Updated: Feb 15
I was surprised to recently hear that the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market on Lyndale used to be grounded by a significant wholesale operation.
A farmer recently told me of the days 20-30 years ago when Lunds and Byerly’s had a stall at the Minneapolis Farmers' Market. They’d ask farmers to drop off cases of products in the stall, and then hauled produce back to their stores using their own trucks, selling it to their customers who didn’t make it to the farmers' market.
That same farmer said without that opportunity, they wouldn't have been able to grow their business so powerfully. Those were the best years for their business.
We don't hear this story at the farmers' market anymore — wholesale buyers DON'T need to show up at the market because, frankly, it's easier to work with distributors like SYSCO and US Foods. It's a different time, and we have more markets to choose from, a different sense of momentrum
Some of you might be thinking that the goal is to get more individual customers to come to the market, and that
Farmers need an option to grow their business without taking huge price cuts from distributors like SYSCO, while being able to compete with them. So, RED Market is offering a new kind of model — direct wholesale marketing and sales for farmers.
RED Market believes in cutting out the middleman, and instead building relationships within our network of farmers, THEN collaborating on necessary infrastructure.
We want to see farmers reach profitability without having to participate in the conventional distribution system, much like when Lund and Byerly's used to show up at the market. The difference is, today we have better and stronger tools than we used to have at our fingertips -- like RED's online marketplace, that acts just like your email availability list, but captures the availability of more growers beyond your farm and helps buyers get exposed to a community of farmers.
RED Market is working to support farmers through a sales and marketing network that's affordable for small growers. Farmers list their products in RED Market’s database, and we promote the network of farmers to buyers in our community - the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro. RED Market adds 7% to your price, which is paid by the buyers. You deliver the product, and get paid within two weeks of delivery.
More questions? Reach out by calling 218-721-2453, or emailing Katie@redmarketmn.com.