Vendor FAQ

Q:  How can I become a vendor (GENERAL)?

A:  Stall space at the market is rented on a daily basis at the discretion of the market manager.  Items allowed for sale at the market are all farm produce (fruits, vegetables, flowers, fresh meat from a licensed packing facility, poultry, eggs, cheese, etc.) flowers and bedding plants, baked goods, and handmade arts and crafts. Vendors desiring to sell wine or cider must refer to the addendum: “Policies and Procedures: FSFM Wine and Cider Sales” Priority is given to farm produce; all new vendors are required to grow or make a minimum of 80% of what they sell.  Daily vendors must see the market manager for a stall assignment prior to setting up in the market.

As a first time vendor, it is helpful to first contact the manager or assistant manager by phone (616-454-4118), e-mail (info@fultonstreetmarket.org), or stopping by the market to discuss stall availability and vendor requirements.  There are no reservations for daily stall rental.   Open stall space is rented at 7:30 a.m. each day from the market office.  Once July arrives, space on Friday and Saturday is generally exclusively limited to farmers.

All vendors selling edible items (produce, baked goods, etc.) are required to carry a minimum of $500,000 product liability insurance and name Fulton Street Farmers Market on their rider. Proof of this insurance (Accord 25) will be required to be submitted to market management prior to your attendance at the start of the market. If you have questions about this rule change, please feel free to contact the market staff.

All vendors are required to comply with the Department of Agriculture and other State and Federal regulations.  If you have an interest in selling baked or processed goods, vendors are required to supply the market manager a copy of their license or certification from the State of Michigan Department of Agriculture.  The Fulton Street Farmers Market does not allow the sale of good produced under the Cottage Food Law. Vendors wishing to sell arts and crafts are required to supply the market manager in advance an application along with proof of the handmade nature of their craft, and a copy of their sales tax license.

For the 2014 season, stall fees are $10/stall on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, $20/stall on Fridays and Saturdays are $30/stall.  For complete details on vending at the Fulton Street Farmers Market, please refer to the official rules document.

The market has also added a Wednesday Evening Market to run from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. from June through September. This market will allow new vendors to join the FSFM family while also opening up our market to a new customer base. This market has a separate application and rules from the daytime market. Please refer to these if interested in vending at the Evening Market.

All beginning vendors are considered to be “daily vendors”.  Seasonal (reserved) stalls are limited in quantity, and there is a long waiting list for these spots.  Frequency of attendance, product mix and seniority are all taken into account when awarding new seasonal spots.  The market will keep track of your first day on the market, and a daily vendor must attend a minimum of 24 market days; six of which must be on a weekday, in order to accumulate one year of seniority.

The market takes into account product mix when assigning stalls and allowing vendors to rent space at the market. Due to this, there are a few types of non-produce vendors that have reached market capacity and not currently accepting for our daytime market hours. These include: beef, poultry, pork, eggs, cheese, and certain types of baked goods. Other types of goods may be at capacity on certain days, but not others, please contact market staff to check stall availability for your product type.

 

VENDOR FAQS BY TYPE

 Farmers

The FSFM strives to focus on farmers and the diversity of agriculture that West Michigan has to offer.  If you grow your own produce for sale, we would love to have you join our market.  As a farmer, you have priority for stall assignments over other food products.  We will always have availability for farmers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and most likely Fridays.  Saturdays are full in the height of the season; there is no guarantee that you will get a spot on that day.  If a farmer attends the market regularly on any of the weekdays, they will be more likely to get a guaranteed spot on Saturdays when one opens up.

No produce may be cut on the market unless the vendor has all appropriate equipment and licensing, however, intact, full product may be given out as a sample.  Signage identifying vendor’s name and location is required for all vendors, and signs are required on any items that are not of the vendor’s own production.  The market reserves the right to inspect any vendor’s farm at any time for any reason as a condition of the privilege of selling at the market.

 Plants/Flowers

Plants and flowers are also second in priority for stall assignments at the FSFM.  Space is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and most, but not all Fridays.  Saturdays are available at the beginning and the end of the season.  For questions on when space is likely to open on Saturdays, please see market manager.

The sale of perennials requires an inspection license to be on file in market office.  Inspections are required to ensure that disease or invasive pests are not transmitted to other plants and gardens.  Information on perennial inspections is available through the Michigan Department of Agriculture

 Baked Goods/Processed Foods

Baked goods and processed foods are also second in priority for stall assignments at the FSFM.  Space is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and most, but not all Fridays.  Saturdays are available at the beginning and the end of the season.  For questions on when space is likely to open on Saturdays, please see market manager.

All processed foods must follow current Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Rules (MDARD).  Foods under the Cottage Food Law are not allowed at the FSFM.  This requires vendors to create their product in a licensed kitchen and obtain their own license from the MDARD for the preparation process.  Vendors that wish to sample their goods must follow all Department of Agriculture guidelines must be pre-approved by the market manager and have a signed sampling contract on file in the market office.  For questions on licensing or proper sampling procedures please contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development or visit their website.  www.michigan.gov/mdard

All processed food must be labeled according to MDARD rules, and vendors must obtain a minimum of $500,000 product liability insurance.

 Artisans/Craft Vendors

Artisans and crafters will receive stall assignments after all perishable item vendors have received a spot.  Stalls are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on a first come first served basis after checking in at the office, some Fridays, except for the height of the season and all Saturdays.  On days space may be limited, vendors will receive a ticket in the market office and a lottery will be held at 7:30 a.m. for any remaining open stalls.  Lottery tickets will not be given out after exactly 7:30 a.m.

Artisans and crafters must have an approved vendor ID card to be admitted into the lottery or the market.  In order to receive a card, the vendor must submit a completed Artisan/Crafter application and submit proof of the handmade nature of their product.

Artisans and crafters may also be interested in joining the Fulton Street Artisans Market on Sundays in the summer.  The Artisan market operates a separate application than the Farmers Market.  Contact the Artisan Market Coordinator for details on eligibility and rental procedures through their website: www.grartmarket.com or info@grartmarket.com.

Q: Can I sell hot prepared foods (i.e. hot dog carts, etc.)?

A:  Due to the nature of the design of the market, there is not enough space for vendors of these types in the market itself.  Lines tend to form and block other vendors’ stalls and the aisle way, causing unhappy customers and vendors.

Once a year in the winter, the market releases a Request for Proposals (RFP) for concession type vendors. If you are interested in applying and wish to be notified when the RFP is issued, please leave your contact information with the Market Manager or Assistant Manager in the office. *Note: the Wednesday Evening may allow more concession type vendors than the daytime market – these decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Please contact market staff for further information.

 Public Area/Free Speech Area FAQ

Q: Is it allowable for musicians to busk at the Market?
A: The brick plaza area to the South (Fulton) side of the market is reserved for scheduled musicians. Please contact the market to schedule a performance time. However, the area at the North (Fountain) entrance of the Market is our designated free speech area. Musicians are welcome to busk on a first-come first-serve basis in this area. Amplification devices of any kind are not permitted. The Market reserves the right to regulate volume as not to disrupt commerce in the market area.

Q: What activity is permissible in the North (designated free speech) area of the market?
A: The North area is open to all types of free speech. Political visits are allowable in this area. Except for coffee sales staffed by non-profit organizations, sales of any kind are not permitted outside of the Market stalls. No one is able to set up any sort of table for promotion of any kind in this area without express permission of the Market manager. Nonprofits that wish to have space at the Market can sign up for volunteer shifts selling coffee. For details, contact Market Staff at (616) 454-4118, or e-mail info@fultonstreetmarket.org.