2021 Vendor Interest
Thanks for your interest in vending at The Corner Farmers Market! We currently have very limited openings for makers, bakers and growers. We are an outdoor, year-round Saturday market that operates 8-11 am, rain or shine. We generally are able to accommodate up to about 30 vendors in our space. We don’t ask that you commit to a certain number of weeks, although priority is given to regular vendors and folks selling produce, food and plants. We also take into consideration the amount of customer traffic and sales a vendor generates in order to prioritize our space allotments. There is no application fee but at this time, due to COVID considerations, we do have a waiting list for artists. We ask that artists send their information (company name, contact info, photos of their art) to be added to the list. All applicants must come by the market to get a feel for the market’s operation and logistics before you are eligible to vend. When you visit, be sure to meet our manager, Kathy, to get your name on the waiting list and learn more about the market. These are the guidelines that have evolved as our community has grown over the past five years.
- You must make it, bake it or grow it. It’s that simple. We do allow limited resale of other locally produced items or regional produce on a case by case basis. Resale of clothing, jewelry or household items is not allowed.
- You are responsible for the goods you sell. You stand behind your products as safe and quality items. If you are selling food, please be aware of guidelines from the state https://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/CFSA_RegGuide-NC 2012_webres4.pdf
- Visit the market before you begin. Chat with other vendors and look at displays and pricing. If you are selling similar items, think of ways you can differentiate your offerings from that of other vendors.
- If you sell ready to eat food, package it to go. Because we operate out of Sticks and Stones parking lot, we do not want to directly compete for restaurant customers on their way in to have lunch. Rather than serving food on a plate with a fork, we ask that it is packaged in a to go container with a lid.
- No cooking on site. Sterno type warmers are fine. Electricity in the parking lot is extremely limited and is, in general, not an option.
- Sampling is not allowed as long as masks are mandated in the marketspace.
- You handle your own transactions and are able to make change. Most customers will have $20 bills or cards as payment. Most vendors use a free mobile Square reader to process credit/debit cards. Here is a link https://squareup.com/signup?
signup_token=CNRFMRSMKT&lang_code=en-US to get your first $1,000 processing free. If you are a food vendor, please take time to fully understand our SNAP program and reimbursement process.
- Pay for your space. We charge a minimal fee to vendors for space weekly. The exterior 10×10 tent spaces require a 6 month commitment so most new vendors begin with an 8ft table space under a communal tent in the center area. Table space is based on weekly availability and, once assigned, costs $15/day, and can be paid in cash on the market day.
- Help within the market community. We keep our overhead low by working together to make a successful, good looking and well attended market.
a. Help with setup and breakdown. Many hands get the communal tents up and down each Saturday. We also ask that you periodically sign up for on site jobs like trash removal, putting out signs, filling the water cooler, etc.
b. Spread the word. The best marketing is word of mouth, including social media. Invite your friends and family to come visit the market weekly and alert them to events, etc. We distribute a weekly online newsletter subscribe here (and tell your friends!), and have an active Facebook and Instagram presence (cornermarketgso) and a website.
c. Participate in fundraising activities. We keep fees low by applying for grants and doing fundraisers. Encourage friends and customers to buy raffle tickets, become a sustainer, buy a t-shirt, etc.
- Be on time and stay until closing. Vendors are required to drop off their wares and park at Suds and Duds a few doors down. Arrive at least 30 minutes before opening to help erect communal tents and be set up on time. If you sell out early, stay until the market ends and enjoy the rest of the day. We close at eleven and need to vacate the space quickly to allow Sticks and Stones to open the lot for lunch customers. Plan to pack up within 15 minutes and help breakdown the tents, assist other vendors, etc. Everyone should be out of the lot by 11:30 at the absolute latest.
- Present your offerings in a professional way. Signage with your company name is required. A nametag is helpful (the market provides them if you don’t already have one). A box of business cards is an inexpensive way to get your name in every customer’s hand. A neat table with a tablecloth and displays of different heights will showcase your items in an appealing way. Try to imagine your table from across the market. Is it obvious what you sell? If not, you may be missing customers. Signs can be mounted on the tabletop or hung from the tent. Signage on the front of the table can easily be obscured by crowds, so we recommend a sign hung behind the table as well.
- Engage with customers and other vendors. If you’re able to stand for the duration of the market, we highly encourage it. Vendors who stand and actively engage customers do better than those who sit. Consider putting your table at the back of your display to encourage customers to come into the shade and chat without a table between you. If standing is a challenge for you, a high stool or tall chair can also work well. Get to know your customers and other vendors — cross promotion is a great way to introduce new products — look for opportunities to partner with another vendor and offer special pricing for a day. Also, particularly for vendors with one table under the communal tents, please limit the number of folks behind your booth to two (the vendor plus one partner/helper).
- Join the Facebook group Corner Market Vendors Group. Check in several times a week to commit to your space that week (Monday) and see the layout (Friday). There are often important announcements, requests and discussions throughout the week, so active vendors want to keep tabs on the group’s activity.
- Stay abreast of current COVID/health department guidelines. Currently our market has a no exemptions mask policy for vendors and customers. If you need to eat or drink while vending it is best that you step outside the market, away from a crowd. Smoking is not allowed within sight of the market.
If you are ready to pursue vending at our market, we’d love to have you! Let Kathy Newsom, our market coordinator, know and we will determine space availability and your start date. Please fill out the information below to get the process started.
We can’t wait to see what you bring to market!