Do you know the business owners that are your farmers’ market neighbors? Do they support your efforts or complain about how you disrupt their customers’ routine? On this week’s episode of Tent Talk we chat with Waypoint Public owner John Pani and the restaurant’s chef, Justin Cullimore. They share their experience of having the busy North Park Thursday Market relocate to the street directly in front of their restaurant. While John says the market disrupts his Thursday business, he knows the increased exposure brings him business on other days.
Know your market neighbors and their priorities
While you’re planning for a new market location, take stock of the businesses that surround it. Note their opening hours and how their entrances might be affected by the placement of vendors. Leaving a space between booths so their customers can access their doors easily will make the situation more comfortable. Or, as we discuss with John, think about putting a tent with a banner highlighting a business in line with the other tents in front of their shop. Don’t place a coffee vendor directly in front of a coffeehouse. Booths with food prepared to eat on site will be a better fit farther from a restaurant neighbor. Flower growers can be placed so they’re not adjacent to the local florist.
Farmers and vendors can build relationships.
If you respect the needs of your market neighbors, they may turn out to be steady customers. Don’t step on the florist’s toes, and she may buy flowers from the growers each week. Waypoint’s Chef Justin buys fresh produce and eggs from farmers at the North Park Thursday Market. He tells us he was surprised that farmers didn’t stop in to see him in the kitchen and promote sales (are you listening, farmers?). The restaurant creates a special cocktail made with local fruit every Thursday when the market’s open on their street. A coffeehouse around the corner now places wholesale orders with the cookie baker they met at the market. Joint marketing efforts can increase business on both sides, so promote your neighbors on your Instagram and Facebook accounts and ask them to do the same for the market.
Where can I listen to the full episode of Tent Talk?
Please let us know how you like our podcast by leaving us a review on iTunes or Stitcher. Reviews let us know what we’re doing right and they help other people find us online. And tell us who else you’d like us to interview, and what more we can do to make your market business grow. Take our short survey, and you could win a trip to the 2020 InTents Conference or other fun prizes.