Thursday, May 30, 2024

Farmers’ Market? More like Small Business Central

As the weather gets warmer and we emerge from our igloos here in Minnesota, one thing we are all looking forward to is being able to spend more time outside.

Whether you go for produce or local honey, to show off your newest cloth tote bag, or for just a sense of community, the local farmers’ market is the place to be. There is even a National Farmers’ Market Week (falling this year on August 4-10, 2024)! But what drives Americans to frequent farmers’ markets every summer without fail?

Many homegrown companies, particularly those dealing with edible items, get their start by selling to people they know. Securing a booth at the neighborhood farmers’ market is a great way to do that. Along with getting their products out into the world, they also have the opportunity to connect with their community and establish a foothold at home before they go off into the big, bad world of business. Nobody will support your endeavors more than people from your hometown (because they get to say they knew you way back when), and it is important for entrepreneurs to use that to their advantage. This can also serve as a stepping stone for your business to launch a friends and family round of financing.

I believe the appeal of farmers’ markets lies in the fact that they give people a convenient and fun way to support small businesses. Think about it. What two things do people love?

· Feeling like they are helping others.
· Being ahead of the crowd.

By buying from local vendors, people are able to fulfill both of these needs. They help others by uplifting their local entrepreneurs, and they get to spread the word* (*see: brag) about the new cupcake stand that they were among the first to discover.

Products at farmers’ markets are also generally fresher than their grocery store counterparts, as well as homemade and/or organic. As we see an increase in people concerned with their health, these factors have become more attractive to the average buyer.

So, if you are not already a farmers’ market regular, find the closest one this summer and visit it at least once! You will go home with great food and a full heart, and vendors will go home with more cash to support their dreams and a wider customer base.

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