sales First Farmers Market


eXtreme Business
Heading to my first farmers market in a couple weeks. I'm trying to get everything ready to go. No fresh product just yet but going with my dried peppers and possibly some starters.

I've got my Square account set up, opened my business banking, got the biz name registered and got set up for collecting sales tax. What am I forgetting?

Anyone ever sell at a farmers market? Any tips or suggestions?

I'm especially wondering about the starters - any advice on how to determine pricing for those?
I would figure out a way to sell by tasting. Which is hard with dry peppers. But you could have something like a ghost powder brownie and cut it into small squares with toothpicks. You don't sell the brownies you let people taste them and tell them they can make them at home with your peppers. Farmers markets are BIG on tasting. A dry good, someone is just going to walk by. Make them stop! Talk them up. Offer something to taste.
What he said...^^^^

Brownie is a good idea as it can be toothpick tasted. will need to check market regs for sampling a baked product...which you will have to bake. Where will it be prepared? Same thing for a cream cheese or sour cream dip. And if serving a dairy sample, it will need to be kept cold throughout the market hours. Lots of options for this...

Is there some way to make a sour cream or cream cheese dip with chips or crackers?
And have recipes to give with purchases. Simple computer printed page with 2 or 3 recipes...make sure your customers can make what you are sampling to them. Print 2 across the top and 2 across the bottom, cut in half...

You will run into all varieties of food allergy issues, and you cant solve them all.

If you do sampling of a sauce/dip, consider how to dispense using a squirt bottle so there is no dipping in the bowl....

Chips or a disposable taster spoon....

You should have ability for cash also. I used a 2 pocket servers apron with $1s on one side and $5/10/etc on the other. At the time, the salsa was $4, so most sales needed change. This was back in the day when internet was nonexistent or dial-up. Keep your money on you, dont have a cash box unless it is very protected, not sitting on the table. If your price is $7.00, make sure you have lots if $1 bills at least for the first few markets until you see how much is digital payments -v- cash.

At each sale, I put my tubs of fresh salsa in clear plastic produce bags that were purchased from my local grocery store on those big rolls. Customers walk around the market and other customers would see the tub of salsa and ask...'where'd you get that'....

I used to also bring extra plastic and paper grocery bags. Things have changed now for some markets, you cant use paper or plastic????.... but when I would see a customer carrying several jars or bunches of carrot and a cabbage, i would call them over and give them a plastic or paper grocery bag. Just a courtesy thing in the spirit of the market...

And then there is all the stuff of canopy, weights, wash station, table, chair,

Check out clear acrylic photo frames. Not really frames, they are free standing, can be positioned anywhere on the table, and you can slip in in a new price sheet or info sheet every week as your inventory changes.

Oh! I prefered to use black or neutral colored picnic table plastic cloth which is easibly wipeable with a bleach cloth. Look for it at any fabric store. 3-4' the length of your table plus 2-3' on each end.

Good luck and Have Fun!!!
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And have recipes to give with purchases.
I was going to say this too. They will only buy it if they think they can replicate it, printed... or you can list some recipes on your website and let them know they are there, hand out a biz card.
Dont put all your product to the front of the table. Keep it back from the front edge 8 to 12". So peopke can set down their bags and purses to dig out their cc and cash.

Dont spend a lot of $$ on a banner that hangs down the front of your table...where noone will see it when the table is queued up with customers. Hang something on the back of the canopy where it can be seen even when customers are clamoring and josling to be the next customer served. ;) :lol: plan for the best case!!!

Stretch covers look really slick:

But I agree, the logo doesn't need to be there. Higher up. On your canopy, and if no canopy, then something like this:
(furiously taking notes)

Thanks for the tips! Not quite sure about brownies, but something to taste is a GREAT idea, thank you! I'll have to work on some ideas.

Was planning on the cash already, canopy, table, and chairs all ready. Didn't think about a tablecloth though! Love the idea of the frame with the price list too.

Market organizer is reporting 27 vendors to be in attendance, a lot more than I expected. I'm the ONLY hot pepper seller. The town's chamber of commerce is pushing the event, even has several people committing to come and spend at least $20. Music, food truck, and "Mr. Freeze" all going to be there too.

Already more than I expected. I was expecting maybe 10-ish vendors and not much else...

Oh, I also found some pepper-centered recipe books that I can get wholesale, so hoping I can get some of those in time. If not first week, second for sure.

Total side note: I found a commercial kitchen nearby with decent rates that I can use for grinding and packaging next harvest, for flakes and blends!
Stretch covers look cool. Being spandex, they probably need a clear plastic cover for use on a food table. And if something gets spilled/dropped down the front, the cloth will need washing between events, and can likely be stained.

What can I say...I am inherently lazy...
Plastic table cloth material available in many colors and prints.... wipe it off at the end of the market, fold it up into the tote bin, ready for next week... 🤷
Just saw this on IG. Good look and the branding is above not on the skirt as mentioned.

Oh, nice svelt profile! :lol:

Banner in the back, space on the front of the table, looks like some squirt bottles in an ice bucket on the table and a wash station on the back left. Classic.
Hellfire could do the black stretch top with a fiery color ruffle underneath (not as red as that, more orange and not satiny more matte). SLICK!
Cautionary tale from an event....

The booth next to me was serving cut pieces of (some type of kielbasa or german sausage..,) smothered in the bbq sauce they were selling. They were serving in something like a hot dog paper boat. They didnt have any trash bins so their customers saw my very small trash containers and totally bogged them up.

Day 2 of the event...i had a quick word with my neighbor, suggested they get some bins or boxes for their trash.....

They took care of it, not realizing what was going on, all good for the rest of the event.
Thanks again for all the ideas and suggestions!

So I've settled on a three "samples", each featuring a different pepper: A straight pineapple-ghost sauce (using squeeze bottles) with sampling spoons and chips for tasting, Reaper lemonade, and Dragon Glass (yes I know) candy. Recipes tested, we like them around here - guess we'll see how it goes in the wild!

Got a banner and all the accessories ordered, and have a checklist put together. Now working furiously on finishing up the packaging!