TO current and prospective GILMANTON’S OWN VENDORS
If you are a farmer, or even just starting out, or an artists, or make artisanal goods, and you are based in the nearby Belknap/Merrimack County region, please consider selling through Gilmanton’s Own Market (GO).
Gilmanton’s Own Market is now a year-round nonprofit farmers, artists, & artisans market serving the Belknap/Merrimack Counties region. We know that as vendors, farmers, artists, & artisans need market outlets all year — not just in the summer or at holiday time. By the way, Gilmanton’s Own, Inc. is designated by the state and federal government as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization because they recognize us as serving a special mission of supporting our community and community development. We are dedicated to that work 12 months a year.
If you are a farmer, artist, artisan, or author working in this region, please consider Gilmanton’s Own Market as an outlet for your products. We are always on the lookout for new vendors!
Here is a brief introduction to how the Market works. See below for documents that give you more details. And always feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions!
How do the finances of Gilmanton’s Own Market work?
GOM’s operations are paid for largely out of vendor commissions, but as a 501(c)3 we are also grateful for the philanthropic support we receive. We have begun to seek grant funds, and hope focus on this more in the future. GOM operates entirely on volunteer labor at this time. We hope to become solvent enough to hire assistance in the Market in the future.
How do vendor fees work?
Our fee structure is derived from financial analysis of our operations, including past patterns of sales and expenses. The standard fee is 25% of your dollar sales, with a reduced fee 15% for those who contribute labor to our operations. So 75% or 85% of your products’ dollar sales go back to you.
The commission pays for the “commons,” the operating expenses that keep the Market open and serve the vendors: GOI’s rent; utilities; equipment; software and hardware systems (for example, for credit card sales and inventory); freezing and refrigeration; climate control that protects products and the comfort of our volunteers and customers year round; promotion; insurance for the facility; licenses; and other expenses that allow the Market to operate.
The GOI commons provides other services such as security for your products and information that helps your business (we keep careful records and provide useful inventory and sales information). We organize and provide the volunteer labor that keeps up the space, its inventory, and does the selling — you can just drop off your products for sale and the volunteers do the rest. We help connect folks with each other to be helpful with each others’ businesses, and we operate as a community.
Are other expenses involved in selling through GO?
Vendors are expected to label their products and package them appropriately and according to legal requirements. Those who sell edible items and body products must have liability insurance unless GO buys the product outright. (You want to be protected in case someone decides to blame your product for illness or other harm.)
What is the difference between Gilmanton’s Own Market and a “regular” retail market?
There are many differences. Among the major ones: This is a nonprofit organization — there is no “owner” who runs this market to make a profit. The only people who make money from the Market personally are the vendors. Vendors individually determine the price of their own products. All proceeds earned by the Market are used to cover the expenses of pursuing the mission of Gilmanton’s Own, Inc. The Market sells only locally-grown or -produced goods. The organization is run by a volunteer Board of Directors elected to serve for specific terms of office with the help of a Board of Advisors — all volunteers who are involved as vendors or consumers or other community people.
What is the difference between Gilmanton’s Own Market and a “farmers market?”
New Hampshire defines a farmers market as “an event or series of events at which 2 or more vendors of agricultural commodities gather for purposes of offering for sale such commodities to the public.” Gilmanton’s Own Market is not a series of “events.” It is an ongoing entity. But the major differences have more to do with operations. It is not a place where vendors “gather” as individuals to sell their own commodities. It is a market that organizes, stocks, promotes, and sells the goods of local vendors. One of the major reasons why New Hampshire does not recognize Gilmanton’s Own Market formally as a farmers market is that we have refrigerators and freezers that store products during and between market hours. So, not an event.
- Farmers markets typically require vendors to arrive on opening days not just with their products, but with a full set-up (tables, displays, tents, etc) and to take their set-ups down and take them home at the end of the market day. Gilmanton’s Own Market offers an attractive and appropriate retail environment for food storage, display, and sales of all types of products we sell.
- In most farmers markets vendors have to prepare their products just in time for market, take them there, and clear out at the end of the day with any unsold product. At Gilmanton’s Own Market shelf-stable products can remain in the market indefinitely and perishable items can stay as long as conditions (including refrigeration and freezing) allow them to stay fresh and healthy.
- In most farmer’s markets vendors or a designee must be at their tables throughout the Market time. Gilmanton’s Own Market is staffed by volunteers dedicated to promoting and selling all the products we carry. Vendors may volunteer to work in the Market, thus reducing their fees, but may opt our of working in the Market in order to do other things — time is valuable!
- Farmers market vendors usually pay a fee for the space they will occupy for a certain number of weeks. GOI fees are a commission based on dollar sales.
- Farmers market vendors who want to accept credit payments or EBT usually have to pay for the equipment and fees to do so themselves individually. Gilmanton’s Own Market provides the infrastructure for sales by credit and debit cards and EBT.
- State product regulations are more rigorously applied to Gilmanton’s Own Market than to farmers markets. GOM cannot sell non-USDA meat; frozen meat, fish, or fowl that is not kept below an approved temperature; alcohol (we do not have a liquor license…. yet); produced foods of many kinds, such as pickles, if they are not made in a commercial kitchen in an approved manner, etc.
- Most summer farmers markets are held outdoors and subject to the elements. Gilmanton’s Own Market provides climate control (heating and air conditioning) and eliminates the problem of insect and animal pests. Neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor blackfly keep us from operating — unless the weather conditions are too dangerous for travel.
We all love summer farmer’s markets, but there are some differences in the costs and benefits of selling through different venues. We have vendors who sell their products in multiple places – Gilmanton’s Own, retail shops, farmers markets, and at home or through their own websites.
How can I become a GOM vendor?
If you are a farmer, artist, or artisan in the local (Belknap/Merrimack Counties) region, please take a further look at our guidelines. We have a simple vendor application attached to this page. You can contact us at any time at email@example.com to ask questions, consult, or seek help with completing the form. The Board of Directors tries to consider each application within a couple of weeks.
GILMANTON’S OWN MARKET POLICIES, INFORMATION, and FORMS FOR VENDORS:
The Vendor Guidelines Document containing all current policies & information is here: GOVendorGuidelines2022
The Vendor Application is here: GOVendorApplication2022
The Vendor Update/Addendum Form is here: Addendum to Application
Inventory Forms (Excel version) are here: GO Inventory FormsExcel
Inventory Forms (Word version) are here: GO Inventory FormsWord
The Vendor Volunteer Time Sheet is here: GOIVolunteerTimeSheet
IF YOU ARE A CURRENT VENDOR AND ARE THINKING OF BRINGING A NEW PRODUCT TO THE MARKET: You are welcome to bring in new products that are very close in kind to what you already offer through the Market, although it is important to consult with the Market coordinator you work with or write to firstname.lastname@example.org . For example, bakers might try a new kind of baked good, a knitter might do mittens as well as socks, vegetable growers might bring in new produce. If you wish to bring in goods in a new category, you should fill out a Vendor Update/Application Form (see above) to be considered by the Board. For example, a vegetable grower may consider baking, a crafts person may consider providing eggs or vegetables, etc.
INVENTORY LIST FORMS FOR CURRENT VENDORS: Life is hectic at the beginning of the Market day and we want to make sure we enter your inventory and prices correctly (so you get paid the right amount!). Please bring a filled-in Inventory Form with you when you bring your goods to Market. (See forms, above in Excel and Word). You have 2 options. Download the form you want, fill it in, and print it, then sign. Or download, print it, and fill it all in by hand. If you don’t have a printer we have printed forms available in the Market you can take home and use.
Please help us make sure we have updated bar codes and bar code labels for you for all your products. It is the bar code system that makes sure our electronic records track your inventory and sales accurately. We can help you with that.