Growing Local Food Companies
Weekly from May to October, Artisan Farmers’ Markets provides a selling opportunity for over 200 local small business owners including farmers, food producers and crafters. Some businesses will have over 10 years’ experience, while other businesses are just getting started in their first year. Businesses choose to sell weekly, monthly, or maybe only once a year. This project will focus on this summer’s brand new vendors.
Using conversational interviews with up to 100 new vendors, students will discuss and document the information new farmers and other vendors need in order to directly market their products. Artisan Farmers’ Markets wants to develop a FAQ listing answers to frequently asked questions of brand new vendors.
This list will be shared on the internet to help guide new business owners through the many steps to successfully sell their products in the Metro Vancouver area. The farmers and small business owners who sell at Artisan Farmers’ Markets in North and West Vancouver often sell at a number of different farmers’ markets in Metro Vancouver. Some markets are considered more of a training ground for new vendors and other markets are considered to be more for established businesses. For example, vendors may also apply to sell at Abbotsford, Burnaby, Vancouver, White Rock, Coquitlam, Langley and more.
- The goal of the project is to develop a FAQ for new vendors.
- The scope of the FAQ will address new business regulatory requirements, equipment, and marketing best practices. Having this information from this year’s new vendors will ease the intake for next year’s new vendors – saving time for both the business owners and the non-profit farmers’ market.
Skills Preferred + To Be Developed
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- MS Word and MS Excel/Google Sheets proficiency, including Tables & Charts
- Eagerness to learn more about local economic, community and environmental impact of farmers’ markets – especially relating to farmers and small food processors
Preferred Days of Week and Hours
- Much of the project will be self-scheduled.
- Conversations with farmers and other vendors will need to take place on market days. On-site discussions, flexible with the students’ schedules, can occur through to the end of October on Saturdays at Lonsdale Quay and Sundays at Ambleside Park, between 9:30AM and 3:30PM.
- Students can also choose to arrange individual farm and vendor visits, and visit other farmers’ markets most convenient for them
Students are requested to be familiar with the businesses selling at farmers’ markets by the first community partner meeting in order to understand which vendors they prefer to interview. Vendor profiles are at artisanmarkets.ca/vendor-profiles, and students are encouraged to visit any local farmers’ market prior to the first meeting.
Students will then spend one full day volunteering at a market, ideally Saturday Sep 22 or Sunday Sep 23, to meet the market managers, vendors and talk about a day-in-the-life of a new farmer or small food producer.
Related Community Service Opportunities for Students
Over 50 community non-profit and charity organizations connect with the public at Artisan Farmers’ Markets during our summer season. Students will have the opportunity to speak with, meet and network with these community partners.
Students must be comfortable working outdoors in all weather conditions and capable of moderate physical activity.
Mission + Vision
Vision: To celebrate BC farmers, food and handmade items in vibrant, welcoming, community-connected markets. Mission: To connect consumers with local farmers, small food producers and artisanal makers in order to support the community’s financial, social and environmental objectives.
Guiding Principles + Values
- To support local farmers and small business people who grow, make or bake their product in BC by creating strong sales channels
- To expand the variety and quality of local produce and products for consumers, especially small scale agricultural and specialty farm products
- To educate the buying public on how their food and other essential products are produced and used, including locally grown options, nutrition awareness, seasonal eating and the historical roots of farming in our community
- Contact Person(s): Tara Immell and Mhora Ogmundson
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Address: Burnaby, Lonsdale Quay, or Ambleside Farmers’ Markets
- Phone: 604-357-4796
- Website: www.artisanmarkets.ca
- Best time(s) method(s) to contact: anytime via email