How to Become a Vendor
Thank you for your interest in participating in Countryside Farmers' Markets!
Applications for our 2018 outdoor season are now closed.
Feel free to review the information below as a guide for applications in coming seasons.
Since 1999, Countryside Conservancy has connected people, food, and land throughout Northeast Ohio. Our programs re-establish farms in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, run farmers' markets in the greater Akron area, and educate citizens about the importance of local food and farming. We also help up-and-coming farmers find land, and connect local growers to chefs and consumers.
As a partner of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, we assist in managing the Countryside Initiative program, with farms located within the boundaries of our National Park. These farms are committed to sustainable agriculture and work hard with their park partners to be good land stewards. Together, the farms and Countryside bring over 100,000 visitors to the valley each year and have an economic impact of millions of dollars.
As an outgrowth of the Countryside Initiative program, we began managing farmers’ markets in 2004. Currently, we manage two summer markets and one winter market in the greater Akron area. The markets collectively serve over 50,000 customers each year, and in 2014 the vendors reached a collective milestone of over $1M in annual sales. 2017 is our fourteenth season in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and our thirteenth season in Akron. Our markets are producer-only; vendors are required to be growing, producing or making the products offered at the markets.
The purposes of the Countryside Farmers’ Markets are three-fold:
Download and Read Guidelines: Vendors interested in joining the market for the first time should download the Countryside Farmers’ Market Vendor Handbook. Please read the guidelines thoroughly. All the essential information on market fees, vendor acceptance criteria, and market rules is explained in detail in this document. If there are remaining questions after reading them, contact Erin, Director of Local Food Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply: Check back during an active application period for specific application information.
Submit Samples/Schedule Farm Visit: Farmers new to the markets will be contacted by the market manager to schedule a mutually convenient time for a farm visit to verify producer status. All prospective vendors wishing to bring value-added or ready to eat products to the market must submit samples for juried review; once you have submitted your application you will be contacted to make arrangements.
Applications are Reviewed: Applications will be reviewed in accordance with the criteria outlined in the Countryside Farmers’ Market Vendor Handbook. The number of spaces at Countryside Farmers' Market is limited. The precise number of spaces will be determined by the market manager, as will allocation of specific spaces to specific vendors.
Notification: Prospective vendors will be notified no later than March 23, 2018, as to their acceptance or denial.
Remit Market Membership Fees and Submit All Required Paperwork: If accepted, vendors will be required to remit fees and submit all necessary paperwork by April 11, 2018. Vendors will not be permitted to participate in the market until all necessary fees and paperwork are received.
Market Begins: Prior to the market’s opening day, the market manager will contact you with detailed information on arrival and set-up procedures.