HomeSustainabilityHow to Stand Out and Increase Sales at Farmers Markets: Proven Sustainable...

How to Stand Out and Increase Sales at Farmers Markets: Proven Sustainable Strategies


Small businesses are often the cornerstones of local communities, especially the very small mom-and-pop type shops. Not only do these businesses help support the livelihood of those in the community, but they also tend to be more sustainable than larger businesses and corporations. 

How to Stand Out and Increase Sales at Farmers Markets: Proven Sustainable Strategies

Instead of saying teamwork makes the dream work, we’d like to think that today, green work is what makes the dream work. The more green businesses there are, the better. And small, local businesses are a great way to provide more sustainable options to local communities. 

Farmers markets are also a great way for smaller businesses to reach more people in the community and set an example for sustainability. Whether you already have a booth at a farmers market or are considering joining one, this article will provide valuable insights into setting yourself up for success.  

Cultural Sustainability and Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are so much more than just outdoor grocery stores, they help bring people together and support cultural sustainability. No matter a person’s identity or cultural background, farmers’ markets play a pivotal role in helping them share their goods and services with the community, which helps support sustainability and enables cultural ties. 

Many farmer’s markets also connect people through entertainment, not just food. There is often art, and even music, which further helps communities forge important bonds that celebrate their cultural differences and their shared interests. 

By opening a booth at a farmers market, your business can help support the cultural sustainability of your community and in return, your business as well will thrive. Because farmers’ markets cut out the middleman, they have less of an impact on the environment because they consume fewer resources. The market also makes it easier for people to access products, especially fresh local produce 

Farmers markets support the local community, and the community in turn can then better support your local business. It’s a win-win for everyone. And it’s even better if you go out of your way to provide sustainable products, to further encourage sustainable practices in your community

How to Establish Yourself at a Farmers Market for Success

The act of simply opening a booth at a farmers market can help you contribute to the sustainability of your local community. It can also help you expand awareness for your business, but there are other things you can do to increase further your chances of succeeding at a farmers market.

Do Your Research

First, if you’ve never done a farmers market before, it’s helpful if you spend some time conducting a bit of research so you know what to expect. Vendor requirements can vary from state to state, so to ensure you don’t end up getting in trouble, make sure you are following local guidelines and filling out the right paperwork. 

Find a Niche to Set Yourself Apart

Doing something that will help you stand out is also important if you want to thrive at farmers’ markets. It’s not uncommon for multiple vendors, for example, to be selling similar items. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t continue to sell that item even if someone else is already providing it, but you’ll want to find some other way to make your booth stand out. It doesn’t need to turn into a competition, but if you want to make money, you’ll need something that makes people want to choose your products over another vendor’s. 

Be Strategic With Your Marketing and Setup

How you market yourself at farmers’ markets can also play a crucial role in how well you do. If your displays and signage are all very basic, for example, you’ll likely disappear in the crowd of all the other booths. If there isn’t something eye-catching about your booth to pull people in, then they will likely pass you by without a second glance. 

Color is good and also having a banner or signage that is easy to read and clearly tells people what you are selling. If people have to walk up to ask to know what you’ve got, then you’re already failing. 

How your products are laid out and displayed can also make a difference. You don’t want to clutter the table tops for example, but you also don’t want to have too little product out that it makes people think you don’t have much to offer. 

Provide Friendly Customer Service

Of course, one of the most important elements when working a booth at a farmers market is maintaining a friendly disposition. If you don’t look approachable and are not willing to answer people’s questions, then they will likely move along, especially if they know they can find the same product at another booth that might be more welcoming. 

Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth referrals — even if someone is just looking and clearly has no intent to buy, be as personable as possible and chat with them. Offer free samples and answer every question with a smile. Booths that provide friendly customer service are generally going to make more sales than those that don’t. 

Remember, Farmers Markets Aren’t Just About Food

While fresh, local foods and produce are often the bread and butter of farmers’ markets, it doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself to food products. If you do sell food products, that’s more than okay, but it might be worth considering selling something else in addition to the food or produce to set yourself apart from all the other food booths. 

Apart from food products, there are a number of other things you can sell at a farmers market to attract customers, such as artwork and handmade crafts, vintage or second-hand items, and skincare products. You can also sell flowers, seedlings, natural beauty products, home goods, candles, spices, teas… and so on. The list is endless. 

Think about what you’re good at and what you can provide as well as what you think people might like to see. You can also visit the market beforehand to see if there is anything that isn’t already being sold that you think people might want or would be interested in.   

Final Thoughts

Joining a farmers market can have a positive impact on your business and the local community. Farmers markets are all about people supporting one another, celebrating culture, and encouraging more sustainable practices, and being a part of that is something special. Even if you’re a very small business, what you do matters, and what you do helps support your local community. 

Amanda Winstead
Amanda Winstead
Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey.

Check out our latest