Waco Downtown Farmers Market 101

guest post from: Bethel Erickson-Bruce

This is one of the best times of year to visit the Waco Downtown Farmers Market. Sure, it’s hot but the tables are overflowing with summer produce and even extras like plants and pastries are plentiful.

The crowds have been healthy and we know many of you are regulars but we regularly get first-timers too. So it just seems like a great time to offer a little info about ourselves. A little WDFM 101.

AND we want to invite you to Grains and Growers, our market friend-raiser at Balcones on June 18. But more about that in a bit…

Did you know …

– We are NOT run by the City of Waco – Though we have a great relationship with the City of Waco, we are not funded or run by that entity. We also have a great relationship with McLennan County and currently use county grounds for market. But we are not funded by the county.
We ARE a state and federal NON PROFIT organization – The market isn’t getting rich on the fees we charge. Ideally, we are fund raising and fee-collecting just enough to cover our costs and put a little in the bank to cover unforeseen costs.
We MUST fund raise to cover costs.  – It costs more than you’d think to run a farmers market. Having port-a-potties every Saturday costs over $9,000 for the year. Hosting local musicians every Saturday costs $5,200 for the year.  Matching SNAP dollars through our Double Up Food Bucks program costs $4,800 for the year.  Providing monthly cooking demonstrations featuring local chefs costs $1,200 for the year.
We do Farm Inspections – we are a producers-only market. No re-selling.  We inspect all farms that participate at Market to ensure that your produce is the most local and most fresh food you can get – outside of growing your own.
– We are a Small Business Incubator – providing a low-cost supportive environment for small start-ups to test out the viability of their food business before obtaining a store front or deciding that now is not the right time.  Luna Juice, OMJ, Cheddar Box, Co-town Crepes, Dichotomy, Milo.  We don’t take credit for their success but we are honored to be part of their story.

Also, the market is a partnership – between us and you. We only work with your support. So we’d love to hear from you and answer any other questions you might have. Maybe over drinks?

Grab a ticket to our upcoming friend-raiser, Grains and Growers, at Balcones Distillery June 18. Tickets are $30 and include a drink and heavy hors d’oeuvres, plus lots of market mingling and conversation.

Let’s get to know each other better. You can get your tickets here.(squareup.com/store/wdfm)

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