Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Public Farmers and Food Markets


Recommended Posts

What I meant to say about using fresh/local foods as a "marketing angle" is that although "fresh" is always pertinent to perishables, retailers and marketers have other marketing pitches on which they can hang their hats -- e.g., convenience, gourmet foods, better-for-you formulations, etc. They don't depend largely on local farms for their business and don't need to be into "locally grown" for the long haul.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating thread... I still love being a shopper at farmers markets, and I hope there's always room for them in communities that support them. There's no question that places that have started way too many in a small area ruin it for everyone: the San Jose area is classic: about 10 years ago there was a farmers market every 6 miles (or so it seemed) so in the end NONE of them was worth attending!

I think the success of the San Francisco markets is partly because it's so difficult to start up new markets there. Ferry Plaza is still a great market and several of the farmers/producers there depend on it heavily. We wanted to diversify to the point of not depending at all on it, and we were successful. Way too political! And yes, I'm the farm wife who didn't want to make herbal salts and jams, even though that would have been the smart thing to do.

Andy and I have talked about other markets we could do instead of Ferry Plaza but we're looking forward to a Market Free Life: not retirement, in fact working 6 days a week so we can actually begin to save for retirement! It's a gamble but in crunching numbers we think/hope we'll make more money not doing the market. No waste, and more brain cells available to be organized and make better decisions. Yes, spending more time with the youngin's while they're still in fact young is a good thing too.

Thanks to Russ for a great article!

-chardgirl (aka the evil Julia who left Ferry Plaza shoppers high and dry, or so the lugubrious emails I've been receiving would suggest.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Enlightening stuff, Russ. I was a little surprised to read that CSA's don't have much of a toehold in Southern California.

There's an interesting approach being used by Iovine Brothers Produce at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market. (Keep in mind the RTM is a public market, not a farmers' market.)

Most of what the Iovines sell come from traditional wholesale sources. But they also contract with a local farmer to grow specific produce. This helps the farmer share the risk and investment, and gain a reliable marketing outlet. For Iovines it provides an attractive product and increases its sourcing options. For the consumer, Iovines prices the produce very competitively, almost always less expensive than what you'd find in a supermarket and of superior quality, too. It's not organic, but it's good, locally-raised produce, starting with strawberries in the late spring and working its way through all the summer vegetables (see photo below for corn from the contract farm, Shadybrook in nearby Bucks County).

Another approach at the Reading Terminal Market is akin to the one Judith relates from Italy. In this instance, it's the non-profit White Dog Cafe Foundation (the charitable offshoot of a local restaurant) which has established the Fair Food Farmstand. The FFF sells dairy, meat and produce from a wide range of different area producers. Most is organic, though not all. They tend to be pricey, but there is an interesting range of products. They provide an additional outlet for the farmer, without having to staff a distant farmstand.

gallery_7493_1206_225897.jpg

Towers of Shadybrook corn at Iovine Produce, Reading Terminal Market

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to post
Share on other sites
-chardgirl (aka the evil Julia who left Ferry Plaza shoppers high and dry, or so the lugubrious emails I've been receiving would suggest.)

Hey! Who am I supposed to have tea with now?

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...

The difficulties in establishing a new public market are noted in a recent Associated Press article. It looks at the attempts to start up a market in Portland, Oregon, whose organizers look to Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market of Philadelphia for a successful template.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...