Farmers markets are great places to launch food businesses

Event date: 2015-08-19

ichigan farmers markets offer more than nutritious local produce. In recognition of National Farmers Market Week we take a look why farmers markets are important places for food product business launches.

Some of the food entrepreneurs who sell their food products at farmers markets include Steve Van Haitsma ofMud Lake Farmand Mike Freestone ofGood Life Granola. Customer sampling allows for discoveries such as Mud Lake Cordials which are flavored syrups.

You know youre on the right track when their eyes light up and they call over their friends to try some, Van Haitsma said.

Freestone finds that theHolland Farmers Market gives direct access to consumers and instant feedback on products.

We are able to launch new products and also determine if some new products were worth putting into our lineup, said Freestone who has also connected with wholesale buyers at the Holland Farmers Market, expanding his market. No matter how small the sale, you might be talking to the person who is, or knows someone, who might put your product in a retail store.

Van Haitsma values being able to sell his cordials at retail price rather than wholesale. Freestone also sells at the retail price while always encouraging his customers to find Good Life Granola and at local stores. Theyre selling our products even after the market closes and deserve our respect, Freestone said.


Tom Van Dokkumburg found the inspiration for getting into the food business from fellow food entrepreneurs and customers at the Holland Farmers Market.

They all supported me in launching VanDokks Firehouse DogsZ-relish, right on up to the mayor, Van Dokkumburg said.

Patrons of theMuskegon Farmers Marketinclude tourists, Which is great, Van Haitsma said. Each week there are a lot of new eyes and open wallets.

For information on marketing, managing or starting a food, agriculture, bio economy and natural resources business development, contact theMichigan State University Product Centeratwww.productcenter.msu.eduor 517-432-8750.Michigan State University ExtensionInnovation Counselors are available statewide for free business counseling.

Photo credits: Good Life Granola and Van Dokks Firehouse Dogs

Joanne Davidhizar
Email: Contact Me
Primary Phone: (269) 944-4126

Account Login