Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bedford Farmers Market Set to Open for 2010

The Bedford Farmers' Market is set to begin it's 3rd Season on Monday June 14th across from Depot Park. I recently spoke with Co-Founder Barbara Purchia. According to Barbara, the Farmers' Market is adding 10 new vendors this year including fresh pasta, artisan cheeses, Lebanese and Egyptian food and more. Besides adding new vendors, one of the goals for this year is customer education such as composting demos and seed planting for kids.

2009 Opening Day (June 15th 2009) at the Bedford Farmer's Market 

 While the Farmers Market was pleased with the growth in 2009, things slowed down in July and August as many people went away for the summer. For this year, Barbara and her team plan to combat this with additional activities such as weekly entertainment throughout the summer. In addition, there are future plans to add a marketing person.

As far as Iron Chef Bedford, Barbara mentioned that while it was successful getting people out, it did not seem to benefit the vendors. Iron Chef is being replaced by Taste of the Market in which a company will showcase what is in season. For example on Labor Day, Flatbread Pizza is bringing their portable pizza oven to the market and will add all the toppings from the local vendors and will then cook up some pizzas.

According to Barbara, the long term goals of the Bedford Farmers' Market are to continue to grow and help educate residents on the importance of what you eat, where your food comes from and how the food is grown. Barbara also stressed the importance of community in terms of being able to have conversations with people you run in to at the Farmer's Market, something that she thinks is lacking at the supermarkets.

1. While I think the additional vendors and activities will help with the growth of the market in 2010, one component still missing is outreach to employees who work but do not live in Bedford. In my informal talks with nearby workers last summer, many people were unaware of the Farmers Market which was going on just a few blocks away but had a pretty positive reaction upon hearing about it. Perhaps some flyers distributed to some of the nearby office parks would boost awareness.

2. It is nice to see the Bedford Farmer's Market website take advantage of mostly free basic web tools such as Google Calendar and online scheduling for Volunteers (although I do recommend they add Twitter). This is something that many local Bedford retailers do not take advantage of. Twitter 101 for business is probably a good place to start.

1 comment:

Suzanne Koller said...

Nicely done, Adam! Also of note- Lee Yates of the Historical Society will be giving a walking tour of the Depot area at 5pm Monday, as part of the kick off of the market. http://www.bedfordmahistory.org/
Looking forward to the market this year!! The new vendors sound wonderful.