[Market-farming] increasing mid-week market sales

Home Grown Kansas! hgkansas at sbcglobal.net
Wed Nov 29 08:59:34 EST 2006

I manage a market that has limited space and one that was mismanaged for a number of years so we are having to do "catch up" to build customer base again.  As manager, I feel I have a responsibility to my vendors and my customers.  I want our market to be a great one for both.  We limit the number of vegetable vendors coming to the market.  I don't see any reason to invite more vegetable vendors to come in when the ones we have are not selling out  An exception is if a grower has a  product that is not currently available from our existing members.  As I am sure is true for all managers, we have a few full season vendors who are there with product every week.  Then in July we have a lot of calls from people who want to come sell tomatoes, for example.  Although I would like to have the income to the market for stall fees, etc, I do not want to dilute the sales of my existing vendors.  As we continue to build a solid customer base we can add more vegetable vendors or the
 existing ones can expand their operation to accomodate.  Our city also has a large market in another part of town that accepts all producers.  It seems to be very successful for its vendors as well but does not have the same comfortable atmosphere as our smaller market.  I believe you don't have to be the biggest market to be the best market.  Quality always sells.  

"Wiediger, Alison" <alison.wiediger at hart.kyschools.us> wrote:
  We had 32 or 33 members this year with many seasonal, i.e., sweet corn,
strawberries etc. On a Saturday in mid-season, we had 19-20, several of
which are large enough to have 2 stall spaces. We are still recruiting,
knowing that the more presence we have, the more customer traffic we
will generate, and we are in a parking lot with virtually unlimited
space. If we ever have a permanent location with limited parking, we'll
have to limit our membership - probably using seniority and product mix
to make decisions. Until then, the more, the merrier. We figure giving
customers lots of choices is the best thing we can do to increase our
customer base. We belonged to a market, before helping start this one,
that allowed reselling and limited membership. After many years of
trying to make it a better market, we gave up. If the members have been
doing it that way for years, you likely are just banging your head
against a wall to change it - unless a majority agree with you.


-----Original Message-----
From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of
cjmaness at juno.com
Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 7:50 PM
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] increasing mid-week market sales

Hi Alison,
I don't have the solution for mid week sales, since our market goes 
through the same thing. We are open on Wed. mornings, 8-1. I'm 
curious though, how many regular vendors do you have? We also have a 
market board, and this year my hubby is the president. We have lots 
of ideas for improvements, like accepting new growers but we are met 
with fierce resentment towards that idea. Right now we have about 32 
vendors, some of which are seasonal, and not there for the full 
season. I would love to hear from you, as well as others who are 
either market managers or serving on the board as to when you feel 
like you have enough people selling squash and tomatoes! 

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