Farmer’s markets have been a great source for farmer’s to offload crops and for people to get inexpensive, local fresh vegetables for as long as time has existed. In the last decade, government initiatives to both support local farms and to make healthy food available to everyone have led to farmer’s markets popping up on every street corner, especially in good weather.
Even if you are not a farmer, modern farmer’s markets have become a source for a variety of handmade and novelty items, giving any joe-shmoe a business opportunity. With a little creativity and a small fee to rent a booth, anyone can create a thriving business at a farmer’s market. The sky is the limit for what you can sell, but here are a few ideas for unique items that won’t have you competing with five other booths in the same market:
- Gourmet Ice Cream Stand
Farmer’s markets are most popular in the summer months, which is also the ideal time for selling one-of-a-kind ice cream. Making your own ice cream is not hard, but you can simplify by buying vanilla ice cream in bulk and then mixing in a variety of unique ingredients to pique your customer’s curiosity. You could either bring your goods in large tubes and have cones and cups for ice cream on-hand to serve when ordered, or you could prepackage your ice cream cups before you arrive, which streamlines sales when you have a long line of customers.
The key to a successful ice cream stand is your branding. Create an image that your ice cream is so unique, customers won’t find it anywhere else. Develop a catchy logo, have it printed on a banner or your cups for ice cream. If getting personalized ice cream cups is too pricey, you can print your brand on labels and just stick on the cups for ice cream.
Microgreens are the latest rage among home chefs. They are leafy vegetables such as spinach, arugula, and chard that are harvested as soon as the first “true” leaves sprout. Microgreens pack a bigger flavor punch and are more nutritious than their full-grown counterparts. The biggest benefit to the microgreens farmer is that they are faster to grow, take less space, and can be grown in any climate. Since the growing cycle of microgreens is so short, you can produce 20 to 25 crops in a single year.
An idea to draw more customers is to provide recipes that the microgreens can be used in with each purchase. You can also make samples of recipes using microgreens that customers won’t be able to resist.
- Beeswax Byproducts
You might not have the resources to be a bee keeper, but there is a plethora of products you can produce by buying beeswax in bulk. Beeswax never expires and is incredibly easy to work with. You can make lip balm, candles, body butter without any special equipment and very little technique. If you want to give your beeswax business a twist that no one else has, offer mustache wax in your beauty line for the whiskered clientele.
Do you have any unique ideas for a farmer’s market booth? Shout them out in the comment section below!