[Market-farming] Friends of the Market Programs

sora at coldreams.com sora at coldreams.com
Fri Oct 17 12:59:49 EDT 2008

> How many of your markets have such a program for generating operating
> expenses? What do "Friends" get besides warm fuzzies? We are in an
> economically depressed area and recently had what little funding we were
> receiving funneled elsewhere. So we are racking our brains trying to come
> up with something...at the same time we are researching changing our
> market to have more of a regional footprint to drive tourism into our
> area, as most of the surrounding counties have better demographics.
> Any input or direction for more resources appreciated.

All of our current funding comes from vendor fees and donations.  As our
market is growing by leaps and bounds we find we also need to generate
more income in order to pay management help.  We've discussed and are
ready to implement a friends of the Market program next season.  We will
establish a brochure to circulate to local businesses and customers,
several have already pledged support.  As a "Friend" they would each
donate $100 per season and in return they would receive space on our
bulletin board for advertising and also get plugs on our weekly radio
advertising.  Our current rules do not allow selling before 8am except for
vendors who are allowed to purchase early since we usually do not get a
chance otherwise..."friends" would be extended the same privilege.  This
is as far as we've gotten for now but the concept seems appealing to local
business owners.  Our radio ads go out to 5 different stations and have
been extremely productive in bringing in folks from the neighboring towns.
                                  Sora at Paradise Valley Organics
                          who is So glad the season is over!

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