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  #1  
Old 06/30/09, 05:58 PM
 
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What sells best at Farmers Market?

Last year I did Farmers Market for the first time doing mainly baked goods and some vegetables. I spent the whole day before baking and the market was 2 days a week. I would make pies,breads,bars ,etc. Everything went very well and I did good but I got so behind. Any ideas for baking or other things you do. I am going to sell soap for sure this year. Thanks,Dawn

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  #2  
Old 06/30/09, 06:40 PM
Brenda Groth
 
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people going there are likley more looking for foods..I wouldn't want to buy soap and have it in a bag with foods..myself

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  #3  
Old 06/30/09, 07:00 PM
 
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I would package everything separately. I would definately not put it with the food.

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  #4  
Old 06/30/09, 07:04 PM
Jan
 
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What sells best at our Farmer's Market is eggs. The egg lady always runs out within half-an-hour of the market opening on Saturday morning!

Jan

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  #5  
Old 06/30/09, 07:09 PM
 
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You are so right about the eggs. I sell them also and they are sold out quickly. How much do they sell for there?

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  #6  
Old 06/30/09, 07:59 PM
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sorry I don't know the answer but I have a question? do you have to have a commercial kitchen to sell baked goods at a farmers market? baked goodies were going like crazy at our local market when I visited for the first time and I was considering jumping in for a piece of the pie.

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  #7  
Old 06/30/09, 08:13 PM
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Well we just had the health unit go through our market (I am the V Chair of the market association) and according to the inspector she wasn't interested in nor does the unit inspect home baking. Now I understand the USA is much free-er than "socialist" Canada so maybe things are even easier there?

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Last edited by Ross; 06/30/09 at 08:39 PM. Reason: cause I can't ype
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  #8  
Old 06/30/09, 08:21 PM
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Oh yeah what sells best. Eggs certainly, veggies, baking, quality crafts (like good pottery sewing, and wood working. Soap didn't sell well at our mkt but I've heard better things in other markets for it.

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  #9  
Old 06/30/09, 08:22 PM
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Wow, I'd love to sell baked goods/bread at mine, I know if you have great stuff people will scarf that down hand over fist! I thought you had to have an inspected kitchen etc?

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  #10  
Old 06/30/09, 08:24 PM
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PS, I love real nice handmade sopa in UNUSUAL flavors. I used to get this Morroccan-spice soap, with cinnamon and other morrocco-ey spices with almond, it was AWESOME stuff! I wanted to EAT it!

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  #11  
Old 06/30/09, 09:21 PM
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Around here the biggest sellers at farm markets are live potted plants, plants and more plants. Any kind of plants, especially herbs. Everyone here on the west coast are crazy about plants for their houses and gardens.

Next is organically raised fruits/veggies/herbs ready for the kitchen. Also different kinds of honeys, jams and jellies, chutneys, fruit preserves, fresh free-range farm eggs, any goat milk products, all sorts of cheeses, fresh seafood, fudge, candy, home made jewellery, woven or knitted items, fancy scented soaps and body care products, candles, any kind of wood crafting, crafts for placing outdoors and in gardens, i.e. bentwood furniture, wind chimes, wind harps, etc. Native crafts are a big seller too.

Baked goods don't generally seem to go over too well. Not too sure why that is - maybe people prefer their own home baked goods or are paranoid about eating other people's home baking. I won't buy home baked goods at farm markets for those 2 reasons - also there are already hundreds of great ethnic bakeries around here anyway.

.

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  #12  
Old 06/30/09, 09:22 PM
 
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Check with your state farmers market association to see if you need a commercial kitchen or not. Some states let you sell a certain dollar amount of some baked goods without one.
At our market fresh veggies sell the best, followed by jams, baked goods, eggs etc.
The key is to have something that no one else does so you have to be creative.

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  #13  
Old 06/30/09, 09:48 PM
 
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Here in Nebraska you don't have to have a commercial kitchen. There is a little sign that you hang on your table that says you're things are not made in a state inspected kitchen. Nobody at our market is inspected. I'm super careful about cleanliness. Baked goods go over very well at our market. Thanks so much to everyone for all the great advice.

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  #14  
Old 06/30/09, 09:54 PM
Cindy
 
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I have checked in Iowa and Missouri. You can sell home baked goods from your house (and a Farmers Market is considered an extension of your house - I know because I asked) as long as the products are NOT sold for re-sale (can't sell to a store to sell again). And they can not be "soft" baked goods. That is anything that spoils like cream filled pies, cheese cakes.

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  #15  
Old 07/01/09, 09:13 AM
Brenda Groth
 
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yeah i bought an amish made cream pie one time...big mistake..sick

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  #16  
Old 07/01/09, 09:20 AM
 
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Its definitely eggs here, too. People beg for them at our veggie/plant booth. I could make a killing if I had room for 50 hens.

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  #17  
Old 07/01/09, 09:21 AM
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We aren't allowed to sell meat or fresh eggs at our market, but you also don't need to bake or process in a commercially-inspected kitchen to sell bread and canned goods. You must, however, use commercial sealers, not re-used jam and mayo jars, for obvious reasons. We have one lady at our market who absolutely refuses to do as she's told on this one, and the health inspector just about has a fit every time he inspects. We try and tell her that she could shut us ALL down if she doesn't stop it, and she's good for a while, then gets back to doing it again.

My breads do very well, but so do my jams and jellies, quickbreads, focaccia, granola, homemade bran cereal, etc. The beauty of the jams, jellies, and cereals is that they can be made well ahead, unlike the baked goods.

I've also found that "snack-y treats" sell very well individually. Cinnamon buns are especially popular, especially if you bake them just before leaving for the market, and they're still a bit warm

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  #18  
Old 07/01/09, 09:25 AM
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I sell breads and scones and shortbread through our Farmer's Market and an online Farmer's Market. All of my ingredients are organic and I do not have a certified kitchen. I have been selling for 7 years now with no problems.

Every market is different and you'll have to see what your local one needs or is lacking. Ours can always use another egg seller. Veggies do fine but to make any real money you need value added products. Jams and jellies, goat's milk soap, salsa's and baked goods make way more than just vegetables.

Your Market manager should be able to let you know what your state rules are as far as canned or baked goods. If not check your extension office.

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  #19  
Old 07/01/09, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Rimmer View Post
We aren't allowed to sell meat or fresh eggs at our market, but you also don't need to bake or process in a commercially-inspected kitchen to sell bread and canned goods. You must, however, use commercial sealers, not re-used jam and mayo jars, for obvious reasons. We have one lady at our market who absolutely refuses to do as she's told on this one, and the health inspector just about has a fit every time he inspects. We try and tell her that she could shut us ALL down if she doesn't stop it, and she's good for a while, then gets back to doing it again.
Your Market manager needs to drop her membership if she refuses to follow the rules. It isn't fair to the rest of you.
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  #20  
Old 07/01/09, 09:48 AM
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I was involved in a very small first-year farmer's market last year. What sold the best for me was jams and jellies, relishes, canned beets, and muffins. I baked lots of cookies too, but the muffins sold much better than the cookies did. An Amish lady brought bread every week, so I didn't bother trying to compete with her.

I sold lots of fresh produce too. I'm hoping to be the first to have sweet corn ready this year.

I also took my handmade jewelry, lipgloss, bookthongs, and soaps along and sold a good bit of those.

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