only mild type plants, which I’m all out of right now due to many requests from family and friends for those types of chilis.

 

Farmers Market is in two weeks. Not sure I want to pay for a space for something this community does not seem to want. It is really making me rethink the whole superhot thing. Although I will continue to grow some for myself, I think the milder varieties interest the average individual and might be where the market is for my area. I feel I wasted a lot of time growing so many extra supers this year when I could have been making a little extra cash on the milder varieties. Lesson learned. Next year I’ll be more prepared.

 

Would be interested to know how plants or pods go for all of you at your local Farmers Markets.


Edited by SL3, 26 March 2017 - 06:37 PM.


#9 salsalady

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:52 PM

As a salsa seller for...way too long..
25% mild/zero heat,
50% medium-3/10 heat....
24% hot 6/10 heat....
1% superhot.....

If you want to make money, cater to the mild and medium market.


Edit for readability

Edited by salsalady, 26 March 2017 - 08:58 PM.

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#10 seussiii

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:59 PM

When you guys mention medium or mild I'm guessing jalapeño range?

I figured bell and sweeter peppers would be more popular for the everyday consumer but the one season I tried bells... I had some killer blossom end rot and lack luster pods.

Shishitos would probably be amazing for local restaurants

#11 Furious Sauces

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:58 PM

When you guys mention medium or mild I'm guessing jalapeño range?

I figured bell and sweeter peppers would be more popular for the everyday consumer but the one season I tried bells... I had some killer blossom end rot and lack luster pods.

Shishitos would probably be amazing for local restaurants

 

You can use reapers and still be considered mild. It's all about quantity. So use whatever peppers you want! People hear "Ghost Peppers", "Reapers", and freak out because they heard "stories". Our ghost pepper sauce is considered more of an entry level ghost pepper sauce, and it would be mild for most chileheads on this forum. It does takes some convincing to get people to try it. Then when they find out it's got the right amount of heat for them, they usually buy it.

 

Regarding the OP:

 

We sell at farmers markets every weekend and make most of our income from them. The bigger the market, the better you'll do. Smaller farmers markets will have less sales obviously, but if you can find a way to be at both markets at the same time, you'll make even more.

 

Events are where its at though. That's where you're going to make a lot of sales. Currently we run our business along side two other full time jobs right now so we aren't trying to sell it as hard core as others. But from farmers markets alone, we make enough to keep the fires burning without digging into our personal pockets. I wouldn't say farmers markets make enough for you to pay yourself though.

 

But whatever you do, don't run off to kickstarter at the beginning before getting out there and selling your product. There's been a few recently that's just kind of tickled me on the inside a bit. If you aren't willing to go into the trenches and sell your sauce at markets, or events, why should I back a company that wants to just jump right into mass distribution without really going out there and working for it. But to each their own. I guess for me personally, I would rather back a company that's tried and needs help, than a company who hasn't tried at all.


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#12 Rumbl

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 09:10 AM

I'm actually looking into starting sales at the farmers markets here. I'll definitely report back with what I find specific to my area. (Colorado Springs, CO)



#13 pallottahot

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 03:14 PM

As a brand new company, I started at a large local flea market here in NJ this September and October (took November off to focus on rebranding) and although a good 90% of the people who tried my sauces said they really liked them, maybe half the people made a purchase. You will find this frustrating and want to know why they didn't make a purchase. Is it price? Bottle size? No cash on hand? By the looks on their faces you will believe they were sincere, so you will ask yourself those questions.

 

Although I will not be returning to that flea market for December, overall I cannot say I was not happy with the turnout over that two month period.  It was a lot of fun to meet and talk to people about peppers and the like. It was even more fun when a customer would come to my stand, ask if this is hot (almost arrogantly) because "nothing is too hot for me", take a sample, immediately say, oh this isn't hot and begin to walk away. Three seconds later they'd turn around and their mouth would be burning from the slow heat (and to be honest I don't sell any burn your face off sauces - yet :-) ), and I just cross my arms and smile with them.

 

You will find most people are very pleasant, but still you need to chose the venue wisely. That was just one flea market so I will try my hand at farmers markets and vendor fairs. If it isn't working out there are other places you can try. Since leaving I have experienced increased online sales by people (return customers) who were disappointed to see me leave the flea market. And I've gotten online purchases by the case.

 

If the cost for the space isn't too much, you should give it a try.

 

 






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