1. The Leelanau Farmers Markets

The Leelanau Farmers Markets mission is to provide our community with fresh, locally produced farm and food products and provide local farmers with an outlet to sell their products. The markets serve as important community events attracting both local consumers and visitors. By offering multiple venues for people to purchase local food, the Leelanau Markets hope to increase access to good food choices. The Leelanau Farmers Markets Association Board oversees the operation of the Leelanau Farmers Market.

2. Locations, Times, Dates

  • Suttons Bay

    2nd Saturday in May – 4th Saturday in October (May 12 – Oct 27)

  • Empire

    3rd Saturday in June – 2nd Saturday in September (June 16 – Sept 8)

  • Glen Arbor

    2nd Tuesday in June – 2nd Tuesday in September (June 12 – Sept 11)

  • Leland

    3rd Thursday in June – 4th Thursday in August (June 21 – Aug 30)

  • Northport

    2nd Friday in June – 2nd Friday in September (June 8 – Sept 14)

3. Products Sold at the Farmers Markets

We want the Leelanau Farmers Markets to be known as sources for excellent local products. Vendors are expected to have quality products. Displaying overripe, spoiled or unusable products is not permitted. Items not listed below must support the goals of the Leelanau Farmers Markets and are at the discretion of the Market Master.

Items eligible for sale in the market include:

  • fruits, vegetables, field crops
  • plants, flowers (fresh or dried)
  • food prepared on-site
  • honey, maple syrup
  • eggs, cheese & meat products
  • value-added products
  • coffee and baked goods (to enhance the market atmosphere)
  • local handmade art and crafts (limited to 25% of the total market space)

4. Product Origin, Labeling, and Licensing

A. Locally produced and processed and re-selling of goods

All products must be grown or produced locally-defined as grown in Leelanau, Grand Traverse, or Benzie County. Processed foods must be made locally or produced from locally grown products. Vendors are expected to sell items they grow or produce. In order to provide a more full market experience, vendors are allowed to supplement their own product sales by re-selling items they did not produce, but the majority of their goods must be their own. Produce not grown by a vendor must be grown in the counties of Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Benzie, or within 60 miles from the location of the market, and be labeled with the name of grower and County of origin. The label must be visible to the public. Vendors must have records on-site that can prove County of origin. Vendors violating this rule will be asked to remove the offending items. A 2nd offense will result in the vendor’s expulsion from the market for the rest of the season.

B. Organic Products

If a product is labeled “organic,” it must be certified in accordance with Michigan law and the standards set forth by the National Organic Program or the NOP rules also allow small farmers and handlers who follow the national organic standards to sell their product as “organic” without certification, if and only if they: a) sell less than $5,000 worth of organic agricultural products per year; and b) follow the national standards for production, labeling, and record keeping. Uncertified vendors that offer verbal or written declarations of organic status that do not abide by this definition will result in termination of vendor’s permit to sell. When an organic producer is also selling non-organic produce at the same stand, the non-organic produce must be clearly separated from the organic produce and clearly labeled as conventionally grown.

C. Licensing and regulations

All vendors are responsible to understand and comply with Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (www.michigan.gov/mdard) and Michigan Health Department (www.michigan.gov/mdhhs) rules and regulations regarding growing, handling, processing, sampling and vending their products. If selling products that require a license, the vendor must have the license on-site. Compliance with health and safety regulations and the Michigan Cottage Food Law (www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-50772_45851-240577–,00.html) is the responsibility of the vendor. Sneeze guards, cold storage, hot holding, hand washing stations, and all other relevant equipment must be provided by the vendor as needed

D. Food Assistance Programs

Vendors with eligible products are expected to participate in all food assistance programs, including Project Fresh, Senior Fresh Programs, EBT/SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, Grand Traverse Band, and other programs. Vendors are expected to become familiar with the rules and procedures of these programs (your market master will have details). Vendors may only request reimbursement for coupons or tokens accepted at the markets. Coupons or tokens accepted outside of the markets are not eligible for reimbursement. Vendors are asked to turn in or send Project Fresh & Senior Fresh coupons directly to their Market Master by October 31st.

For 2018, the LFMA board will accept SNAP (EBT Bridge Cards formally known as the Food Stamp Program). Vendors selling produce and food products will be expected to accept the SNAP wooden tokens as payment from customers and turn them into the market master for reimbursement. Double Up Food Bucks is a program in which EBT Bridge Card recipients are given double the amount they spend on their EBT cards. For example, if their EBT card is swiped for $20, they will receive an extra $20 to spend at the market through the Fair Food Network Program fund. This benefit is limited to a maximum of $20 per market day.

5. Annual Applications

A. The LFMA board will evaluate individual applications to ensure we fulfill our mission. Quality, diversity, and focus on local food are the top three vendor acceptance criteria. The LFMA Board reserves the right to limit the number of non-agricultural product vendors to better achieve its mission. Applying for a vendor space does not guarantee a place at the market.

B. Vendor priority will be given in the following order:

  • Category 1. Raw food producers (e.g. fruit growers, ranchers, vegetable farmers) and value-added food producers (e.g. maple syrup, cheese)
  • Category 2. Wineries. Limited to 1 – 3 total per market depending on market size.
  • Category 3. Prepared food and vendors selling under the cottage food law (e.g. tacos, sandwiches, coffee, cookies, pies, jams, breads, etc.)
  • Category 4. Non-food agricultural products (e.g. beeswax, herbal soap, flowers, local wool, etc.)
  • Category 5. Non-agricultural products (e.g. artwork, furniture, clothing, etc.)

***Note: Vendors whose products have a higher % of local ingredients will be given priority.

C. To receive market space priority, reduced stall fees, and be included in outreach efforts, vendors must submit their application and prepaid stall fees by March 20, 2018. All applications are requested by April 20, 2018. Priority consideration will be given to applications received before this date. Applications received after this date will still be considered, but please contact the Market Coordinator, Kristi Thomas, at 231 360 1874 before sending in your application. Once a completed application along with application fee and prepaid stall fees have been received by the Market, letters of acceptance or other appropriate contact will be made.

D. Applications are accepted throughout the market season, at least one week before the desired start date. Late applications are not guaranteed a spot at market, even if returning from last year or previous years.

F. Pre-payment is non-refundable unless your application is not accepted.

LFMA attempts to give first priority to returning vendors who paid the annual fee and were in good standing the previous season. Good standing is defined as full participation in at least 75% of the previous season’s markets for which the vendor had signed up. In addition, in order to remain in good standing, vendors must comply with all market rules, and the market master must be notified for all of the markets that the vendor needs to miss. The Market recognizes the importance of consistency in stall location and will strive to balance that with the expansion of the market.

6. Vendor Responsibilities

A. Gross Sales Data

Vendors must report to the Market Master their gross sales for the previous weeks Market day prior to set up at the following weeks market. Market Masters will have forms available to fill out and a lock box to place your form. Each vendor is expected to cooperate with sales monitoring activity by Market management. Individual vendor sales data is strictly anonymous. Vendors who fail to provide accurate and timely gross sales data will not be allowed to set up at the next market. If it is your last week at the market, you will be expected to provide this information at the end of that market day.

B. Punctuality and vendor “spots”

With the exception of Cedar, market hours of operation are: 9:00a.m. – 1:00p.m. No vendors will be allowed on the site before 8:00a.m. unless special arrangements have been made. Vendors cannot leave early. All vendors must vacate the site by 2:00p.m.
In order to claim their reserved spots, annual fee vendors need to arrive 30 minutes before starting time of their markets and be ready to begin selling when the market opens, unless previously arranged with Market Masters. Spots will be assigned to daily vendors after that time. Only Market Masters can assign spots. An annual fee vendor cannot designate who gets their spot if they are not present, nor can they sublet their spot. Market Masters reserve the option to adjust spots during the season to accommodate the number of vendors, space available and market efficiency. Vendors who arrive late, after 8:30am, may lose their spot. Vendors must call the market master if they expect to arrive after 8:30am as a courtesy, though this may not save their spot for the day.

C. Wineries

Leelanau County vintners are encouraged to participate at our markets. They are responsible for following all State and County regulations. Wineries are responsible for setting up their respective booths in accordance with state regulations regarding designated tasting areas.

D. Signage

All vendors will post a sign in their booth, identifying the name of the farm/business represented and the town where it is located. Vendors will have their signs displayed before sales begin. Failure to have a sign will result in a first offense warning. The second offense will result in a $10 fine. All fines owed must be paid before vendor can occupy space at the market on subsequent market days. No vendor shall EVER use the words “last day” other similar terms in their signage or handout material unless approved by manager. If it is your last day at market, please use other language to say so (We won’t be back this season, See you next year, etc.)

E. Pricing & Quality of Produce

Produce and other allowable Market products should be clearly marked with their price. This can be done by individually tagging each item with a sign or by listing all products and prices on a large sign or blackboard. Vendors are discouraged from giving ‘end of the day’ discounts. Vendors are expected to bring good quality products to market. Vendors are responsible for the safety of their food and cannot sell adulterated foods.

F. Food Prepared On-Site

The sale of food prepared on site is encouraged. Items offered should include regional ingredients that highlight and embody our local agriculture heritage. Vendors who prepare food on-site are required to adhere to all State and local regulations including, but not limited to, licensing requirements.

G. Insurance

Each vendor will be responsible for his/her own insurance.

H. Booth/Display Size and Set Up

Booth size is 10ft x 10ft. If a vendor wishes to use more space, they must purchase an additional vendor spot. Two separate businesses may share a booth if they also share a cash drawer (so a customer will not have to pay separately for items offered at one vendor space). Vendors are responsible for providing sun or weather protection and tables to sell from. Various easy to use & setup covering products are available at local stores and are encouraged so the market can continue in inclement weather. No holes can be put in pavement areas. Vendor vehicles, tables, and overhead shades must be maintained and used in a safe manner. Legs must be firmly locked into place on the shades. Tables must have smooth edges and remain stable when loaded with produce.

All vendors who wish to erect canopies (including umbrellas) on the farmers market site during a normal period of market operations, including the set up and break down period, are required to have their canopies sufficiently and safely weighted from the time their canopy is put up, to the time it is taken down. It is recommended that a 25# weight, that does not impose a hazard to the customer, be attached to each canopy leg. Any vendor who fails to properly anchor his or her canopy will not be allowed to sell at the farmers market on that market day, unless that vendor chooses to take down and stow their canopy and sell without it. In addition, any weights or poles used must be positioned so as to not obstruct traffic flow.

I. Booth Clean Up

Each vendor is expected to clean his/her assigned spot at the end of each day and to keep it neat during the period that the market is open. Developing and keeping a good community image is key to attracting customers and continuing to receive market permits. Dumping produce or other products in the trashcans by vendors is forbidden. The vendor is required to take home everything that they don’t sell including boxes, bags, etc. Vendors should bring their own brooms and dustpans. Those who do not clean up at the end of the Market will be issued a written warning for the first offense and a $25 fine for the second offense. A third offense is grounds for termination of vendor’s permit to sell. All fines owed must be paid before vendor can occupy space at the market on subsequent market days.

J. Courtesy/Conduct

Vendors and their representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a safe and courteous manner at the Market. Any language or behavior considered deleterious to the normal operation of the Market will be grounds for denial of the vendor’s permit to sell.

K. Customer Satisfaction

Vendors are expected to satisfy their customers by providing quality products. Complaints should be directed to the Market Master and the LFMA board if necessary.

L. No Smoking

Smoking is not allowed in the vendor sales areas.

M. Dog Policy

Vendors may not bring their dogs. While dogs are not banned from public space, no dog will be allowed where food is being sold.

7. Market Master Duties and Responsibilities

The Market Master’s job is to implement Leelanau Farmers Market Association policies. This includes processing ebt and food assistance coupons, overseeing market set-up, booth assignments, and collection of fees, providing information on membership and market policies, and assuring vendor compliance with all market policies. Market Masters have the right to deny a vendor the privilege of selling at a market. Reasons might include lack of license, misrepresentation of products, non-payment of fees, poor quality products, leaving litter or disorderly conduct. The Market Master will make booth assignment decisions based on available space in the market and the need for specific products. The Market Master will be responsible for public concerns and vendor complaints. The Market Master is also the conduit between vendors/customers and LFMA. The Market Master has complete authority to interpret and implement policy on the market site; including the authority to rescind stall space for just cause. Vendor grievances will be taken to the Market Master and LFMA Board.

8. Vendor Grievances

LFMA has a specific protocol in place for receiving vendor grievances and determining an appropriate course of action. If you have a grievance to report, please contact your market master or the LFMA Market Coordinator, for a grievance form. Complete the form and mail it to the LFMA address below. Upon review by the LFMA Board, a LFMA board member will respond within 10 days.

9. FMA Roles and Responsibilities

A. LFMA reserves the right to prohibit anyone from selling or any product from being sold.

B. LFMA is not responsible for loss of property or damage.

C. There will be no discrimination according to race, color, creed, sex, religion, sexual orientation, age, or nationality at any of the Leelanau Farmers Markets.

10. Annual Meeting

LFMA holds two annual meetings. The annual LFMA Spring Kickoff Vendor meeting will be April 23, 2018 at 6 p.m. All vendors are encouraged to attend this fun and informative event.

11. Vendor Fees: see application form

A. Annual fee

Vendors should complete the attached application form. Mail it with payment made out to the “Leelanau Farmers Markets” to the address on the form. Return it on or prior to the start of selling at the markets. No refunds of annual fees will be given once the season starts.

To keep a previous year’s spot or request a specific spot for the season, annual fee vendors will need to return their applications by March 20. After March 20, previous year’s spots may be reassigned by the Market Master on a first come, first serve basis. Market Masters will have a layout map from which to pick spots. Market Masters will make all efforts to accommodate requests within the limits of the market configuration and space.

B. Daily rates

Daily rates will be assessed on all vendors not paying the annual Market fee regardless of whether they sell any product. The Market Master will assign daily spots on a first come, first serve basis 30 minutes before starting time. Market Masters can deduct up to two normal daily fees from the seasonal rate if a daily fee vendor decides to purchase an annual fee after being a daily vendor twice.

C. Non-Profit and Community Outreach Booths

The Leelanau Farmers Market Association wishes to help promote the work of local non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations can set up a booth at the market for the purpose of; 1) providing an opportunity for our customers to learn about local organizations; 2) supporting non-profits in our community; 3) providing a venue for cities and municipalities to educate the community about special projects and educational outreach efforts. Non-profit and community outreach booths are first come first serve and must be verified with the Market Master prior to the market. Non-profit and outreach booths will be assigned at the discretion of the market master based upon space and diversity of farm products. In most cases, non-profits will only be allowed to set up once per season at each Leelanau County market – additional set-ups must be approved by the Board and are usually only allowed if the group’s mission is directly aligned with that of the LFMA.

12. LFMA Board Elections

All vendors are invited and encouraged to attend the Annual Association kickoff April 23, 2018, and Fall Annual meeting. Board members that provide oversight to the Leelanau Farmers Markets are elected at the Fall meeting. Vendors and members of the public are eligible to serve on the Board. Contact the Leelanau Farmers Market regarding this opportunity (231-256-9888).


Leelanau Farmers Markets
C/O MSU Extension
8527 E. Government Center Dr., Ste 107
Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Phone: 231/256-9888; Fax: 231/256-8331
Email : leelanaufarmersmarkets@gmail.com
Web : www.leelanaufarmersmarkets.com