- 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.
- Locally produced, made from scratch artisanal foods sourced from local farm ingredients.
- Locally produced, made from scratch prepared foods sourced from local farm ingredients.
Our priority is to support and strengthen diverse, sustainable, local farms. For food vendors, we prioritize unique, locally-focused, artisan food businesses that do not already have retail distribution and/or a bricks-and-mortar location. Food artisans are expected to source from local farms and feature local farm ingredients.
- 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-like 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. 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 any Interest Forms submitted may either be kept on a list for review later in the year, or rejected if we cannot accommodate you in our markets. Non-farm food vendors must be prepared to submit product samples, labels, marketing materials, and price points for review upon our request. We will respond to relevant inquiries within 3 weeks of receipt. We receive numerous inquiries each week, especially re. baked goods and sweets, but our space is very limited and we simply cannot accommodate all inquiries.
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/space rental, Health/Fire/LCB permits, marketing, promotion and public education, working with City and County officials and regulators, coordinating with local neighborhood organizations, and organizing each of our seven market locations (totaling 232 market days!). We also work hard to secure funding for low income food access, and instigate/advocate for laws and policies that support local agriculture and farmers markets.
Fees vary depending on the type of vendor and market, but in general vendors are charged about $45/day or 6 to 9% of sales (whichever is greater). 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
New vendors potentially enter our system year round, so there is no universal orientation. Instead, each vendor and vendors' staff must 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. There is an annual Vendor Meeting 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. We also send out vendor e-newsletters with updates and info throughout the season.
Before your first day of sales, the Market Manager will contact you to review market-specific information regarding loading area, timing, your booth space, etc.
Resources for Market Farmers and Vendors
Insurance: liability and product liability insurance is required for all market vendors and farmers who sell anything edible. One resource specializing in Farmers Markets is Campbell Risk Management.
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 and tax (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.)
Farmers Market Vendor Booth Guide from the Farmers Market Coalition
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.
Famers Market Coalition Farm Business and Marketing 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, and the WIC/Senior Info/Training Manual
- SNAP/EBT (and our Fresh Bucks SNAP incentive program)