The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Farmers Market Requirement

Aprea's picture
Aprea

Farmers Market Requirement

Does anyone else have a problem with breads that are sold at farmers markets being required to be sold in covered plastic bags?  My area is finally catching up with the times with farmers markets sprouting up across town.  

Friends have been trying to encourage me to sell my sourdough baguettes at one of the markets.  Although I could use the opportunity, I do not want to sell bread wrapped in plastic bags - it is like making the farmers sell their vegeys in plastic bags -condensation would spoil it!  In the case of the bread, it would ruin the crispness and freshness of the crust.

 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

The rule is probably mandated by your state's health department and/or statutes for sanitary reasons.

I know the breads I've seen at the outdoor markets are all bagged.  I don't have a problem with that since one can always wash veggies, but you can't wash bread.

Check with the manager of the market to see if you can place your breads in paper bags - and if you need any special permits from the health department to sell baked goods to the public.

 

flournwater's picture
flournwater

You might also find that displaying a few loaves on a counter (wrapped) adjacent to a "taste test" display is enough to drum up business.  You might then be able to hold the loaves that you intend to sell in a container, unwrapped, "behind the counter" and package them up for each individual purchase.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Can one cook or prepare food at home to sell to the public?
Preparation of food for sale to the public must be in a facility in which there is complete separation of living quarters from food preparation facilities. The food preparation facility must be adequately equipped and fully satisfy all food facility requirements of Chapter 500, F.S., and section 5K-4, F.A.C.

I wouldn't worry about bags so much at this point as getting the applicable permits in place.

Florida law defines markets selling fruits and veggies as food outlets.  500.03, FL Statutes.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

It all depends on your state's requirements. Here in MN the breads have to be wrapped PLUS we are required to have a canopy. I have seen plexiglas display cases at the market in Madison, WI where the breads are not wrapped but then placed in bags after purchase.

Aprea's picture
Aprea

in my opinion.  A table full of plastic wrapped baked goods outside in the humidity does not lend to impulse buying.  A basket full of fresh baguettes on the otherhand does. 

Regarding the commercial kitchen issue that Lindy brought up - that is a hassle too, but one that I could embark on if I knew I could display it in an appealing way.

I will probably have to continue to bake strictly for friends and family.  Thank you for your thoughts.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Again- check with your state. Here you don't need a commercial kitchen if you sell less than $5000.00 of something in a season.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I got some plastic bags from Mark Sinclair at Back Home Bakery that have small micro cuts in them. It allows you to put the bread in the bag while still warm and to some extent helps release the moisture and keep the bread fresh. Also keeps the bugs out. I don't know the source but I'm sure Mark would tell you if you asked. They were not expensive and seem to do the job.

Eric

Baker007's picture
Baker007

We don't have those requirements here (Australia). Most are out in the open. One of the stalls uses a large plastic display case - perhaps you could look into this option.

You'd still be able to display your breads and then place into a bag after purchase.

 

Lauren

gcook17's picture
gcook17

Can you take the loaves to the market unbagged and then bag each one as it sells?

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I thought you ran a bakery.  You must have one heck of a work schedule!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

You're right.  The small business is the backbone of this country.  

rainwater's picture
rainwater

Watch the movie "Food Inc.".  It's about the political assassination of our food supply.  Monsanto and the Drug companies have total control over our FDA with their trillion dollar businesses.  They don't want the little artisanal guy to have a break, or the small organic farmer to get ahead.  Also.....we have become too obsessed with germs.  All this packaging nonsense.......especially at a farmer's market.  I shop in the open markets in Eastern Europe.....milk from the farm is poured from one container into another....often used plastic bottles.  Bread is often not packaged at all...until you buy it...then it goes in your bag that you bring, or you pay extra for a plastic bag.  Since the big chemical companies haven't gained total control, their produce is tastier, more seasonal, and cheaper.  If someone makes something at home and sells it....so be it.......and people there don't suffer any more illness than we do....probably less!   .........the whole food chain thing upsets me......we've lost our small farmer......our heirloom varieties with more flavor........and just about outlawed raw milk products, which are more available in other countries.  ......and they want to put your bread in a plastic bag!   What kind of environmental statement does that send????

Aprea's picture
Aprea

I agree wholeheartedly - that is the primary reason why I want to do the farmers market - so people can know what good food is again - I had a checkout  lady in the Publix supermarket tell me the other nite that she never had french bread before - politics aside - we need to do what we can to reverse these trends - by sharing our knowledge and supporting the smalltime food producers..  That is one of the benefit of the internet for right now.

 

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Our market started out last August. We are still  small but are becoming known around the state as one of the good markets to go to. We are open year round and meet indoors in the winter months. We offer free educational classes during the year ranging from nutrition from fresh unadulterated foods, to food preservation so that people can store what they buy, to how to build a high tunnel. Customers are anxious for our classes to begin again. Every week I have been increasing my baked goods line and every week I am selling out earlier than the week before. I am at a point of really needing a second oven and a clone.

Some of our best market days have been those of horrible weather. This past winter one of our days fell on a day with a temperature of 25 degrees below zero. There were only a handful of us ( crazy) vendors inside the building but we sold out. The local customers are about 90% senior citizens but they said that they wouldn't miss the market as they were becoming dependant on the foods that we sell at the market. I am still amazed at those people who came out in that nasty weather, canes in hand, to buy eggs, baked goods, meats and winter vegetables. We took a count last weekend of customers at our market. WE had over 300 people which is more than the population of the tiny town we have our market in. We also gave back to the community by holding a cookie walk before Christmas and donating the money we made back to some needy families and to the volunteer fire department. I guess that my point here is that local farmers' markets can bring much more to a community then a large corporation ever could. We are bringing a dying town back to life with our market as people who stop at our market also stop at the few local stores that are left in the town to purchase things that we don't have at our market. We are not only growing a business, but we are growing a community as well.