We are not selling groceries! But, what we are selling is: freshness, flavor, quality, The farm experience, unique products, entertainment, humor, family together opportunity and a worthwhile destination. Assuming that we have done a good job of providing all of this value added stuff, we need not be anywhere near competitive with supermarkets i
n price for our products.
Supermarkets do a great job these days of providing a huge array of decent product from all over the world, year around. Fortunately for us, shopping there on a regular basis becomes habitual, tiring, monotonous and mundane. This becomes our opportunity to lure them to our markets with interesting diversity, some of which are listed above.
I believe that our markets should all be different and unique and an extension of ourselves. We should share our interests, passions, work, hobbies, etc. If you are a wood carver, gardener, or even a sky diver, share it with your customers. The visitor greatly appreciates your sharing and this is certainly not to be had at the supermarket.
At our farm markets in Chicago we have our Flamin' Fury® Peach signs up, starting with asparagus. We always have a bouquet of small peach limbs featured in the middle of our display showing the maturation of the fruit and the advancement of the fruit from week to week, until harvest begins. The customers are fascinated and appreciative of this effort and education. This, of course, also creates a pent up desire for the start of the peach season. There fascination actually brings them back from week to week to see the various stages of fruit developmentAt my first farm market 50 years ago, I strung a cloths line across my checkout with plastic bags ½ filled with water and had a sign “Invisible Goldfish $.79 ea.” It was great fun for us as well as customers, watching folks squinting one eye, trying to see the fish.
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