Thanks for your interest in vending at the Milk Lady Farmers’ Markets! Below are some answers to frequently asked questions.
Q: How do I become a vendor at the Milk Lady Markets?
A: It’s easy to apply at our NEW online application process! Please note we lo longer use the Manage My Market application software. You can check for and reserve an open slot for your type of business by clicking here for White Oak Farmers Market or click here to reserve a spot at the Shady Grove Market. It’s a quick signup process. If there are no open slots for your business category, please sign up on the Wait List .
We have a 4 step process to apply and select Shady Grove or White Oak farmers’ markets as follows:
The 4 step application that follows is for independent makers, artists, designers, local shop/boutique/vintage owners, exhibitors, food trucks, and artisan, pre-packaged food vendors.
Step 1 – Read and choose to comply with the Operating Agreement
Step 2 – Complete the appropriate vendor application:
Farmer – Grower and producer of table crops, fruits, berries, meats, eggs, etc.
Artisan – Artists, crafters, handmakers of textiles, jewelry, tool crafters, etc.
Exhibitor – Marketer, retailer, local business, political promoter, advertiser,
Artisan Maker of Edibles– prepared foods, food trucks, bakers, snacks, etc.
Step 3 – Enter your Products
Step 4 – Fill in your market dates on the calendar
You will be able to apply, email your logo and product photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, and schedule the dates you can commit to being at the market this season. All questions require an answer so just write “N/A” or “None” if the question is not relevant to your business. We’ll get back to you within about 3 – 5 days. We welcome first-time vendors and occasional vendors, as well as folks who prefer a regular weekly marketplace.
Q: Does the market have rules and regulations?
A: Yes, please click here to check out the Market Agreement.
Q: How much does it cost to join the market?
A: The annual application fee per 10’x10’ spot is a non-refundable application fee of $100 for farmers and food vendors; $50 for artisan vendors, artisan food makers and businesses; and $35 for community groups.
The fee for each additional market application to one of our other markets is $35 for all vendor types.
The fee for accepted Young Entrepreneurs Program members is $25.
Market sponsors that are pre-approved do not pay to set up at the market.
WEEKLY MARKET DAY SPACE FEE
COSTS per each 10′x10′ spot for 2013 Season. The fee to set up a single market day is $35.
MONTHLY SPACE FEES
You pay the space fee in total, once monthly. The fee is $100 per month for farmers and food vendors and $50 per month for artisans, makers and businesses. All vendors must give the monthly fees to the Market Manager in cash, credit or debit card at the market, before the 25th of each prior month. Paying late means you lose the monthly discount and pay $35 for each market day.
Q: When do I pay to join the market?
A: Once your application is accepted, we will send you an acceptance email and invoice for the application fee along with the first month’s space fee, or the seasonal fee. We will need your payment to reserve your spot. Once your payment is received, you will be approved at your online profile. All fees are non-refundable, but they may be transferred to another market. So, you lock in your spot when you pay your application fee. And, you pay the monthly space fees to the Market Manager in cash, debit card or check at the market, by the 25th of each prior month.
Q: Do you accept credit cards for fee payment?
A: You can pay your application fee by PayPal using a credit card, debit card or check. PayPal is for your Market Application Fee only. You do not pay monthly stall fees by PayPal. We collect once monthly fees at the Market by the 25th of each month; you can pay in cash, debit card or check.
Q: What about a tent?
A: You bring all your own equipment, including a 10 x 10′ tent canopy.
For aesthetic purposes and cohesiveness of the market image, all participating vendors must have and use a 10×10 canopy tent with four 25 lb weights. All vendors are required to bring their own table, and displays. If you do not own a tent, table or chairs and would like to rent any of these items, we recommend using new local startup business Good Shuffle:https://www.goodshuffle.com/festivals
Here is a video of How to Take Down A 10 x 10′ Tent And Info on Making Tent Weights.
Q: What about a sign?
A: You MUST have a 2′ x 4′ minimum or larger large sign or banner with your farm or company name. 3′ X 6′ is highly recommended with the name of your business taking up 60% or more of the sign. Paper signs may not be displayed once they are rained upon and become an eyesore. You must have your prices posted this is a state law and you will not be allowed to set up without posted prices, no exceptions. Maryland law also states that if you are a farmer, you must have the state of origin of your farm products.
Q: What kind of vendors are you looking for?
A: We look for products that are overall cohesive and consistent. We look for products that are innovative and unique, and that will help diversify the goods available at the market. We look for farmers, makers and artisans who produce what they sell, fair traders but no resellers. We are interested in producers of veggies, fruits, dairy, meats, fish and poultry. We look for food vendors that prepare foods on site, smoothie makers, bakers and chocolatiers. We are also interested in all kinds of vendors with fine, funky, unusual, and unexpected goods and services. Examples include handcrafted items, fine art, collectibles, toys and furniture. We also accept vendors with interesting services, especially services that are performed on-site: henna tattoos, professional advice, fortune-telling, bike repair, etc. We generally do not accept vendors with new, mass-made items (cell phone accessories, knock-off handbags, etc), general used merchandise (yard sale items), and sell-at-home products (Avon, etc.).
Q: Do I need a Tax I.D. Number?
A: Most vendors use a tax i.d. number on their application although some use their social security number which is an acceptable substitute.
You can obtain an EIN or tax i.d. number immediately by calling the Business & Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933. The hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday.
Q: Do I need a special license or permit to sell at the market?
A: All food and beverage vendors need an annual Health Department Licenses/ Farmers’ Market Permit (Food vendors, be sure to check the last 3 pages). Cottage Bakers please click here for Montgomery County rules. Call 240-777-3840.
If you already have a Maryland sales tax license, then you are in compliance. If you don’t have one, but are planning on doing more than three markets this year (anywhere in Maryland, not just our markets). Maryland requires that you apply for a free, permanent sales license. Visit the Comptroller’s website or call 410-767-1340 for help with your application or email: email@example.com
Q: Do I need special insurance?
A: All food vendors and farmers and any vendors with potentially harmful products such as glass need to have Commercial/Product Liability insurance with $1,000,000 per incident coverage.
Have your insurance agent email an insurance document called an “Additional Insured Endorsement” naming Milk lady Events as additional insured must be emailed FROM the insurance agent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org It is not acceptable to be emailed from you. Do NOT mail the endorsement document. This is required by our lease holders and our attorney so please send only that endorsement certificate.
Please contact the market team is you have questions about this: email@example.com. The Farmers Market Coalition offers affordable insurance plans for vendors; contact Larry Spilker at 800-730-7475 ext 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The insurance level minimums:
Each Occurrence – $1,000,000
Damage to Rented Premises (each occurrence) – $100,000
Medical Expenses (any one person) – $5,000
Personal and ADV Injury – $500,000
Your insurance agent or broker will need the Business MAILING ADDRESS below:
Attn: Gigi Goin
Milk Lady Markets
PO Box 4463
Silver Spring, MD 20914
NEVER send mail to a physical market address.
Milk Lady Markets is not liable for damage caused to or by our vendors, our vendors’ merchandise, our vendors’ displays or for any bodily injury during or after the market. Every applicant to the market agrees to these terms on the online application.
Q: What forms of payment can we accept at the market?
A: Most vendors accept cash, credit/debit cards and WIC. A few accept checks.
Q: What are WIC and WIC Matching Dollars?
A: WIC is a government subsidy for purchasing food items for eligible mothers with young children. You can contact the Dept of Agriculture on 410-841-5776 for WIC vendor trainings. We match WIC recipients dollar for dollar to increase their spending on fresh fruits and veggies.
Q: What if it rains?
A: We’re open rain or shine. In the event of thunder, we encourage all vendors to leave the site for shelter in a car or campus building or barn. Everyone registering for the market agrees to the terms that Milk Lady Markets is not liable for your safety or that of your goods–but we do care about you and want you to stay out of harm’s way!
Q: Are there indoor bathrooms?
A: At the Shady Grove market, we use indoor bathrooms in the campus building. At White Oak market, we use the indoor pool or MLK park building.
Q: How does set-up work?
A: When you arrive, we check you in and direct you to your space. You unload your car from directly behind your space. Sometimes we have assistants available to help unload cars, if time allows, they can also help you setup and breakdown your tent. Please tip them. After unloading, we ask everyone to park in the nearby designated vendor parking area.
Q: What about Marketing?
A: NEW this season, Milk Lady Ad Profiles– we are excited to promote individual vendor profiles in local print and online advertising. The more information and large, clear product photos you provide with your application, the better your chance of being selected for Milk Lady Ad Profiles!?
We reach out to the local neighborhoods to promote the market with flyers. We accept and match WIC dollars and promote that as well. We use social media, state and county market listings, and newspaper market listings to spread the word.
Q: How can I help spread the word?
A: Our most successful vendors advertise their participation at the market. In general, social media is the way to go: please LIKE us on our NEW Facebook page @Milk Lady Farmers Markets. Follow us on Twitter @MilkLadyMarkets. Post your market schedule on your website and tell your networks about your participation in this market.
Q: May I use the Market Logo?
A: Vendors are encouraged to use the MLM logo on websites, Facebook, blogs or other advertising materials. Vendors are required to list Milk Lady Markets as one of their locations on their websites with times and dates of markets, just as MLM list all vendors on its website. Vendors cannot advertise their other locations on MLM’s Social Media of any kind.
Q: What about SMOKING?
A: Smoking is not permitted in vendors’ tents or within 50 feet of the market area. White Oak Middle School by Montgomery County law is a drug-free, smoke-free zone.
Q: What about parking?
A: Parking is close as we are on or near parking lots or have designated parking at our markets, an easy walk of a few yards to vehicles, it is very convenient.
For more information, please email email@example.com or call 301-792-9448.