Sales-Boosting Tips from a Farmers' Market Manager


Trevor Hayle at farmers market booth for Smij Spicery

Farmers’ markets can be an easy on-ramp to start selling your fresh produce, pastured meats or cottage food products, but how can you ensure your items stand out?  Catt Fields White, San Diego Farmers’ Market Manager at several farmers’ markets, has seen it all and offers some advice to get you on the fast track to market success. 

“Remember you are, bottom line, selling you:  your farm, your personality and what makes you unique,” shares White, a powerhouse of insight into what makes a successful farmers’ market and a profitable vendor. She currently manages three markets in the San Diego area, including the Saturday morning market in Little Italy and a Thursday evening market at North Park.

The growth of farmers’ markets continuing to boom nationally, from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 markets currently registered in the USDA Farmers Market Directory.  So, it’s important to think strategically about your marketing and booth presence so you can stand out and attract a loyal customer base to keep your weekly sales rolling in. 

White launched the Little Italy market in 2008, which has grown into the largest market in the region with over 22,000 weekly shoppers on average. How did she do it? A steadfast commitment to prioritize farmers and a realization that committed vendors will drive growth. “I first worked on convincing one high quality, long standing farmer to come, try it out and see the potential. He then invited his farmer friends and we quickly developed a track record for great product, which grew customers to where we are today.”

With roots in the restaurant and retail industries along with now over a decade managing farmers’ markets, White’s background gives farmers a unique perspective into using this sales venue to add to your bottom line. Here are five of her key tips:

8/6/2018 2:29:19 PM

I haven't started my Farmer Market stand yet but this is very helpful as I prepare! Thanks!

8/6/2018 2:28:16 PM

I'm just now preparing to start participating in farmers markets. Thanks for the great tips!

8/6/2018 2:28:15 PM

I haven't started my Farmer Market stand yet but this is very helpful as I prepare! Thanks!

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