Farmers Market: Montgomery Friends Farmers Market, Somerset County/Montgomery
Location: Outdoor Market - The Village Shoppes, 1340 Route 206S, Skillman, NJ. Indoor Market - Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center, 1225 State Road Princeton, NJ
Dates: Outdoor Market - Saturdays, June-October, 9 AM -1 PM Indoor Market - select Saturdays in February, March and April, 9 AM -1 PM
Approximate Number of Vendors: Outdoor Market - 10, Indoor Market - 6
Do you allow food trucks?: Outdoor Market - Yes; Indoor Market - No
Approximate number of weekly attendees: Outdoor Market - 1,000; Indoor Market - 1,000
Application: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
When did your farmers market get started and how did it come about?: Montgomery Friends Farmers Market is 17 years old. It offers local New Jersey produce and foodstuffs. The Market is one arm of Montgomery Friends of Open Space which preserves open land in Montgomery Township, acts as stewards for those properties, and supports local agriculture. We offer conventional and organic produce, breads, poultry, grass-fed meat, baked goods, fibers, pasta, flowers, and a variety of preserved products from New Jersey growers.
Our market takes place outdoors on Saturdays from June through October. We also offer three indoor markets in the off-season. It is professionally managed, offers advertising support to our farmer/vendor members, and has become a community institution. We also are a member market of the NJ Council of Farmers and Communities. We like to say that “downtown Montgomery is at the Farmers Market!”
What makes your farmers market unique?: Our farmers market is unique due to our longevity, our insistence on New Jersey sourcing, our focus on good things to eat, and the many farmers and vendors who have launched into and from our market. We choose one or two new participants each year to "incubate" into New Jersey's farmers market community.
Who are your regular market shoppers? What are their general demographics?: Our regulars span all generations—some of our millennials have grown up coming to the market. Montgomery is a diverse community, and we have shoppers with roots from all over the world, which leads to lively conversations and great recipe swapping.
When selecting vendors for your farmers market, what do you look for? Are there any gaps in types of vendors or products you are especially looking for?: We look for people who are committed to growing and making food locally and marketing directly through farmers markets. We are always seek out farmers or vendors to enhance our offerings with something just a little bit different. We would like flowers, ethnic vegetable choices, pickles and other fermented foods, fish, wine, and beer. And we also are in search of a prepared food (lunch-ish) vendor, who would source from the New Jersey growing community.
What is one piece of advice you have for food and beverage entrepreneurs who want to be included in your farmers market?: I advise entrepreneurs to show up. Every week. Promote the markets you are in as well as your fellow farmers and vendors. Bring your customers and your friends. That's more than one, so I"ll boil it down: Help the market help you.
What are you most proud of about your farmers market?: We’re most proud of the quality of our farmers and vendors. We are sticklers for our New Jersey roots.
Do you have plans to incorporate anything new in your farmers market in the upcoming season?: We are adding more children's activities, music, and community interest events to bring in more customers.