Selling Baked Goods at the Farmer's Market
Test the Waters: Give It a Try
As a novice baker, many summers ago, 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!
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!
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 BoothClick thumbnail to view full-size
My Farmer's Market Sign
I ordered my custom sign online at BuildASign.
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.
More Packaging Ideas for Baked GoodsClick thumbnail to view full-size
What is your favorite thing to purchase at the Farmer's Market?
Questions & Answers
We sell baked good at farmer's markets in California. We just started and business has been great. I am concerned about how to keep our items from melting when the summer comes. Any suggestions? We sell everything from cookies to coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls, cakes and artisan breads.
It is really difficult when it gets really hot. Here's what I have done in the past. An acrylic case helps a lot. I usually refrigerate cupcakes prior to placing them in. Be sure to keep case out of direct sun. Another option is to display a few and keep the rest in a large cooler with dry ice on hot days.Helpful 50
How much of each baked good should I bake?
It really depends. You may want to ask some of the market regulars what the weekly turnout is and go from there.Helpful 32
Did you have to apply tax when selling your bake goods at the farmers market?
Yes, I do apply tax.Helpful 22
Is there a fee to pay to sell baked goods at a farmers market?
Yes, there is usually a fee.Helpful 21
How many cupcakes can you fit on one tray? What size is your case?
I believe I have the 22×22 case. I can fit about 6-7 dozen cupcakes in the case.Helpful 20