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New year and considering a new market

7 years ago

Hello, I have been reading the forums for about a year now and have read almost every topic discussion posted. I have read multiple informative discussions on the subject, but I wanted to here opinions from those who have been in similar situations. I am looking to change markets this next year in order to increase sales. Listed below is my current market and the one that I am considering trying out. If anyone has any advice or comments, please feel free to post them.

Market #1 - Current market

My current market is not a new market, but it is under new management. It is now being run by the city. They built a new farmer's market sight and they have been investing large amounts of money into advertising. It is however a fairly under attended market. On an average the market pulls in around 200 people or less. I have had good days where I sold out of the amount I brought, but there have been others where I only sold $75 worth of product, they aren't super common, but they have happened. The market is not in a wealthy area, but it is better off then some areas. I have noticed that all of my customers are older women and almost no younger college age people. Also it is not a growers only market and I am easily undercut by sellers who buy cheap wholesale produce and sell it at super low prices. I am the only organic producer, but it has taken an entire season to attempt to educate those who attend the market of the difference of fresh local produce. It is an alright market, but a wholesaler is allowed to set up at the entrance to the market and sells cheap imported produce to those before they even get into the market. I have tried to get a better location but I have not yet been able to. The people who attend are extremely uneducated. They are the type who wonder why you don't have fresh tomatoes on May 15th. The market is 15 min. from my home.

Market #2 - Possible market
This market is located right outside of Ann Arbor Michigan and is within walking distance of a major university. It averages 500 people per market day and runs on both Monday and Saturday. It attracts large amounts of young people as well as health conscious individuals. This market is a growers only market and has more reasonable and stable prices. It does however have quite a few small organic growers already at the market. I have talked to a few sellers and they told me that they do fairly well at the market. This market is roughly 25 min. from my home. Unlike the other market, this one is run by a local non profit that supports small farmers and food producers. It is ran better then my current market and well known throughout this party of Michigan.

I am worried that if I go to the larger market that I will lose my niche as a small organic grower and not be able to compete with the other small growers. My 1st market is growing, but I am not sure if I will see an actual return if I invest into it. Has anyone had any experience with this type of situation? I had read a few articles about similar situations, and they all advised going to the bigger market and attempting to compete with those sellers.

-Alexander Ball
Old City Acres

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