Seeking market vendors and community sponsors

The Vang Family of Morning Sunshine Farm
The Vang Family of Morning Sunshine Farm. Submitted photo

What do Sun Street Breads, Bogarts Donuts, Rise Bagels and The Beez Kneez have in common? They all got their start at a Neighborhood Roots market!

Neighborhood Roots is the nonprofit that operates Kingfield, Fulton and Nokomis farmers markets in South Minneapolis, as well as a series of Winter Markets at Bachman’s on Lyndale. With a few staff members, a dozen board members and a great network of volunteers, we support more than 100 local businesses grow every year.

Our mission is to bring neighbors together to buy, eat and learn about local food. We support local farmers and small businesses, promote vibrant community and affect important changes in food and agriculture policy.

Farmers markets are small business incubators. They provide a unique opportunity to access new markets and pilot new products.

New farmers who vend at markets have more flexibility to control their operation, as opposed to wholesale contracts with retailers. Social enterprises like Big River Farm have an opportunity to do face-to-face outreach and education about their mission of supporting small farmers. As our vendors grow and evolve, they can build a solid customer base and develop their niche in the local economy.

If you are a starting or growing a business in Minnesota and want to gain access to the Twin Cities marketplace, apply to become a vendor with Neighborhood Roots!

Our markets are first and foremost producer markets. Vendors must grow, produce or substantially transform the products they are selling. Typically, our markets are comprised of a mix of agricultural vendors, value-added packaged food vendors, baked goods vendors and ready-to-eat food and craft vendors. When selecting vendors for our markets, we select first for farmers. We prioritize connecting consumers to locally grown and produced agricultural products — vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy, grains and legumes — that are sold at the market by vendors who cultivate and raise their own products.

Each market serves the unique needs of their respective communities. Decisions regarding vendor selection and market mix are made by a committee comprised of board members, community members, market volunteers and staff.

To apply, visit our website for more information. Before you start your application, take time to review our vendor policies first so we’re all on the same page. We are accepting applications until Feb. 17, so apply today!

Starting and growing a new business can be stressful and uncertain. You can support these brave entrepreneurs by becoming a market sponsor.

The generous support of neighborhood businesses make our markets happen. Each market has unique relationships with business owners who want to build trust and name recognition in the neighborhood.

For example, Nicollet ACE Hardware has been a longtime champion of Kingfield Farmers Market, providing both financial support and special in-kind donations, like a grill for our raffle fundraiser last summer. We direct our market gardeners and cottage food producers to buy their supplies at ACE after stocking up on plant starts in the spring or soon-to-be-pickled produce in height of summer.

Nokomis Farmers Market has flourished thanks to 3 Bears Landscaping. Our partnership has led market goers to choose 3 Bears for their next big landscaping project.

At Fulton Farmers Market, we are lucky to have Kamie Augustine in our corner. Augustine Team of Keller Williams has been with us for years and has built strong relationships with current and future homeowners in Fulton neighborhood.

One of the major sponsors of Neighborhood Roots is HERO Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. They even provided us with an amazing bounce house for folks to enjoy at each of our markets last summer!

Becoming a market sponsor supports your own business, strengthens the local economy and invests in the farmers markets as valuable community assets. To learn more, contact Neighborhood Roots Executive Director Emily Lund at [email protected].