How Much Did Farmers Market Help You Launch Your Business?

Business By Motta Updated 3 Apr 2010 , 7:25am by indydebi

Motta Posted 17 Mar 2010 , 9:35pm
post #1 of 30

Was it a good move for you? Why or why not?

I see some pros and cons for me and I'd love to hear your experiences. Thanks!

29 replies
indydebi Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 12:33am
post #2 of 30

I never did a farmers market.
I never considered doing a farmers market.

bobwonderbuns Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 12:47am
post #3 of 30

There's a gal in our town who did that with good success, but she had to jump through every hoop known to man with the licensing, dedicated kitchen, yada yada yada even BEFORE she was a legal entity. Our state is really picky about that stuff.

Motta Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 2:25am
post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I never did a farmers market.
I never considered doing a farmers market.




Debi, you are so cool. I love it! I hear what you're not saying.

Bobwonderbuns - the biggest reason I'm considering doing it is because it's incredibly easy to get into one in my area! Bake from your home kitchen, sell 3 hours a week, pick which weeks you want to be a vendor and package your stuff properly. That would be about it for baking products. Other stuff is more strictly controlled but not us bakers.

pj22 Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 3:26am
post #5 of 30

I am considering selling at our farmers market too but I am yet to get the details on it

pj22 Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 3:27am
post #6 of 30

Motta, what kind of baked goods are you planning to sell at your booth at the market? And what kind of packaging will you use?

Motta Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 4:42am
post #7 of 30

I'll use whatever cheap but acceptable packaging I can get from the bakery supply store, Winners (Wilton cupcake boxes), Michael's, etc. My ideal would be see-through, plastic cupcake boxes like at the grocery store. For cakes, thick paper boxes with a window on top would be nice. The farmers market here accepts plastic, paper, cardboard, etc. - they're reasonable folks.

I want to sell cakes mainly but I will have to sell cupcakes and decorated brownies and cookies simply because they are easier to sell as impulse buys at the market. They are cheaper than cakes, portable and can be eaten on site. Cakes will have to be ordered through me. I was thinking of bringing along a couple of small dummy cakes to spruce up the stall.

Just thoughts...I haven't committed to the market yet.

pj22 Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 4:52am
post #8 of 30

Great ideas.. thanks!

Oh..and how will you determine pricing the goods? Sorry for asking so many questions but I'm just starting out and would love some guidance from those who've "been there done that"! icon_smile.gif

pj22 Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 4:55am
post #9 of 30

Here's a link to an online store I found for packaging boxes.. thought it would be of help to you icon_biggrin.gif

http://www.brpboxshop.com/bakery_boxes/natural_bakery_boxes.html

Bfisher2 Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 4:59am
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motta

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I never did a farmers market.
I never considered doing a farmers market.



Debi, you are so cool. I love it! I hear what you're not saying.

Bobwonderbuns - the biggest reason I'm considering doing it is because it's incredibly easy to get into one in my area! Bake from your home kitchen, sell 3 hours a week, pick which weeks you want to be a vendor and package your stuff properly. That would be about it for baking products. Other stuff is more strictly controlled but not us bakers.




Motta.... isnt that the truth. When I was doing this as a hobby I knew grannies that were selling more product than me in a week. Kind of frosts ya a little though that we have to jump through a thousand hoops with the health inspectors and granny, with the help of tinkles her cat, can happily bake you what ever you want..... thats special......

Motta Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 5:22am
post #11 of 30

Bfisher2 - tinkles the cat!! ha ha. I wonder if granny would even notice that tinkles has shed all over the banana loaf? icon_lol.gif

Actually, there is a pretty cool cake shop in town and they sell at the downtown farmers market every summer and they have a storefront already. It made me think that maybe they're onto something...?? I wish markets would do demographics research and also purchase surveys to see what kind of crowd we are dealing with.

pj22 - awesome - thanks for the link!

Bfisher2 Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 5:37am
post #12 of 30

Motta,
Im in alberta also, here is "just my opinion", if your still at a hobby level, what can it hurt. Your selling legally through the farmers market association. But, if you take outside orders you could be letting yourself in for a new and all together nasty experience. Outside of the market you are under the governing rules of alberta health and wellness/ canadian food inspection agency (they are one now im told)

Ive seen it happen to local decorators here advertising through Kijiji. It was truly a shame though. Some of those girls had real talent but no means to open up a formal business.

I wish you all the luck in the world and if you do it I sincerly hope you find a great amount of success!!!!!!

Motta Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 1:25pm
post #13 of 30

Bfisher2 - yes, you are right! It's important to "play by the rules" or we'll get caught. I got the impression that as long as I sell at the market, then it's ok to take orders....I'll have to confirm that. Thanks so much for your advice. And your good wishes for me.

-Tubbs Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 1:41pm
post #14 of 30

I've done various farmer's markets, Christmas markets etc, and although I've enjoyed the experience, they never lived up to the 'getting my name out' goal. I don't think I've had more than a handful of orders stemming from someone picking up a card from my table, even though I've had fantastic customer feedback.

It is a lot of work, and a bit of a gamble because you never know what will sell week to week. For example, one week I made strawberry/rhubarb crumb cake, and they all sold within an hour, so the next week I made twice as many, and only sold one. I found this VERY frustrating and ultimately it's the reason I won't be doing any more markets, even though I actually really enjoy the planning and preparation process, and also chatting with customers and other vendors.

I don't want to be a downer, because it's definitely a worthwhile experience, even if just to fine-tune your recipes, processes and pricing.

I would love to hear from anyone who has truly launched their businesses off the back of a market.

Motta Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 1:59pm
post #15 of 30

Natalie - thanks for the great info. I'd like to hear from the ones who made a successful business from a farmers market too!
Maybe it's more of a good way to experience business prep rather than to get new business?

oh and for pj22 - I haven't yet "been there or done that" so I can't help you with pricing. sorry. sigh...still trying to find a way into this business while juggling a regular job and kids.

Bfisher2 Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 4:39pm
post #16 of 30

Motta, Tubbs,

Aint that the truth. You just never know what is going to blow someones hair back from one week to the next. I had actually considered doing something similar at our local farmers market, mostly cuppies. But I seem to be booking up BUT, like tubbs said, there is always the christmas markets.

Tubbs, Calgary must have a huge farmers market. I used to drive into Edmonton to go wander around the one on whyte ave. but I dont remeber seeing any cake decorators there, just granny n tinkles...*LOL*

pj22 Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 5:26pm
post #17 of 30

Motta - Ok.. thanks!! icon_smile.gif

Anybody else who can guide us with the pricing for farmers markets? Would it be like adding up the cost of ingredients, equipment, and also our time involved?

-Tubbs Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 5:34pm
post #18 of 30

Yes, the Calgary Farmer's market is a big deal - it actually indoors and goes year round Friday-Sunday. Buttercream Bake shoppe (one of the main cuppie stores in the city) has a permanent booth there.

There are also lots of smaller, summer only community markets.

surgery2 Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 5:49pm
post #19 of 30

I actually get 100% of my orders delivered thru the farmers market, its the vehicle i have to be a legal HBV in Indiana. The goods are "delivered" or "sold" if you will, at the farmers market, and I'm netting $900-$1100 a week in sales. So it works for me. I have my hands in other things to make my real money ( meaning to pay bills with), rental homes, racing horses, stocks, mutual funds. My baking money is my mad (extra) money.

pj22 Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 8:56pm
post #20 of 30

surgery2 - what kind of products do you make and sell at the farmers markets? So do people order in advance and pick up at the market? Or do you have a 'menu' of items that you sell based on demand?

Also, how do you price your items? Thanks!!

Motta Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 4:55am
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bfisher2

Motta, Tubbs,

Aint that the truth. You just never know what is going to blow someones hair back from one week to the next. I had actually considered doing something similar at our local farmers market, mostly cuppies. But I seem to be booking up BUT, like tubbs said, there is always the christmas markets.

Tubbs, Calgary must have a huge farmers market. I used to drive into Edmonton to go wander around the one on whyte ave. but I dont remeber seeing any cake decorators there, just granny n tinkles...*LOL*




Yeah, too bad about the unpredictability. Hey, if tinkles is at the market I am definitely outta there!!

cylstrial Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 4:51pm
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by surgery2

I actually get 100% of my orders delivered thru the farmers market, its the vehicle i have to be a legal HBV in Indiana. The goods are "delivered" or "sold" if you will, at the farmers market, and I'm netting $900-$1100 a week in sales. So it works for me. I have my hands in other things to make my real money ( meaning to pay bills with), rental homes, racing horses, stocks, mutual funds. My baking money is my mad (extra) money.




Wow! $900 -$1100 a week! That is super awesome! It gives the rest of us hope! It's sad that my goal will be to make about $200 a week. What do you sell that flies off the table like that?

Motta Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 11:53pm
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylstrial

Quote:
Originally Posted by surgery2

I actually get 100% of my orders delivered thru the farmers market, its the vehicle i have to be a legal HBV in Indiana. The goods are "delivered" or "sold" if you will, at the farmers market, and I'm netting $900-$1100 a week in sales. So it works for me. I have my hands in other things to make my real money ( meaning to pay bills with), rental homes, racing horses, stocks, mutual funds. My baking money is my mad (extra) money.



Wow! $900 -$1100 a week! That is super awesome! It gives the rest of us hope! It's sad that my goal will be to make about $200 a week. What do you sell that flies off the table like that?




Yeah, what do you sell?

Spectra Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 2:01am
post #24 of 30

I love this thread! I am planning on selling items in the future at my Farmer's Market and I'm stoked that in my city buying local is a BIG deal. I can't wait! So obviously I think it's a great idea hehe. icon_biggrin.gif

surgery2 Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 3:56pm
post #25 of 30

I dont really sell anything there except some cupcakes and tv bars and such, the bulk of my money is from presales, in which they pick up their orders at the farmers markets.

cylstrial Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 12:39am
post #26 of 30

That's good to know Surgery2! Thanks for sharing with us!

CakestyleIN Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 3:02am
post #27 of 30

I'm considering trying to sell baked goodies at a Farmer's Market. Can anyone tell me, do you pay income taxes on what you sell? Thanks!

elliespartycake Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 1:53pm
post #28 of 30

Do you mean income tax or sales tax? Collecting sales tax would depend oon your particular state's sales tax structure. If you are making money by baking and selling your baked goods you would absoutley have to declare any profit (gross sales less cost of supplies etc) on your income taxes. Are you a legal licensed business? Check with the particular farmers market you are considering because most will want your license/certification info as well as proof you have the proper liability insurance before they let you have a booth there.

CakestyleIN Posted 2 Apr 2010 , 4:37pm
post #29 of 30

thanks, I'm not sure about any of it... I'm in Indiana and they have the home based vendor thing going on, and you don't have to be licensed to sell at farmers markets, but I just didn't know any of the tax requirements that would go along with that! I bake as a hobby, but a lot of people tell me I should sell them. As a home based vendor, they say you don't need certificates, etc.. and since it's not a business, I wouldn't have an actual tax id so I wasn't sure if I did sell them, how I would claim it on my taxes as income?

indydebi Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 7:25am
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakestyleIN

...and since it's not a business, I wouldn't have an actual tax id so I wasn't sure if I did sell them, how I would claim it on my taxes as income?


You'd be a sole proprietor and you'd just report it, using your social security number.

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