[Market-farming] mid-week slump

Home Grown Kansas! hgkansas at sbcglobal.net
Thu Nov 30 10:06:32 EST 2006

Beth--What a wonderful market experience.

Beth Spaugh <lists at rhomestead.com> wrote:
          We have an excellent Wednesday morning market in Lake Placid, NY. Lake Placid is a summer second-home area, and the thought is that people are too busy hiking/boating/entertaining guests on Saturdays, plus with special events (Ironman, horse show, etc), traffic is a hassle, and it needed to be a weekday market. We are producer only. We limit nonfarm vendors to less than 50% of the vendors. Among farm vendors we have wine, wildcrafted mushrooms, herbal soap, as well as produce, cheese, meat and eggs. The cheese, bread, and meat/eggs are big draws to the market. 
  We have two large (2 stall) veg vendors, mine was 1 1/2 stalls, a smaller two stall produce and plants person, and a flowers/dried arrangements/veggie one stall person. I noticed after Labor Day when the smaller veggie people dropped out that my sales increased. The last four markets were between $1000 and just over $1300/day for me. Based on that, although I want all the produce vendors to succeed, I think if we had one less those there would do better and I would gear up to provide more. The market manager agrees we don't need more veggie vendors. We also have outstanding baked goods, organic vegetarian ready-to-eat  vendor, a paninni vendor, a hand carved bowl vendor, and handmade furniture vendor, and other "crafts".This was our third year and during the height of the season we had between 20 and 30 vendors (I was too busy to count, but it was lots more than previous years). This was our third year. Our website is http://lakeplacidmarket.com. 
  The meat folks drive over two hours to come. The winery is over 3 hours away and has hired a local chef/mushroom gatherer to do their stall. One veggie vendor drives two hours. It is an hour fdrive or me. Our prepared food vendor is now driving 2 1/2 hours to a Saturday market, which should have lots of folks much closer doing good food, but apparently not. In other words, extend your search for strategic vendors outward, but I assume Allison with your contacts you have done that quite well. 
  We are planning to move inside to either Wednesday late afternoon or Saturday morning next fall, going til Thanksgiving or Christmas. We are changing the time to attract more locals who work "regular" hours. If we can hook them in the fall, maybe they will make the effort to come down at lunch during the summer. We were extremely pleased with the local support this fall (we went until Columbus Day). There were fewer people, but those who came bought a lot. And, no, Lake Placid is not all rich folks. Many second home owners are teachers, etc who have had the home in the family for many years. And I have low income and "working class" (waitresses, house painters, etc) customers.
  Beth Spaugh
Rehoboth Homestead
Peru NY


  From: Jeff & Carol Bunting [mailto:jcbunt at montanasky.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 2:56 PM
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [Market-farming] mid-week slump

  Our Tuesday evening market finally ended after many years of smaller vendor turnout.  Our customers got used to doing all their shopping at the Thursday or Saturday markets.
  On another note, we don't restrict the number of vendors who sell the same thing.   We let our customers decide who they purchase from. Free enterprise at work.  We are a producer only market.  Our only limit is the available space.  
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