Baywater Farm’s family farm has the integrity you need, all while still being able to meet the demands of your produce distributor, restaurant produce supplier, or wholesale produce supplier. We also work with roadside farm stands, supplying ethically-sourced hydroponic and heirloom produce. Roadside farm stands can be very profitable and don’t take a lot of capital to run.
When people are traveling to a new state, they enjoy taking home fruit from the side of the road. Also, people enjoy stopping by roadside farm stands more than they like going to the grocery store nowadays because of cost-effectiveness and the produce staying fresh longer. Here are tips on how to start a roadside farm stand.
Start Simple When Setting up a Roadside Farm Stand
Starting any business can be overwhelming because of the many ideas you have in your head. Take things one day at a time and start slowly. Your roadside farm stand might begin with a few bins of vegetables or a small walk-in shop with a refrigerator. Whatever vegetables you choose, start with a few of them and see how they sell.
Use a Movable Stand
Vertical vegetable stands make an excellent display. A movable stand is helpful because when you first stand out, you might experiment with different locations before you find the most suitable one. If not a portable stand, at least invest in one you can disassemble. The stand also doesn’t have to be large. You’d be surprised at how many items you can put in a small stand, mainly vertical instead of horizontal.
Choosing Between a Self-Service or Manned Roadside Farm Stand
Some business owners opt for a self-service stand that uses the honor system or an honesty cash box. This option is helpful if you don’t have time to operate your stand and trust that people will pay for their products. You also have to accept that theft might be a possibility. We suggest not leaving valuable items such as maple syrup unattended.
On the other hand, a stand with workers in attendance helps you make a lot of sales because you or your team will be around to explain the product, help with selection, and provide information about you and your farm, how the produce is grown, and how you care for the land. You or your team will also be around to refill the bins and protect the items from theft.
Consider Placement, Parking, and Popularity
We encourage you to check with local laws first, but you can typically place a roadside farm anywhere you’d like, whether at the front of your farm, a corner lot, or a busy road. Popular or tourist areas are ideal because they catch people’s eyes. Ensure that people can pull right into your stand without making an inconvenient maneuver to get to you. It would help if you also considered parking by ensuring that a few cars or more have a place to park.
Invest in a Little Bit of Advertising
Sometimes, all it takes is a person seeing ripe, juicy tomatoes to make them stop and buy some veggies. Other times, you might need some advertisement to capture attention. We suggest adding your roadside farm to farmer’s market websites such as LocalHarvest.org. For example, if a person types “localharvest.org/pikesville-md” into their search engine and clicks on local farms, they can find local farms. They can also click on “farmers markets” to find local farmers’ markets. You also want signs with the name of your roadside farm and what you’re offering this season.
How Much to Charge and Refrigeration
Regarding how much to sell your products for, you don’t want to over or under-charge customers. Studying the United States Department of Agriculture website and seeing the current market news trends is helpful. You also must consider refrigeration if you sell microgreens or eggs at your establishment. It’s beneficial to have an off-site refrigerator to help keep things cool.
BAYWATER FARMS HAS THE RIGHT PRODUCE FOR YOU
Baywater Farms is a family-owned and operated farm servicing Baltimore, Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware beaches, and the Eastern Shore. We are capable of meeting the demands of your produce distributor, restaurant produce supplier, CSA produce supplier, or wholesale produce supplier while maintaining the integrity and character of a small farm. When you work with Baywater Farms, you work with an experienced, ethical, and local farm dedicated to providing the highest-quality heirloom produce.