HomeCommunityRochester Farmers Market will not return due to a lack of vendors...

Rochester Farmers Market will not return due to a lack of vendors and low turnout

After much deliberation, organizers of the Rochester Farmers Market have decided not to return for the 2023 season. The decision was made largely due to a lack of vendor participation and low customer turnout, resulting in lower sales than in years past. With that, the group says they are not dissolving, but rather “hitting the pause button” until a clear plan for a successful return materializes.

Last season, the Rochester Farmers Market started with commitments from 19 vendors for all 20 available spaces. Of those, 84% registered as full-time vendors planning to attend the market for all 16 weeks. Unfortunately, vendor attendance varied weekly, ranging from a low of 9 vendors (only 45%) to a high of 18 vendors.

Vendors offered a variety of justifications for not attending, such as lack of product, health reasons, equipment malfunction, or lack of transportation. In addition, the weather presented challenges. Rain, wind, and high heat and humidity affected multiple market days.

Through individual contact with farmers, organizers determined that of the 19 vendors from 2022, only 5 were interested in participating again in 2023, 4 would consider the option, and 5 do not plan to return. 3 provided no response.

For guidance and advice, the group consulted with similar organizations, like Seacoast Eat Local, which manages several markets in Durham, Dover, Exeter, Portsmouth, Stratham, and Rollinsford. Seacoast Eat Local reported that their markets are also experiencing lower attendance, and therefore a decrease in sales, and inconsistent vendor attendance.

In a last-ditch effort, Farmers Market organizers and City staff met to discuss ways to continue, however, with such a low number of farmers, it was determined that a smaller market would not be enough of a draw to justify the work needed to execute it successfully.

For now, organizers will continue to explore the possibility of restarting the market in 2024. The group remains committed to the mission of “supporting local family farmers and artisans by giving them a viable outlet to sell directly to the consumer, and to enrich the community by creating a safe, clean and fun venue to purchase organic, fresh, nutritious local foods.”

Latest Posts

New Hampshire 911 Fully Restored After Temporary Interruption

Update - 6:15 a.m., July 19, 2024 The New Hampshire 911 server system has been...

Rochester Fire Department Announces Free Smoke Alarm Installation Program

The Rochester Fire Department, in collaboration with the American Red Cross, is pleased to...

Susan Young Gaudiello Receives 2024 Cornerstone Award

Cornerstone VNA is excited to announce their annual Cornerstone Award recipient, given to an...

WATCH: Public Safety Committee – 7/17/24

Click here to watch. Public Meetings are broadcast live on Comcast Channel 22 and Breezeline...

More like this

Rochester Fire Department Announces Free Smoke Alarm Installation Program

The Rochester Fire Department, in collaboration with the American Red Cross, is pleased to...

Susan Young Gaudiello Receives 2024 Cornerstone Award

Cornerstone VNA is excited to announce their annual Cornerstone Award recipient, given to an...

WATCH: Public Safety Committee – 7/17/24

Click here to watch. Public Meetings are broadcast live on Comcast Channel 22 and Breezeline...