How to Make Money at the Farmers Market

Selling produce and vegetables at the market can be fun and rewarding. It also can be and should be profitable. We want to share the article below.

First thing is make sure you plan ahead.

No one likes to show up at the market and have to rush or somehow pay additional fees for something that used to be free. For example, are the roads still the same as last year?  Do we now have tolls to deal with?  This year, do I have to pay for extras at the market like tables, 110VAC power outlet, covered tent etc…

Determine what your costs truly are and how much money do you realistically want to make by selling your produce to visitors at the farmers market.

This can be difficult, especially when it comes to determining your costs. How much is your time worth? How many hours did you spend planting seeds, harvesting etc… How much is your time worth driving to the market, setting up your produce stand? How much is your time worth selling strawberries to consumers for four hours?

These are challenging questions and there is no right or wrong answer but if you can put a number(s) on some of these questions, it can help you truly determine if you made any money selling fruits and vegetables at the farmers market.

Next, scout your competitors locations at the market.

Is a seller four tables down selling apples for twenty five cents less than you?  Can you match that sellers price and still be profitable?

Is there a particular fruit or vegetable that seems to be really popular this year with customers?  Perhaps you can source some of those for your table or at least make notes so you can grow that for next year.

Do you have any larger expenses to consider such as buying a new digital price calculating scale?  

Or perhaps you had an existing scale repaired with new keypad, battery, and AC adapter.  Or maybe you need to invest in some type of cash register or large covered tent to protect you from the blazing July sunshine.  All of these costs need to be considered in your calculations.

rice lake rs-160 retail scale

Summarizing, no one understands your buying / selling produce at the farmers market business better than you.

You know how much work that you have put into growing or sourcing your produce. You know how much work you have put in to buying supplies and preparing each week for the market. And you know how much money you would realistically like to make each week and throughout the year. This article is just designed to make you think a little bit and perhaps help you to remember an area that you might have overlooked.

 

 

NEW PRODUCT! Ohaus Aviator 7000 Retail Scale

Over the years the Ohaus line of retail price computing scales has been a pretty solid choice for customers looking for a reliable, high quality scale. Of course the predecessor of the Ohaus RE15US and RE30US was the old XRT series scales. And of course before that we had the Tiger II scale. And finally before that it was the 8433 scale. All of those were nice scales that were fairly simple to use and they just worked. In fact, if you look closely, you’ll still see an old 8433 still in action at some small farmers market. Recently, we received word that Ohaus was going to be upgrading their retail scale lineup and replacing the RE and RA series.  Below is a summary of the new scale and a link on where to purchase the new scale.

The Ohaus Aviator 7000 retail scale has been conceived to offer optimum quality versus price in order to guarantee the robustness, operating speed and accuracy you need, whatever your retail environment. The Light-Touch layer keyboard is setting standards thanks to its fast operation, easy cleaning and cost efficiency, while the large 4-line LCD including separate tare line makes daily tasks simple. For secure and easy transportation the Aviator 7000 includes practical design features such as Ergo grips and integrated cable storage. In addition it offers POS protocol support. Overall the Aviator 7000 offers you a complete package of features rarely seen on an entry level price-computing scale – ensuring that it stands out from the crowd.

Key Features and Benefits of the Aviator 7000
Two Model Options and Several Weighing Ranges
Aviator® 7000 is available as a compact or tower model. Both models are available in the following dual weighing ranges: 15 x 0.005 lb / 30 x 0.01 lb and 30 x 0.01 lb / 60 x 0.02 lb. Continue reading

Is There Still A Hanging Produce Scale For Sale That’s Certified Legal For Trade?

We usually focus on the digital retail scales that you see at the market each week but today we wanted to look at a classic scale you’ve probably seen at a produce market. You would be surprised at how often customers ask if they can still purchase a hanging scale for weighing their produce at the farmers market. Even though we now have the super fast and relatively reliable digital scales available, many customers actually ask for the proven performer with the dial that spins around to display the weight. Sometimes it actually does make a lot of sense to choose one of these classics. If you don’t want to fool around with batteries every few weeks, then a hanging dial scale might be a good choice. If your location has an overhang or tent that is easy to attach a scale to, then this might be a good idea for you.

NTEP certified hanging produce scales

Of course, if you choose to go this route, you will want to choose a NTEP certified legal for trade hanging scale like the Chatillon series. It’s also a good idea to get a scale that has the double dial so both sides can see the dial and completely agree on the weight that is listed on the scale dial. Unfortunately, if you do choose one of these scales, you will need to bring your calculator with you to calculate the price per pound.

The Chatillon Century Series hanging scale is well known for  accuracy, dependability and reliability. The Century Series feature a glass-covered 7-inch dial that reads clockwise. A double dial option is available (one dial reads clockwise, the other counter clockwise). These scales feature a corrosion-resistant band, bezel and housing and have a rugged, steel inner frame. Scale capacities are reached in two pointer revolutions.

The Centry Series are Class lll “Legal for Trade” scales. Century Series can be supplied with a CG Series scoop or the popular CAS circular pan. The CAS Pan is constructed of stainless steel. 3-inch deep round pan has drain holes. The CG Scoop is ideal for weighing loose materials. Scoop and suspension chain of galvanized construction.

Best Ways To Care For Fresh Picked Strawberries

We all know that the best quality strawberries are the ones you pick yourself out of the field or buy from a local strawberry farmer at the market. These strawberries are almost always the freshest you can obtain. Their taste and red color are exceptional. Nothing really compares to the flavor and aroma of fresh picked strawberries.  Below are a few pointers if you are planning on picking some berries. Of course we always recommend a scale that weighs strawberries.
After you find the perfect farm to visit, you will want to pick strawberries by pinching the stem of the berry between your thumb and index finger. This will reduce injury to either the berry and the strawberry plant. Leaving the caps on helps your berries last for a longer Continue reading

Popular Goodies at the Farmers Market

We were doing an internal poll around here thinking about what fresh foods we were looking forward to buying once the farmers market opens up soon. Below is an overview of a few of the top picks among our group of hungry eaters.

Strawberries, blueberries, okra, corn, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, red onions, cantaloupe, kale, beans, cabbage, cucumbers, collards, bananas, spinach, peaches, pecans, butternut squash, tomatoes including cherry, grape, roma, and slicing, turnips, and watermelon.

Simple Way To Clean Produce

We all need fresh produce.  It tastes good and it is good for you.  However with all the pesticides and other particles that are located on the outside of the fruits and vegetables, the benefits can be reduced or can even cause you more harm than good.  But there is an easy way to clean your produce.  Most people think running fruit under water for a few seconds gets the job done.  Not quite.

Frozen blueberries were found to have the highest organophosphate residue at 28%, with strawberries coming in at a close second at 25%.  Celery had a 19% contamination rate. How do we protect ourselves from pesticide contamination?  Here are some helpful hints.  If possible, buy local and organic.  Even if you do, make sure to still peal your fruit when you have the option. For fruits and vegetables that can’t be peeled (like strawberries and celery), make sure you wash them thoroughly.    See whole article here

Ohaus Retail Scales Offer Brand Name Quality

Designed from the ground up as a portable retail scale with a small footprint and battery power, the RA combines a bright, backlit LCD display on front and back of the housing with a 7.9 X 11.4 inch stainless steel pan. The RA can be powered by 6 “D” cell batteries for up to 60 hours continuous use, or using the included AC powerpack. To conserve power the RA has a battery-saving low-power sleep feature. NTEP 3,000d certified, the RA offers 2 models in either 15 or 30 lb capacities. Great for use in farmer’s markets, delis, bakeries and other retail locations where space is a premium.

For use with larger packages or for use in delis, grocery and convenience stores, the OHAUS RE price computing scale features a large 9.5 x 13.5 inch weighing pan made from thick stainless steel to stand-up to years of use. Available in both a regular form factor as well as with a 16.7 inch tall column for the display, the RE line quickly displays weights on its large backlit LED display. All RE models can be powered by 6 “D” cell batteries for up to 60 hours continuous use with a easily visible battery status indicator, or using the included AC powerpack. To conserve power the RA has a battery-saving low-power sleep feature.  The RE is available in two 30 lb models – one with the column – as well as a 60 lb model without column. The Prepack Pricing mode is a key feature for stores who price-out larger runs of items, especially for smaller stores and delis.

Storing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

On this blog, we focus on scales for weighing produce. However, we also like to consume fresh produce and are always looking for ways to prolong the freshness of our favorite fruits and vegetables. We all like fresh produce, but how can we keep it fresh longer? “How you store fruits and vegetables will impact how fresh your produce will stay,” says Erin Palinski, RD, a registered dietitian in private practice in northern New Jersey. Below are some food storage tips for common fruits and vegetables from Everyday Health.  Click the Everyday Health link to read the entire article.

Apples: At room temperature for up to seven days or refrigerated in a plastic bag if you won’t eat them that quickly.
Bananas: At room temperature, both ripe and unripe.
Grapefruit: At room temperature for one week or refrigerated for up to two or three weeks.
Peaches: At room temperature in a paper bag if unripe; remove from the bag when ripe and eat within a day or two. Continue reading

Commercial Scales for the Farmers Market Can Cost over $400

Legal for Trade Commercial scales can cost well over $400, but if you do a little research, you won’t pay near that much for a set of high quality farmers market scales.  Yes, you could get away with using a set of “household” scales, either hanging or digital, but that is ultimately not the way to establish trust and legitimacy with your customer who is buying produce from you.

Do some research and buy a legal for trade price computing scale that can be certified by the state.  In most states it is a requirement.  However, sometimes due to budget restraints and manpower, merchants get the idea that they can get away with not purchasing a legal for trade scale.  Sometimes every now and then you hear comments Continue reading

Label Printing Scales for sale

The CL5000 Label Printing Scale has the functions you need at an affordable price. Includes CL-Works software package. Use in supermarkets, specialty stores, deli’s and more! For a limited time, earn a $50 gift card for each label printing scale purchased. Contact Central Carolina Scale for more info.