Starting a business is hard!
“Getting any business started is a ton of work. It’s another ton of work to keep it going.” That’s how Ginger Rapport of Beaverton Farmers Market describes the need for their new Emerging Vendors Program. “For every success story, there are dozens of small businesses that never make it. Our goal is to increase the number of success stories coming from the market.”
The products coming through this program are as diverse as the vendors themselves
- A community-supported Kosher brewery, Leikam Brewing, was able to purchase supplies and product labels
- The small, family owned Gresser Vineyard used the funding to create market signs and improve their website.
- Sarah Bellum’s Bakery is a not-for-profit, social-enterprise bakery program providing training and opportunities to adult survivors of brain injuries. The Emerging Vendors Program helped the bakery tackle the start-up costs of being a market vendor and to create a detailed program brochure.
- Swell Eats, which makes granola from dehydrated lentils and beans, was able to implement a reusable packaging program for their market sales.
A farmers market is an ideal venue for emerging vendors to develop their brands:
- No leases to sign and no huge investments required
- Logistics are handled by the market organizers and only a modest fee is charged for a booth
- Vendors can focus their energy on creating good products while learning how to effectively market them
By supporting vendors who are starting out, Beaverton Farmers Market is ensuring that local producers have the tools they need to get their businesses off the ground. Supporting local markets helps maintain appreciation and viability of agriculture in Washington County—not to mention giving residents access fresh, local, nutritious food.