- Do you Qualify?
- Submit Vendor Interest Form
- Policies and Rules
- Submit Application
- Permit to Sell
- Orientation & Resources
Do you qualify?
Space is limited, and our market schedules are usually set for the year by February. We are always interested in hearing from farmers, and each year our markets include new farms and new food products. Our application period is generally October-February, although occasionally we may offer applications at other times to farmers or producers when we have the opportunity/need for a particular type of product.
- Washington State farmers selling their own fresh and value-add products.
- Washington State food vendors who make processed artisinal foods from scratch using local farm ingredients.
- Washington State ready-to-eat food vendors making prepared foods from scratch using local farm ingredients.
Our priority is to support and strengthen diverse, sustainable, local farms, and a minimum of 70% of market booth space is designated for farmers only. For food vendors, we are interested in unique, locally-focused, artisan food businesses that do not already have retail distribution and/or a bricks-and-mortar location. Please note that we receive dozens of inquiries from food vendors each month, but space is limited. All food vendors are expected to source from local farms and feature local farm ingredients (click here for more info on local sourcing). For wineries, we are focusing on estate only. (Please also note that we have only very limited room for food trucks in a few of our markets, and no room for them at all in others).
- Non-food businesses and out-of-state businesses.
- Crafts (however, farmers may include a small amount of farm-sourced crafts as a small adjunct to their primary inventory of farm-grown foods - allowed on a case-by-case basis).
- Carnival or fairground-type foods (sno-cones, hot dogs, etc.)
- Nationally distributed packaged foods, energy drinks, etc.
- Pet foods.
- Imported or out-of-state agricultural products such as coffee beans.
- Wholesale or resale products of any kind.
- Locally made products that do not include Washington farm-sourced ingredients.
Complete a Vendor Interest Form
If you meet our qualifications, you may submit details about your farm and products for our review, via the Vendor Interest Form link below. Please note that this is NOT an application to sell - this simply an inquiry of interest from you to us (please use this form rather than sending us an email or asking our staff at the markets about selling space). We will review your information and then let you know if we are able to offer you an opportunity to submit an Application to Sell. We do not offer Applications to Sell to vendors whom we are unable to accommodate in our markets.
We always welcome inquiries from farmers, fishers, and dairies. For non-farm food businesses: our market schedules have very limited room for food vendors, and we receive many, many more inquiries of interest than we can accommodate. Non-farm food vendors must be prepared to submit product samples, labels, marketing materials, and price points for review upon our request.
Please do not fill out this form if you are already a current vendor or if you are interested in participating in our markets in one of the following capacities:
Policies and Rules
If you have been invited to submit an application to sell, you will be able to download a copy of our Policies and Rules booklet. This document will prepare you for market day operations, our fee structure, permits, and other pertinent information. All applicants MUST read this booklet before signing and submitting their application to sell.
In order to ensure that artisanal and ready-to-eat foods in our markets support local farms, we have instituted local sourcing audits. These audits are performed by non-Market day staff, are unannounced, and include both a visual check for signage and labeling as well as a written statement form to be filled out by the food vendor. We may also ask for receipts.
We charge a daily stall fee to all vendors, to cover our costs for street closure permits, space rentals, Health Dept, Fire Dept and LCB permits, marketing, promotion and public education, working with City and County officials and regulators, coordinating with local neighborhood organizations, and organizing/mapping/coordinating each of our seven market locations (totaling 232 market days!). We also work hard to secure funding for low income food access, and do tremendous work to instigate/advocate for laws and policies that support local agriculture and viable farmers markets.
Fees vary depending on the type of vendor and market, but in general vendors are charged a minimum daily fee (about $50/day), or a percentage of sales (whichever is greater). Percentages vary according to type of vendor and location of booth. Some markets have additional fees for parking.
Vendors are invited to apply only if we have reasonable certainty of granting them selling space at one or more of our markets. We have an electronic application process, and qualifying vendors who have been reviewed/jurried will be sent an email with log-in instructions. Farmers and vendors who sold the previous season (and are in good standing regarding rules, fee payments, etc.) are automatically invited to apply to return in the coming season.
All relevant licenses, permits and other documents must be submitted with the application form. However, if you are a food business still waiting for Health Department permits, you may wait to secure those permits upon acceptance at one of our markets. Vendors' stalls must have proper signage, pricing information, information about ingredients and sourcing, correct certification information, etc.
Inquiries and applications are accepted and processed primarily in November through February for the following market season.
For resources, links and information regarding permits, licenses, market vending, etc., please click on number 6 above (Orientation and Resources).
Permits to Sell
Applicants who are accepted in to our markets are sent, by mail, a Permit to Sell for all markets in which they are accepted.
Vendors may be limited from selling certain products at some markets, depending on the existent vendor/product mix.
Vendors may be wait-listed for some or all dates, as space is limited and the growing season is unpredictable.
Vendors may only sell the products listed on their application - vendors cannot sell products that were not listed on the original application without submitting a written addendum and obtaining written approval from the NFM.
New Vendor Orientation
Please scroll down this page for important links and info for farmers and food vendors who wish to sell in farmers markets.
Most new vendors are added to our market schedules in the early spring, so our Orientation Meeting takes place in April. If you are unable to attend, we will work with you to make sure you receive the training at an alternate time.
All vendors and their staff must also read our rules and policies booklet and handouts, be prepared with the right equipment and signage, and have a good understanding of our programs and procedures prior to selling in our markets.
Here is a cheat sheet version of how to be prepared for market day, which may be especially useful for training new employees.
We also organize an annual Vendor Meeting for all Permitted Vendors in late February that's an opportunity to get to know your fellow vendors and market staff, vote for farmer board members, and learn about updates or changes in the market operations.
Before your first day of sales, your Market Manager will contact you to review market-specific information regarding loading area, timing, your booth space, etc.
Resources for Farmers and Vendors
Insurance: liability and product liability insurance is required for all market vendors and farmers who sell anything edible. One resource listed on the WA State Farmers Market Association website is Campbell Risk Management.
General Farming Resources:
Farm King County - a comprehensive web-based directory of farming resources that contains information relevant to starting, operating and growing a successful farm enterprise.
WSDA Small Farm and Direct Marketing Handbook - also known as the "Green Guide," this is the essential resource for farmers who want to sell at farmers markets, covering regulations for specific products (from shellfish to body care products top ready-to-eat foods), direct marketing strategies, information on orgs. that support small-scale ag. businesses, and more.
The New Farmers Market, 2nd Edition - marketing guide designed for growers interested in selling their farm products through farmers' markets, as well as for market managers and city planners in starting, managing, and promoting a market.
Farmers Market Coalition Farm Business and Marketing Resources.
Permits and Licenses:
Health Department Permits - information for farmers market vendors
Fire Department Permits - if your food business involves any type of flame or heating
WA State LCB endorsement for selling/sampling wine and beer at Farmers Markets
City of Seattle Business License (farmers are exempt)
Washington State business license (required of all Farmers Market farmers and vendors)
Washington State Department of Agriculture licenses, permits, and registrations (includes apiary registration, egg handlers license, nursery license, etc.)
Resources for Start-up Food Businesses:
21 Acres: Commercial kitchen rental for farmers to value-add. 21 Acres is a nonprofit agricultural and environmental learning center and living laboratory for green and sustainable building design. They focus on a whole system approach to solving issues around food availability, small-scale food economies, environmental preservation, and sustainability.
Marketing and Display Resources:
Selling Successfully at a Farmers Market (guide from UNH Coop. Ext.)
New Farmer's Guide - Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets (from the Davis FM)
Canopy Safety 101 from the WSFMA
Federal Benefits Programs:
WIC and Senior FMNP info and application for growers