Harvesting Customers at Farmers’ Markets


Summer is here and American parking lots and sidewalks are dotted with cheery white and blue umbrellas. Tables overflow with a shock of seasonal colors and aromas. 

It’s Farmers‘ Market season and it is time to stock up on locally produced fruits and vegetables. It is also a great way for vomFASS Franchise Partners to get the word out about their store!

A little planning is necessary to be successful at the Farmers‘ Markets. The purpose is to attract new customers, so signage and attractive displays are important. It is not necessary to recreate a vomFASS store with our depth of products, but having a good selection of products to sample and gift sets to sell is important.

vomFASS in Madison, Wisconsin and Noblesville, Indiana both have a prominent presence at their local Farmers‘ Markets, and each has a slightly different approach.  We talked to Anyta Sundaresh from Noblesville, and Chef Kevin Appleton from Madison.

Toni Jakovec:  Hi Anyta.  That is a great picture of you at the Farmers‘ Market.  How long have you been doing this?

Anyta Sundaresh:  Hi Toni.  Actually we have been working 2 markets, the Noblesville Farmers‘ Market and the Fishers Farmers‘ Market, since May, the beginning of the season.  My daughter Saasha aslo helps out.

TJ:  I love the display you created.  What type and quantity of vomFASS products do you bring to the Markets?

AS:  At Fishers Farmers‘ Market we take at least one bottle/jar of each of our spices. We take at least 3-4 of the most popular spices and at least 6 of our chutneys and pestos. At Noblesville we take 12 Oils, 12 Vinegars (usually the ones that pair well together) and about 25 of our spices.  At the Noblesville Farmers market we have our Oils, Vinegars and spices. We select the oils and vinegars according to what is appropriate for the seasonal produce and take vinegars that pair well with the oils.

TJ:  How do you promote your Farmers‘ Market appearances?

AS:  We actively promote through social media and at the store.

TJ:  Do you do cooking demonstrations at the Farmers‘ Market?

AS:  No, we only do demonstrations at the store.  In fact, we just had a great cooking demonstration with Chef Keith last Tuesday, August 5th.

TJ:  What do you find people are most curious about vomFASS?

AS:  The name!  Everyone wants to know what it means and what language it is.  A question like that is a great opportunity for us to tell new customers about the “from the cask“ and “taste before you buy“ experience.  They also want to know about the purity of the products, which we are very proud to explain.

Chef Kevin at Farmers Market

Chef Kevin Appleton during his cooking demonstration
at the Westside Community Market in Madison, WI.

Toni Jakovec:  Thanks for taking time to talk today, Chef.  How long have you participated in the Westside Community Market?

Kevin Appleton:  This is my third year.

TJ:  Do you bring vomFASS products with you to the Market?

KA:  I take the products that I plan to use, plus a lot of back-up products.  I don’t sell any products.  I do a cooking demonstration using the fresh produce from the Market and combine it with vomFASS oils and vinegars.

TJ:  How are your appearances at the Farmers‘ Market promoted?

KA:  The Westside Community Market has a wonderful online newsletter.  The week before my scheduled appearance they announce “Chef Kevin Appleton from vomFASS is doing one of his cooking demonstrations!“

Some people come to the Market just to see me and what I’m up to that week.  Then, in for following weeks newsletter, they will do a re-cap of the demonstration, focusing on the products that I used and usually will include my recipe and a nice picture.  All of this is terrific exposure for vomFASS.

TJ:  Do you hand out discount cards or business cards to people?

KA:  I don’t have any discount cards, but I do keep a display of vomFASS catalogues and business cards for people.  This past week I was able to distribute a vomFASS Fassmix Rhubard syrup with an attached recipe.

These appearances are great for a couple of reasons.  First off, for those customers who already love us, it’s a reminder to go back to the store and try out new products.  For those who don’t know about vomFASS, it is a wonderful introduction to these extraordinary products.

It’s also a great opportunity to promote other events at the store, i.e. upcoming wine tastings; cooking classes and spirits events.

TJ:  About how many people come to these demonstrations?

KA:  Well, it’s impossible to know for sure.  But I can tell you this, I bring enough food to make samples for about 200 people, and I never leave with any leftovers!

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. Currently, the following states in the United States regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction.