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Selling Baked Goods at the Farmer's Market

Updated on March 18, 2016

Test the Waters: Give It a Try

As a novice baker, last summer I decided to take my baked goods on the road. I usually bake for family and friends and was so excited to find out Virginia allows home bakers to sell their baked goodies at the Farmer's Market. WooHoooo!

Initially, I signed up for a farmer's market that cost $30 a day for a spot. Luckily, I met some awesome folks who had an extra spot at another local farmer's market that was $50 for the season. Hey, that sounded pretty good to me, and the atmosphere was more communal, just what I was looking for. So I decided on a menu of six different flavors, bought an acrylic display case to keep my goods fresh and critter-free, got a cool sign made online, and I was good to go!

Check out those key lime cupcakes on the bottom row, my fave!!!
Check out those key lime cupcakes on the bottom row, my fave!!!

How Can I Sell at the Farmer's Market?

  • First make sure you contact your local tourism bureau or farmer's market coordinator. Each city has its own rules and regulations regarding ingredients allowed, temperature control, and so on. Some states have Cottage Food Laws that allow home bakers to sell food prepared in home kitchens at certain locations.
  • You will definitely need a table. I prefer the standard six-foot foldable table found at stores like Wal-Mart and Target. A cheery tablecloth wouldn't hurt either.
  • Some farmer's markets provide an overhead canopy; others require you bring your own. Be sure to purchase a canopy that is easy to put up, because you will be putting it up every week. A bright cheery color would attract business as well.
  • My husband had a sign made online. Make sure you choose an eye-catching logo and colors.
  • We invested in an acrylic bakery display case, and I believe this was the best decision we made. It kept our cupcakes fresh and critter-free all summer long. Awesome!!
  • Come up with a menu, but be flexible. See what the folks like and go from there.
  • Lastly have fun!! Although my husband and I stayed up many nights baking cupcakes for the next morning, the feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day was unbelievable.

I tested the waters and met some pretty awesome people. Please support your local Farmer's Market. If you have a specialty, give it a go one season. I can't wait till May....

Bakery Case To Go....So Convenient!

My convenient cupcake case in use!!!  Love it!
My convenient cupcake case in use!!! Love it!

Beautify Your Space

It is very important to create a beautiful space when selling at the farmer's market. Along with a eye-catching sign, you should have a colorful, multi-level display. Chalkboard signs are all the rage, and are a simple, reusable signage choice. Be sure to label everything!!! Toss in a few baskets and pretty blooms, and you are well on your way to a booth no one will miss!

Inspiration for Your Farmer's Market Booth

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Isn't this a beautiful display?Cute table display!
Isn't this a beautiful display?
Isn't this a beautiful display? | Source
Cute table display!
Cute table display! | Source
My eye-catching sign
My eye-catching sign

My Farmer's Market Sign

I ordered my custom sign online at BuildASign.



Finding Packaging

Coming up with convenient, affordable packaging was not as hard as I thought it would be. While browsing Pinterest I found a very frugal option. I purchased clear plastic 9 oz. tumbler cups and clear cellophane treat bags. The cups fit perfectly inside the bags and only require a ribbon to close. After packaging hundreds of cupcakes this way, I have to admit it can be annoying, because you have to drop the cupcake just right to sit straight in the cup. But after you get the hang of it, it's not that bad. The cost justifies a little frustration. I truly love this packaging option despite a few crooked cupcakes.

Inspiration for my packaging option!
Inspiration for my packaging option! | Source

More Packaging Ideas for Baked Goods

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Just flip over the cup!!!  Why didn't I think of this?!Package cupcakes in mason jars!  Great option when mailing your baked goods!This DIY gobelet box is a great idea!!
Just flip over the cup!!!  Why didn't I think of this?!
Just flip over the cup!!! Why didn't I think of this?! | Source
Package cupcakes in mason jars!  Great option when mailing your baked goods!
Package cupcakes in mason jars! Great option when mailing your baked goods! | Source
This DIY gobelet box is a great idea!!
This DIY gobelet box is a great idea!! | Source

Poll

What is your favorite thing to purchase at the Farmer's Market?

See results

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    • TandJ profile image

      TandJ 5 years ago

      I plan on growing for the farmers market as soon as I can find a house. I heard the people that make the most money are the baked good stands. So awesome that you're thinking local. Hope to read more!

    • indanila profile image
      Author

      Inda Blackwell 5 years ago

      Thanks TandJ Good Luck to you on your future endeavors in Horticulture. I too am looking forward to purchasing a home to start growing a massive garden. Thanks for stopping by!!!

    • TandJ profile image

      TandJ 5 years ago

      If you ever get into it further look up Mel bartholomew the inventor of square root gardening. Less space, less seed, less water, and less time than traditional row gardens.

    • indanila profile image
      Author

      Inda Blackwell 5 years ago

      Sounds interesting thanks for the heads up. Keep up the good work with your hubs!!

    • profile image

      KristinNESW 16 months ago

      Hi,

      Please credit your sources for the photography. The image of the cupcakes in cups with the polka dot table cloth is from my company The Cupcakerie located in Rhode Island. 6 years ago, it took me a long time how to figure out how to package cupcakes for farmers markets and would appreciate credit. https://www.facebook.com/The-Cupcakerie-8126639070...

      Thank you!

      Kristin

    • profile image

      Katie A 15 months ago

      Kristin how did you package those cupcakes? Im having a bake sale to help support my mom with her cancer treatments and im trying to figure out how to package everything individually

    • indanila profile image
      Author

      Inda Blackwell 15 months ago

      Hello Kristin! Thanks for letting me know. I will be sure to link and credit the photo. My apologies!

    • profile image

      luv2bake 15 months ago

      Wow!! Thanks so much for all the great ideas! This was very helpful and Ill recommend to friends! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Linda 13 months ago

      Hi, I was wondering how many cupcakes you baked for one day of selling?

    • indanila profile image
      Author

      Inda Blackwell 13 months ago

      Hello Linda! Initially, I brought about 72 individual cupcakes. I brought a few more every week depending on how well I did the week before. Good luck! Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Lisa 13 months ago

      Hi, I was curious how you kept your frosting from running in the summer? Love the information and case!

    • profile image

      Joe 11 months ago

      Did you have any problems with frosting holding up on hot summer mornings?

    • indanila profile image
      Author

      Inda Blackwell 11 months ago

      Hello Joe! On really hot mornings I suggest using a cooler. I actually missed a few markets because it was just too hot. I also prepared other pastries on those days.

    • profile image

      LaTasha 10 months ago

      Hi Inda, I live in Suffolk also and I would like to start a home based bakery. I love your blogs and websites, and I have been inspired to start one of my passions. Did you have to obtain a zoning permit to bake from home, because it seems really difficult in the city of Suffolk?

    • indanila profile image
      Author

      Inda Blackwell 10 months ago

      Hello Latasha! Unfortunately if you live in Suffolk you can not bake from home. You can get licensed and approved to use your home as an office and bake from another location (family members home in another city, rent a space with a culinary incubator etc.) with the cottage food law. Hopefully things will change soon.

    • profile image

      LaTasha 10 months ago

      Hi, Inda! Thank you so much for your response. Hopefully, the City of Suffolk will get on board soon. I wish you continued success with your business. Take Care!

    • profile image

      William Mosler 10 months ago

      What did you charge for those beautiful cupcakes.

    • profile image

      glenda 4 months ago

      You didn't say if you made any money doing this?

    • indanila profile image
      Author

      Inda Blackwell 4 months ago

      You can definitely make money selling baked goods at the farmer's market! Personally I love to do it for exposure and testing out new recipes.

    • profile image

      Emilee 4 months ago

      Where did you get the acrylic display case? I'm looking for something similar but they are all pretty expensive.

    • profile image

      Sue 3 months ago

      Thanks so much for the useful information.

    • indanila profile image
      Author

      Inda Blackwell 3 months ago

      You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Debbie Conkle 3 months ago

      Curious as to where you bought your acrylic display case, and would it fit Jumbo size muffins and cupcakes?

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