2019 Try It! Program for Entrepreneurs

 

Purpose

The Try It! Program seeks to give small businesses an opportunity to try a farmer’s market experience at
the Midtown Farmers Market with limited financial investment. Our goal is to help emerging
entrepreneurs explore whether or not becoming a vendor at the Midtown Farmers Market is a good fit
for them and their product. We prioritize Twin Cities residents who identify as having low-income, are
black, indigenous and/ or people of color, identify as women, trans, femme, or gender non-binary. Since
2003, the Midtown Farmers Market has built a reputation for incubating small businesses, and we strive
to ensure that the opportunity to innovate and grow is accessible and beneficial to all community
members.

Program Benefits

Corcoran Neighborhood Organization (CNO) will pay for vendor fees, a tent, table, and program signage
for 1-2 market days. Staff and volunteers offer assistance in completing the Farmer’s Market application
and provide guidance for obtaining insurance and the appropriate permits. A volunteer will also greet
TryIt! participants and help with market day setup if needed. TryIt! orientation will be held in
conjunction with the Spring Vendor Meeting on Saturday, April 6 and a post-market debriefing session
will be held in conjunction with the Fall Vendor Meeting on Saturday, November 9.
In return, TryIt! participants will be responsible for providing equipment needed on site beyond the
materials provided by CNO as well as acquiring any required insurance or permits.

Eligibility

Eligible products include the following:
● Arts & Crafts
● Clothing
● Food products qualifying under the MN Cottage Food Law
● Fresh Produce
● Annual and Perennial Plants, Rootstock, Shrubs, and Trees
● Other Farm Products (honey, eggs, meat, flowers, and other goods that would qualify under the
Minneapolis Farmers Licensing Exemption)
● Immediately Consumable Foods
● Other Prepared Foods
All vendor-applicants seeking to participate in the Try It! Program must:
● Produce their own goods
● Agree to abide by all of the rules and regulations as outlined in the Midtown Farmers Market
Rules of Operation
● Comply with applicable local/state/federal laws and licensing/permitting requirements
● Submit a complete and accurate application
● Provide necessary insurance coverage

Selection Priorities

The Midtown Farmers Market is interested in receiving and reviewing a wide variety of applications;
however, we will only be able to support a limited number of participants, so we will consider the
following prioritization criteria when we review applications:
1. Previous farmer’s market experience: We will prioritize applicants who do not have significant
experience as a farmer’s market vendor.
2. Fit with existing vendors: We will prioritize applicants who will compliment existing Midtown Farmers
Market vendors.
3. Proximity to Corcoran: We will accept vendors from across the Twin Cities, but we will prioritize
vendors who are based in or near the Corcoran neighborhood in Minneapolis.
4. Reflect our community: We will prioritize applicants who have been traditionally marginalized by
institutions - applicants who identify as having low-income, are black, indigenous and/ or people of
color, or identify as women, trans, femme, or gender non-binary.

Application

The online application can be found here: http://www.corcoranneighborhood.org/try_it.
Applications will be processed in rounds. We will accept applications on a first-come, first-serve basis,
and that it is possible that spaces may fill up before the final deadlines. We encourage interested
applicants to apply early for the best chance to participate.
● Round 1 application deadline: March 29
● Round 2 application deadline: April 26
● Round 3 application deadline: May 24

Next Steps

1. The application is reviewed by Midtown Farmers Market staff and the Corcoran Neighborhood
Organization’s Economic Development Committee.
2. Midtown Farmers Market staff notifies applicant of acceptance or not. Applicants that are not
accepted have the opportunity for follow-up consultation and resources.
3. Midtown Farmers Market staff coordinate with participant 1-2 market days for the 2019 season.
4. Midtown Farmers Market staff and volunteers support participants in preparing for the market
season. Participants are invited to attend a TryIt! Program orientation in conjunction with our Spring
Vendor Meeting.
5. Post-market-season, the Midtown Farmers Market Staff will follow up with participants with an
evaluation and an end-of-season debriefing session in conjunction with our Fall Vendor Meeting.

Important Dates

February 15 Social Media Workshop for Vendors
March 29 First TryIt! Program Application Deadline
April 6 Spring Vendor Meeting & TryIt! Program Orientation
May 4 Opening Day!!
May 24 Last TryIt! Program Application Deadline
November 9 Fall Vendor Meeting

Additional Support

Participants will be invited to training sessions in March and April, contingent on grant funding, to
support their ventures. This information will be shared as it becomes available.

 

You can download an application here.