A market is only as strong as it's vendors. A great mix of quality vendors with a diverse product mix attracts customers and keeps them coming back.

Section 2.0: Recruiting and Retaining the Best Vendors

2.1: This spot-on factsheet, adapted from a training at the Washington State Farmers Market Association, offers real-world advice on how to seek, attract and engage new vendors. 

2.2: The Wallace Center is renowned for its support or entrepreneurs and food systems work in communities. Their comprehensive manual on vendor recruitment is an invaluable resource. 

2.3 Our state is growing in its diversity. In Parma, the new market reached out to both the English and Spanish speaking members of the community and invited them to a recruitment event. We've included examples of the English flyer and Spanish flyer they used to promote the event.

2.4 Thoughtfully crafted market policies and vendor application procedures set the tone for a market, and help to guide present and future directions and provide clear expectations for vendors. We have collected six Idaho market policy and vendor application / agreement examples for you. Three from large markets with 25+ vendors and three from small markets with fewer than 25 vendors. 

  • 2.4.1 Large Markets examples from Capital City Public Market, Nampa Farmers Market and Sandpoint Farmers Market
  • 2.4.2 Small Markets examples from Caldwell Farmers Market, Homedale Farmers Market and Portneuf Farmers Market

2.5 Most of us prefer to avoid conflict. And even though it is a natural part of life, it can be very uncomfortable and can result in damaged relationships and have a very negative effect on a market's image, vendors and managers. We have included two excellent guides from University of California Davis on maintaining positive relationships with vendors and managing vendor conflict. We hope you don't have to use them, but it might be good to know that they are there when you need them!