[Market-farming] Firm Market Start Times? Pros and Cons?

Roots Farm karen at rootsfarm.info
Mon Apr 7 06:55:36 EDT 2014


Here's another model:  The open air produce market in Dominica is not strictly a farmer's market as there are also plenty of vendors who have purchased their produce from local farmers.  (There are also a few vendors who are selling mostly imported, processed foods, but also a few imported fresh produce items that don't compete with local produce (potatoes, onions, garlic).) The market is open nonstop from Friday morning through Saturday late afternoon, as well as all weekdays.  Farmers selling their things retail or wholesale to the vendors come and go for the days and hours within that suit them; many arrive all through Friday night to sell for the biggest market day Saturday.  A few retail farmers will also get to market Friday evening and stay through Saturday morning, maybe even sleeping there (no, no facilities) when things get slow.   We get there about 6:15 AM (ugh) because the largest proportions of our customers arrive and our sales take place between about 6:30 and 8:30 A.M.  We'll leave, usually around 1 P.M., when we've sold all/enough and the heat and noise of market reach our tipping point.  

 Best wishes to all,

Karen
 
Roots Farm Organic Produce
Fruits, Roots, Vegetables & Herbs
Cochrane, DOMINICA
767-449-3038 (before 7 P.M.)
karen at rootsfarm.info

On Apr 6, 2014, at 7:36 PM, <clearviewfarm at bluefrog.com> wrote:

> I don't really like having to sell to people before the start time, especially if I am pressed for time.  Once, I had a customer actually help me get setup, when she had to come in early and then be at another place at another time.  I am thinking that I may suggest that to other early birds in the future. It's not a big deal if I have plenty of time. I would have to be prepared and organized enough to delegate responsibility to someone not necessarily familiar with how they should take on tasks for me.  Thoughts on that?
> 
> Kurt Forman
> Clearview Farm
> Palmyra, NY 14522
> Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
> 
> --- organic87 at frontiernet.net wrote:
> 
> From: Road's End Farm <organic87 at frontiernet.net>
> To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Firm Market Start Times? Pros and Cons?
> Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2014 18:52:53 -0400
> 
> I think it may depend on the market.
> 
> Our early morning start market (7:30 AM on Saturdays) allows early sales with no problems; there aren't that many customers who show up earlier than that, and those who do often are on their way to work and couldn't come at another time. And I've sold at an afternoon market that allowed early sales and had no problems with them; but I've also sold at a market that theoretically started at 10 in the morning, but customers would start showing up the moment the first vendor arrived (some of their windows overlooked the market site), with the result that a lot of them had come and gone by 10; so if you weren't set up ready for customers well before the theoretical start time, you lost a lot of sales.
> m
> Maybe a compromise would be to say vendors can't start setting up before a given time -- if the market starts at 4, nobody can start setting up before 3 or 3:30? It takes some people a lot longer to set up than others, so that wouldn't solve it entirely; but it would keep people from showing up way ahead of time in order to get all the early customers.
> 
> 
> 
> -- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 6A now I think but maybe not this year
> Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
> 
> On Apr 6, 2014, at 5:22 PM, Richard Moyer wrote:
> 
> Our market Steering Committee meets tomorrow night.  On the agenda is whether we start on the hour (as advertised and in our written rules), or allow early sales as vendors are setting up.  So vendors who set up early don't have to twiddle their thumbs, and early customers aren't inconvenienced by the wait.
> 
>  A few years back our afternoon market, officially 4-7 pm, kept creeping back until it actually began closer to 3.  And some things were selling out before official start at 4.  So we set a firm time of 3-6, with no early sales allowed.
> 
> But a new crop of vendors, unaware of that history, are asking to sell as soon as they are ready, before our official opening time.
> 
> We do have a market manager, and advertise on the hour starts, in multiple media platforms.
> 
> What is YOUR experience with firm starts on the hour vs. allowing sales between any vendor that shows up early.
> 
> Thanks,
> Richard Moyer
> SW VA
> 
> 
> 
> 
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