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There is a great Washington Post Article that hits upon the “growers only” vs. “value added” seasonal Farmers Market vendors. You know value added… everything from prepared food to craft items, etc. Whether it’s seasonal or year-round; the difference is real between these types of markets - the way they look, the way they feel and who’s attending. As one that visits as many as possible; the opinions of market managers and vendors vary from the hard-line purest to the more-the-merrier.
The explosive growth of the Farmers Markets in recent years means the buying public is being wooed by the experience. If you ask ten different market patrons what they enjoy most about their market; the answer is invariably “the fresh fruits and vegetables.” After all - they’re at a Farmers Market; it’s a very in-thing to say. Now look in their bag; tomatoes, onions… SOAP? And they’re carrying a half finished smoothie from just down vendor row. The experience means different things to different people. The question for a market manager is – what type of experience are you creating for your market patrons?
Market managers should strive to balance the wants and needs of vendors and patrons alike. Know that the “Farmers Market" is not just a place to meet the farmer and buy direct; it is but one great part of a larger community event. This event invites the community to take to the streets and mingle with neighbors and friends.
By: Green Market Guru
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