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Farmers’ Markets – An opportunity!

What do you think of when you think of Farmers’ Markets? Do you think of fresh produce, cheeses, honey, and meats? I certainly do. (Now I’m hungry!) However, while farmers and producers are the centrepiece of Farmers’ Markets – they are far from the only thing!

Farmers’ Markets – much like everything else – have evolved. They have special rules and regulations that surround them – which is why they require their vendor make up to be 51% farmer and producers – but there are a great variety of vendors! Makers and artisans are now commonplace at these markets. It is for this reason that farmers’ markets are appearing on ShowWiz as fast as we can find them. They’re excellent opportunities and shouldn’t be overlooked just because “Well, I’m not a farmer!”

Farmers’ Markets have some advantages that are worth noting:

They often have significantly lower table fees than your typical craft or vendor fair.

This is one of the biggest advantages when considering Farmers’ Markets. This is especially good if you’re looking to try new displays or new products. Some Farmers’ Markets (Chesterville, for example) have even waived vendor fees for 2019. It’s a low financial cost way of getting your toes wet. Or trying something new!

They often have a loyal clientele that come back week after week.

Farmers’ Markets often have their roots firmly planted in their communities. There are both urban and rural markets – but both have folks who look forward to and frequent the market regularly. This builds habits and works as built in publicity. This gives you a chance to build rapport – should you choose to do more than one day!

They have great flexibility.

One of the things I love about Farmers’ Markets is that, since they are hosted on a weekly basis, there’s so much flexibility! Many offer significant discounts for vendors who are willing to commit to every week, which is great. However, the fact that you can apply for one day or a few days is what really makes these markets appealing to me. You can try it out – heck, you can try a few out and find out what market matches your vibe. This flexibility means that you can do other shows and still not miss out on these markets.

They offer wonderfully roomy booth sizes!

Hello, 10 foot by 10 foot space! Especially considering the price (mentioned above) this amount of space is amazing. You won’t get this much space at any typical craft or vendors fair. Bring some extra tables (I use 3 and a room divider display when I’m at 10×10 shows) and show off your stuff. Without the need to cram everything together on a table, you have more room to display your products and more space for customers to interact with them.

You’ll likely get to enjoy the fresh air.

Many farmers markets are outside – that is one of the reason why the costs are considerably lower: no venue rental fees! This is great for fresh air, enjoying the weather, and being out and accessible to foot traffic.

You can reach a different demographic.

Craft and vendor fairs tend to have a very consistent demographic. If you’ve participated in a few: you know. Farmers’ Markets have a local connection, varied vendors, and are often seen as a fun, family community event. Due to these factors they offer exposure to a whole new audience of people you may not have otherwise met. New friends, new fans, new customers!

You become part of a community!

Many of the farmers, producers, and makers return week after week! This fosters a sense of community with fellow vendors as well as with regular customers. If you choose to do a full season with a market or return regularly throughout the season, you will become part of this community!

Some additional considerations…

They’re often outside.

Fresh air is wonderful, but being outside does come with a specific set of consideration. The weather can be wonderful – but if can also be less than perfect.  Making sure your items are secure from the wind, for example is a definite consideration! Less than ideal weather can also have a significant impact on turn out – even more so with traditional, indoor vendor opportunities.

They have additional set up needs.

Since Farmers’ Markets are generally outside or in large spaces, bringing your own tent, tables and chairs is usually necessary. Tents, when used outside also need to be weighted down! Keep this in mind! If you do not already own these things, purchasing them or renting them is an additional financial and logistical consideration.

They may have different requirements and regulations.

Depending on what you sell, you may have different requirements that need to be taken into account. Make sure to read application forms, market rule books, and contracts thoroughly and to touch base with the organizer during the application process to avoid any surprises. You can start your consideration by checking out their event details here on ShowWiz – including what type vendors each one takes! is an online resource that offers a comprehensive calendar of craft and vendor shows and a vendor directory. Currently serving Eastern Ontario and the National Capital Region, works to connect vendors, organizers, and shoppers with opportunities that work for them.

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