Blog entries by Tom Roberts

About Tom Roberts

When I started attending the Brewer Farmers’ Market back in August of 1983, my sole concern was being able to sell the produce my farm was growing at a good price. After attending market for a year or two, I began to realize that how the market was organized had a great impact on my sales. And how the market was organized also influenced how it made decisions about dues, new members, what could be sold at market, and how it promoted itself—and this, too, had an impact on my sales. So I got involved in the market’s steering committee and began to understand how various market members thought the market should operate. Some wanted a market czar, some wanted everyone to be allowed to do their own thing. But everyone seemed to agree that if the market as a whole did well, then so did they.

Why leaving attracts customers

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I am sure you have noticed. And I am sure you have commented to others in your market. In our market it is a commonplace understanding among those who have attended any length of time. The phenomenon in question is this: No matter how long a lull in customers you have endured, as soon as […]

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When does your market’s season begin?

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While over a dozen Maine farmers’ markets now stay open year-round, others do not open for the season until June or even July,  still others close for the season by mid-September. The reasons for late openings and early closing often—but not always—has to do with the market being dependent upon summer people and tourists. Markets […]

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The question of sending a worker to market

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At a certain stage of growth in our operations, it becomes apparent that we cannot do everything that needs doing all by ourselves. When this time arrives, we hire helpers to get things done in a more effective and timely manner, as well as to be able to simply do more overall. Hiring the right […]

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Getting out from under

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Transitioning from a sponsored market to an independent market A guide for sponsors of farmers’ markets and members of sponsored farmers’ markets who want to move their market toward greater independence. We recognize that not all farmers’ markets are ready to welcome their market’s independence, nor are all sponsors ready to loosen the reins. But […]

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Rainy Days at Market

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After a particularly cold and rainy late May market Saturday, some of the MFFM Board members engaged in this exchange of emails, commenting on how to decide whether to go to market at all, and wondering what sort of rules or policies that markets might have regarding inclement weather. Anne K. Saggese, Belfast and Camden […]

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Handling your money at market

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I bring a cash box with me to market. I haven’t kept cash in it for over 20 years, but I still bring it to market. It serves as a handy place to keep my backup market supplies: extra pens and markers, band-aids, chalk, blank price tags, a tampon, small aspirin bottle, scotch tape, and […]

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