Detroit’s Eastern Market Looks for Vendors for 2015 season

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Looking to sell your prized produce, special salsa, or new flavor of spice? Then head to Detroit’s Eastern Market on Friday, where they are hosting sessions to discuss the opportunities available for prospective vendors this year.

“We are really interested in vendor development, and we are always looking for interesting new products,” says Fiona Ruddy, director of food access programs at Eastern Market Co., a nonprofit organization that operates the expansive marketplace. “We want to make sure we get a really great mix of applications to build a diverse and compelling product selection for shoppers.”

Ruddy says the two, hour-long gatherings will provide tips on how to prepare strong applications, display products, and find other sales opportunities in Detroit for prospective Michigan farmers — the No. 1 priority for Eastern Market.

Eastern Market offers leases to vendors in six categories: Farmer, farmer/dealer, dealer, specialty, prepared, and material goods. The prospective vendors must be selling a product that falls under at least one of the categories.

To become a vendor, businesses must already be properly licensed to sell products and must fill out an application by March 9. They must explain what they will be selling and any necessities their stall may need, such as electricity or water, and which rental day is desired.

“The process is getting more competitive, we have a limited amount of space, and we have been getting hundreds of applications,” Ruddy says.

Stalls in the wholesale market cost $1,155 annually, while stalls for the Saturday market range from $1,725 to $3,500 a year — depending on product category, according to the Eastern Market vendor handbook. Additionally, stalls can be leased daily for $30, or $540 a year for the Tuesday and Sunday market days.

For more information on the Eastern Market and renting, visit detroiteasternmarket.com

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