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Be A Vendor

Are you a hobby farmer? A crafter or artisan? A mobile chef? Join the ranks of small business owners!

(02/05/2021) We are currently preparing for the 2021 market season. Just like everything else these days, we'll be contacting vendors in phases, starting with the vendors who completed the permit process before COVID-19 shut us down. After that, we'll reach out to vendors we've worked with before, and after THAT, we'll open up spaces for new vendors. We should have a pretty good idea of what kind of space we have available by 03/02/2021. Please be patient. In the meantime...

If you are interested in becoming a vendor in the La Plata Farmers Market:

1) Do your homework! 

  • Do you need a business license?

  • Does your product require permits or licensing?

  • Does your process meet Health Department requirements?

  • What kind of packaging and labeling is required?

  • Just because you can make your product in your home kitchen, it doesn’t mean you can sell it to the public. If you have ANY questions, contact the Charles County Department of Health, Environmental Health Services (this link will take you to a third-party website).

2) Download the Farmers Market Vendor Packet, available here (this link will take you to a third-party website). Read the Market Rules and Special Instructions thoroughly, especially the parts relevant to your product.

  • Does your product meet our Market’s product guidelines?

  • Can you safely store your product under a tent on a parking lot for an extended period?

  • Can you meet the logistical and time commitments?

  • Can you conduct your business in compliance with COVID-19 requirements?

3) Contact the Market Manager to see if your product meets the Market guidelines.

4) Think through what you will need in terms of supplies and equipment.

  • Table

  • Chair(s)

  • Canopy

  • Canopy weights

  • Display racks/stands

  • Bags

  • Payment equipment (Square, PayPal, etc.)

New Vendor FAQs

 
 
vendors.jpg

Be A Vendor

Are you a hobby farmer? A crafter or artisan? A mobile chef? Join the ranks of small business owners!

If you are interested in becoming a vendor in the La Plata Farmers Market:

1) Do your homework! 

  • Do you need a business license?

  • Does your product require permits or licensing?

  • Does your process meet Health Department requirements?

  • What kind of packaging and labeling is required?

  • Just because you can make your product in your home kitchen, it doesn’t mean you can sell it to the public. If you have ANY questions, contact the Charles County Department of Health, Environmental Health Services (this link will take you to a third-party website).

2) Download the Farmers Market Vendor Packet, available here (this link will take you to a third-party website). Read the Market Rules and Special Instructions thoroughly, especially the parts relevant to your product.

  • Does your product meet our Market’s product guidelines?

  • Can you safely store your product under a tent on a parking lot for an extended period?

  • Can you meet the logistical and time commitments?

  • Can you conduct your business in compliance with COVID-19 requirements?

3) Contact the Market Manager to see if your product meets the Market guidelines.

4) Think through what you will need in terms of supplies and equipment.

  • Table

  • Chair(s)

  • Canopy

  • Canopy weights

  • Display racks/stands

  • Bags

  • Payment equipment (Square, PayPal, etc.)

New Vendor FAQs

1) How do I become a vendor?

The application process itself is pretty straightforward:

1) Submit an application;

2) Once approved, pay fee;

3) Come to market and sell your product.

 

There are a lot of considerations along the way, though, and a lot of rules from a lot of different directions.

 

2) I have this great product. Can I sell it at the La Plata Farmers Market?

Check the "Allowable Products" section in the Market Rules. Generally, the more involved you are in the production process, the higher the chances are that you can sell your product at our market. Some products cannot be sold at our market at all, and others require a permit, license, or specific packaging and labeling according the county, state, or federal guidelines. Even if it meets the product guidelines, however, there may be too many other vendors already selling a similar product. In that case, your application still may not be approved.

3) What's the difference between a daily permit and a seasonal permit?

A daily permit is good for one market day only. A seasonal permit is valid for the entirety of the market season (April - November). Either way, approval of your permit is not guaranteed. Availability of space and product balance may mean your application will not be approved. You must also be in good standing with the Town of La Plata.

4) I've never been a vendor at the La Plata Farmers Market before. Can I be a seasonal vendor this year?

New vendors must attend as daily vendors for two weekends in a row before they are eligible to apply as a seasonal vendor. Consider this part of your research and development, like a test run. You'll want to get a feeling for the market, and the Market Committee will want to see you in action. You may also find that the time commitment is more than you thought, or that you need to adjust your production volume.

5) If I'm approved as a seasonal vendor, will the fees for those two daily permits be deducted from the seasonal fee?

No.

6) If I start later in the season, will my fee be prorated? Or if I'm approved as a seasonal vendor but can't finish the season, will I get a prorated refund? 

In either case, no.

7) Once I'm approved as a vendor, can I sell other products?

You are approved to sell the product(s) on your Vendor Permit application. Any changes would need to be approved by the Market Committee, and would still need to meet the "Allowable Products" guidelines.

8) How can I increase my chances of being approved as a vendor?

  • Do your homework. Check the Resources page to see if your product requires a license, permit, or any specific packaging or labeling for sale to the public.

  • Visit the Market before you apply. Talk with the vendors. See what products are already there. Look at it from the point of view of a vendor instead of a visitor.

  • Set up some kind of internet presence (business Facebook page, Instagram profile, or webpage) where the Market Committee will be able to see your product.

  • Talk with Kelly Phipps, the Market Manager, about what you're considering. To set up a time, send email to lpfmmanager@gmail.com, private message via Facebook (@LaPlataFarmersMarket), or use the Let's Chat! box in the bottom right corner.

9) I'm ready to apply. What do I do?

  • Complete the Vendor Permit Application. Attach any permits or licenses required (if any).

  • Send your application and permits/licenses via email to lpfmmanager@gmail.com . If you have an internet/social media presence, be sure to include that information, or include photos of the product(s) you intend to sell.

  • If you can't email your application, contact the Market Manager to set up a meeting.

  • Submit your application directly to the Market Manager ONLY.

10) I still have questions. How do I get them answered?

Contact Kelly Phipps, the Market Manager.
 

If you prefer to talk by phone, please include your telephone number and a good day/time to call.