Southern California is second to none when it comes to farmers’ markets. Our temperate climate, richness of regional soil, and abundance of eco-conscious shoppers have made outdoor markets a raging success for local food growers and producers. In addition, market shoppers tend to be small business-oriented and community-focused. Thus, it’s no big surprise that resident artisans and entrepreneurs—who also care deeply about our neighborhoods—want in on the action, too.

berriesLuckily, just about anyone can “sell” at a farmers’ market. Now, I don’t mean to imply that you should set up your software booth next to the cilantro cart; it’s simply not a good “fit.” Instead, look for opportunities for co-branded sales, cross-promotional marketing, co-op advertising, and strategic partnerships.

Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • “Sponsor” a vendor who has customers similar to yours. Pay for your favorite vendor’s signage (with your sponsorship logo in view, of course) in exchange for placing your brochures on their table. If the honey maker isn’t already sponsored, start there! You can cross promote your “sweet deals” together.
  • Buy a basket of fresh, ready-to-eat produce and plaster each piece with your own promotional sticker (i.e. “Mary’s Realty ❤s Long Beach” ) Pass them out, in person, around the market and start a conversation that makes you more than just a sales pitch. In Los Angeles, it is not uncommon to find business owners handing out water bottles at the bottom of Runyon Canyon with a business card. 
  • And don’t forget about the power of guerilla market research. Do local shoppers need and want what you have to offer? Just ask them! You can give them a few “farmers’ market bucks” or a Starbucks gift card in exchange for a few answers.

greek-yogurtTake some time to attend area events, making a special effort to observe from an entrepreneurial angle. Focus your attention on both shoppers and sellers:

  • Who are the regular customers?
  • What local demographics do these folks represent?
  • Are they potential customers for your business?
  • Who are the regular vendors?
  • Do you share a target market with any of the vendors at a particular market? 

Each and every Long Beach council district has at least one weekly farmers’ market. Have you thought about ways to take advantage of the ongoing rotation in your vicinity?





  • Downtown Long Beach
    Fridays, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Parkview Village Shops Farmers’ Market
    Fridays, 5:00 p.m.
    Viking Way (at Bellflower Blvd. and Carson St.)
    According to Allison Anderson, from the Office of Councilwoman Stacy Mungo, this particular market also has “moon bounces, face painting, and music” to boot.


300-SellLocal-Thinkglobal-OlgaMizrahi-CoverHave a question for me? Bring it on! Every question posted in the comments, below, will be answered thoughtfully and, if it’s useful to others, may even be featured in an upcoming column or blog post.

Want even more? Order my new small business book, Sell Local, Think Global, packed with 50 invaluable tips that will take your business to the next level in no time.

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