Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Clairemont Farmers' Market: What Does the Future Hold?

Brian Beevers, Owner
Brian's Farmers' Markets
A number of Clairemont and Bay Park residents have written to ask whether our Farmers' Market will be back. I checked in with the market manager, Brian Beevers, to see what the plans are. He currently runs markets in Golden Hill and Pt. Loma; his UTC market is closed for the winter. 

Always good to hear from you!  I am doing well.  Business is good and I have been inundated with people wanting a farmers market in their neighborhoods and this year I am looking at trying something different.

I am looking to gain support through crowdfunding. So basically, it would work like this:  I would set up a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. We would get the word out about it. I would set a reasonable financial goal and if the community wants a farmers market they will meet that goal.

I lost way too much money with the Clairemont Market last summer. I stuck it out way too long in hopes that the community would rise up again. The community has to realize that when they stop supporting the market on a WEEKLY basis, the market then does not have the money to continue marketing and the spiral downward begins.

Clairemont must realize that the first 2-3 months of the market in 2014 were great!  People were coming, people were shopping WEEKLY, people supported the market.  After the about 2 1/2 months it was insane how fast our regulars were just not coming anymore.

This is not a matter of marketing... these were our regulars... people who knew very well about the market. So at that point the vendors start to drop because they have to make enough to bring at least a little income home.  It is a real job for the vendors, the way they make a living; while they would love to be supporters and stick  it out out for a long haul, financially it may be impossible for them to do that.

It is also important to note for those that say "where is the fish vendor or where is the fancy olive oil vendor?" and claim that is the reason they stopped coming....the specialty vendors cannot come to a market that is not supported enough by the community because they have highly perishable and more expensive items. They won't even start a market until they see that it has proven itself over decent amount of time.  Moral of the story: if the vendors that are at the market are doing well and making money, word travels and every vendor would be knocking down my door.

The community must come together and make it a priority to do their MAIN shopping at the market if they want it to succeed. Plain and simple.

Come Mid -March, 2015 I will have a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. If the goal is met I will restart the market and the money raised will go directly to the following categories:

1. Cover all permits and insurance fee: Dept of Health, Dept of Ag, Insurance for the market.
2. A decent donation to those that provided the land for our use.
3. Marketing; I would like to plan for one year's worth of marketing.

I figured.... what a great way to see if the community REALLY wants a market... if they put money towards getting it going again that might just be the "buy in" and community sense of ownership that we need. :)

Also, while my letter may seem overly critical of Clairemont, it is truly because I love this community... as you know I have worked for years to get a market here and I believe in this community.  I have high hopes.

Brian Beevers, Owner
Brian's Farmers' Markets
619 795 3363

1 comment:

  1. Posted for M. Mentzer in Clairemont:
    I have been trying to post a reply to Brian on your blog and it's not posting. I wanted to let him know that before I invest in his company (which is what he's essentially asking for the Clairemont community to do), I want to know his marketing plan. Because his past marketing plan was clearly horrible and ineffective if no one knew about it. You can't have a farmers market BEHIND a big building and expect people to find it.


Thank you for your comment.