How to become a part of the Belchertown Farmers and Artisans Market
Vendors are those who are allotted full-size spaces from which to sell a variety of products directly to our customers. In the spirit of the local farmers market, we seek out vendors from our local area and give priority to locally-produced goods. Not ready to run your own business as an independent vendor? Read our section about Vendor Cooperatives.
How to become a Vendor
What to sell You must sell goods directly from your stand. There is room for many different types of products at the market, whether you garden, bake, cook, or craft. Certain products require additional permits (some basic guidelines are given below. If in doubt contact the Board of Health 413-323-0406:
Retail Food Permit- Required of residential or commercial kitchens in order to sell products in Belchertown
Residential Kitchen Permit- Most Baked Goods which can be stored at room temperature
Commercial Kitchen Permit- Commercials kitchens are allowed to prepare a larger variety of products such as those that require refrigeration.
Catering permit- foods are prepared at an existing off-site establishment and include "potentially harmful" ingredients e.g. eggs, meat, and diary must be kept at specific temperatures
Temporary food permit- foods prepared on-site with an appropriate set-up approved by the Board of Health e.g. our market currently offers fresh-popped Kettle Corn
Mobile Food permit- "Food truck" or cart vendors
Third party permits- vendors who sell processed food items from a third party supplier must have appropriate permits e.g. Hope's Tent currently sells cheeses provided by Smith's Country Cheese- a state licensed cheese producer.
Becoming a vendor means you are starting your own business selling to the public. For the protection of our vendors and customers, Belchertown Farmers and Artisans Market requires all vendors to have Commercial General Liability Insurance. As with other types of insurance the cost can vary depending on your specific situation. Contact your insurance company or agent or search for quotes online.
The cost of a vendor space is $25 per day or $250 for the entire season (June-October). Standard spaces are 12ft x 12ft with room for a vehicle. Vendors may request a double space at no additional charge. Part-time Vendors will have until July 10th to commit to the full season and still get the discount.
Becoming a vendor essentially means starting your own small business. We understand that the start-up costs can seem somewhat high for individuals e.g. cost of tent, tables, signs, insurance, market fees, and the time it takes to participate. This is why we have introduced the Vendor Cooperative model in which an organization such as a church or social club may sponsor a stand which will be open to its members. This allows a number of small vendors to share the costs and responsibilities of running a stand. An example of this format can be seen at Hope's Tent, which is sponsored by Hope United Methodist Church to provide vending opportunities to church members as well as fellowship and fund-raising for the church.
Additionally, many organizations have their own commercial kitchens which may be utilized by their members to bring baked goods and prepared foods to the market. As always it is the responsibility of the Vendor of Record (the one who has signed the application) to assure that all insurance and Board of Health requirements are met.
We would love to see more of this type of collaboration so talk to your church, club, or other organization if you are interested.
While the primary purpose of the market is to provide goods directly to our customers, we also have a social mission to support businesses and organizations in our community. For this reason we have created two methods for you to spread the word about your business or organization. Note: Full size vendor spaces are only provided to vendors- those who are selling goods at the market.
*Vendors and their sponsored organizations may not sell or offer any products or literature deemed by The Management to be offensive or which may incite violence, crime or disorderly conduct.
The information table is positioned at the entrance of the market and is available to everyone. Please feel free to leave fliers or business cards at this table.
Vendor Sponsored Groups
Vendors are welcome to place informational materials on their own tables for display and distribution. If you would like to ask permission to place your materials on a vendor's table, understand that the vendor must consider the business and social implications of being associated with that material (particularly in the case of political materials).
Additionally a vendor may host representatives of an outside group at their market space and may be allotted an additional space on request in order to accommodate the visiting group and their materials. Such sponsored spaces may be used by businesses for promotion and education or by non-profits for information and fund-raising. Vendors will be held fully responsible for the behavior of their guests.