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Santa Fe Farmers Market.. mission impossible!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So.. Here we go.. I'm getting some info to sell at the farmers market in my city, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I carefully read the rules documents.. I couldnt believe what i read!

The 80% of my ingredients must come from the local farmers! that means everything I buy in a regular grocery store, like flours, eggs, chocolate, cream cheese are not allowed! What if I use box mix and not the regular flour? 

Now I start to understand why there are just a couple of baker at the market and why noone has cupcakes, pies o cakes!

Even if I would start buying what I need from the local farmers, that would increase  A LOT my cost and my prices! 

 

This is very frustrating.. I also checked the rules of the ABQ farmers market (1h and hald driving from SF), they seem to be more reasonable.. 

But they request few license from the city of Albuquerque of course. Can I get them even if my kitchen in Santa Fe, which has a different food processing license?

 

I really wanted to attent the farmers market to put my name out there since I just moved here, but I dont really think I'll be able to, so what to do? any suggestion?

post #2 of 9

How will they know who you are buying from? Do you have to fill out a form? Do they ask all the farmers every week if they have sold you anything? Seems a bit ridiculous to me!

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

yes, u need to fill a form with all the info, where u purchase your ingredients. Also everything you want to sell needs to be approved by the farmers market jury!! 

but it's not over yet.. are you guys ready? 

 

..they are going to inspect your kitchen to be sure you really buy local ingredients, you have the right amount of ingredients compared to your market sell and you have the exactly variety of ingredients you wrote on the form before. 

 

It's VERY ridiculous to me!

post #4 of 9

That's insane!  (Keep in mind I live in the rural Midwest)  I tried selling my sweet treats at the local indoor farmers market around Thanksgiving and Christmas last year.  My family were my best customers!  Although my situation was different because it didn't matter where my ingredients came from (store or farmers market).  However, I had the Amish who live 60ish miles away to compete with.  They could charge $9 for a pie, but that's about what my cost was for my pies.  I can't compete with that!  They can get their ingredients a lot cheaper than I can.  I know there are people out there obviously make money at farmers market, but I think you have to go to a HUGE market to make it work.  It's funny... around here people are willing to drive 60 miles so that they can pay a little less for something at a chain store, but they won't spend a little extra for something locally and save money on the gas.  I suggest using Facebook, Pinterest, etc. and word of mouth to spread the word about yourself.

post #5 of 9
This is actually becoming more common among farmer's markets...the whole point of the market is to help businesses that produce ingredients locally connect directly with customers, so it makes sense to only allow vendors who support local growers.

I don't think it's ridiculous at all to require an inspection, otherwise vendors could just say that they are using local ingredients and there would be no way to verify that.

Participating in a farmer's market that far away from your primary market may be an issue if you are hoping to get customers to order custom products, unless you have a very strong competitive advantage most people probably won't drive 2 hours.

If you don't like the rules of your local farmer's market, another option is starting your own. Some new cottage food businesses have been doing this in California.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

I can say it's kinda fair they request local ingredients, but the 80%? there is NO WAY I can reach that percentage for a cake..

Also, if I want to try out a new product and see if it works at the market, i cant because the jury didnt approve it! If I sell it anyways, I gotta pay $100 for the violation..

I think these rules are to strict!

post #7 of 9

are you sure it would raise your prices too much? i think fresh eggs and butter in my cakes would be awesome, but i'd be surprised if i could get the rest of my ingredients from local farmers--enough to reach 80%. but if you could, that might be the competitive edge you need to put yourself ahead of the competition. 

 

"locavore baker bakes fresh and local, supporting our community and bringing you the best Sante Fe has to offer"

post #8 of 9
The only thing you probably wouldn't be able to source locally would be sugar.

http://www.farmerspal.com/organic-farms/region/new-mexico/page/1/
http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Bulletins/Meeting-the-Diverse-Needs-of-Limited-Resource-Producers/Text-Version/Profiles/New-Mexico-Wheat-Growers-Join-Forces-to-Grow-Market-Premium-Flower

If only the products you actually sell at the farmer's market are required to be 80% local, you could produce a separate higher-priced "sourced locally" product line for the market (and for people who will pay a premium for local) and still take orders for conventional products at a lower price point.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I wrote the maneger asking if they have a list of the "safe" farmers I can buy ingredients from, because right now, I don't really know where I can go! 

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