If you are a farmer, then you know how important farmer's markets are for boosting your revenue. They are a great way to interact with your community, discuss sales tips with other farmers, and sell your produce in bulk quantities. However, during the colder months, farmer's markets happen less frequently. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean that they aren't happening at all. In fact, winter farmer's markets are just as fun as the ones that happen throughout the rest of the year.
Many towns and municipalities throw farmer's markets indoors during the winter, so check to see if your city does this as well. It never hurts to check, and it could potentially earn you a sizable stream of income.
Farmer's markets during the winter operate much the same way as they do during the spring, summer, and fall. However, one of the benefits of working a winter farmer's market is that there is less competition with other vendors, so you could potentially earn more than you normally would if you are savvy enough. Also, since winter is a slower season, you can learn more about your customers, enjoy the camaraderie of the event, and relax a bit more while you work.
You also benefit from tying your products in with the holiday season, which gives your customers more reason to buy your produce. Here are some more tips for having a successful winter farmer's market.
Talk To Your Customers
Whether you live in a rural village or a big city, you need to get the word out about the farmer's market if you plan on being a vendor. This is especially true during the winter since most of your customers will assume that they don't happen during the winter season.
Reaching as many people as possible is your responsibility, and you need to let them know all the essential details, such as when the event is taking place, where the event will take place, and where your stand will be. One of the best ways to reach out to your clientele is to create a list of your customers and send them email newsletters on a weekly basis.
Also, daily posting on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can help you reach a worldwide audience, although you shouldn't expect to become a viral sensation overnight. Pinterest is another platform that benefits farmers because you can post recipes that your customers can "pin" to their boards and reference later on.
Keeping your customers in the loop on what's going on at your farm will make them feel included in the action, and it will also motivate them to go to the winter farmer's market. You can persuade your customers to brace the cold and head to the market by letting them know what you will be offering at the event beforehand.
Send them constant reminders of when the hours are, where the event is taking place, and what you will be serving so they can't forget. You can also offer those in your email chain a special discount for being a devoted follower of your business.
In addition to electronic communications, old-fashioned pamphlets and fliers can still inspire people to make their way to the event. It doesn't have to be anything too fancy; all you need is a postcard, flyer, or poster to entice potential customers into joining your devoted followers.
Sell Fresh Produce
Although it seems straightforward, many farmers don't sell fresh produce at winter farmer's markets and instead sell the rest of their storage crops. However, if you decide to start farming indoors during the winter, you can sell fresh crops at the winter farmer's market, which gives you a competitive advantage.
Not only will this allow your farm to stay afloat during the off-season, but it will also allow your sales to thrive. Some options to start focusing on include collard greens, kale, and salad mixes. Consumers love to eat vegetables, and these will surely be a hit at the winter farmer's market, but make sure you use appropriate produce packaging supplies
to transport them to the event.
In addition, you can offer them at many different price points because consumers will be more than happy to pay for fresh local food in the winter. If you are genuinely business savvy, you will plan ahead for the winter season by stocking up on storage crops such as potatoes, squash, and radishes to sell during the winter farmer's markets.
Also, make sure to offer some recipes to show customers how they can incorporate these crops into their holiday celebrations. That way, instead of making butternut squash soup for the hundredth time, your customers can try something new with that same crop, such as risotto, lasagna, or polenta.
Collaborate With Other Farmers
If you feel like you need to try something new, collaborating with other farmers and vendors can work for the benefit of both parties. Working with someone new can lead to greater sales, more creative opportunities, and a friendly partnership that elevates both sides. For example, when you feel like your stand could use more inventory at the farmer's market, other vendors can share the table with you and sell some of their meat or produce.
In addition to being a boon for business, partnering with another farmer could put you into contact with other connections in their professional network, which can lead to more growth for your business. However, each farmer's market has its own rules on what they will allow with these types of partnerships, so make sure to check the guidelines and regulations of your event before you give this a try.
Stay Consistent With Quality
Your reputation is on the line when you sell at these sorts of events. Thankfully, all you have to do is stay consistent with the quality of your produce to gain your customers' trust.
Regular attendance and high-quality produce will make your customers crave your presence at the winter farmer's market. The better your food tastes, the more your customers will rely on your stand for delicious-tasting food.
Overall, winter farmer's markets are a fun way to stay busy during the colder months. So, now that you know a few tips for having a successful winter farmer's market, go ahead and book your reservation today to start vending.