Vendor applications are being solicited for the Tuesday night Sonoma Plaza Farmers Market, scheduled to open this year on May 6.
The board of directors of the Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers’ Market (VOMCFM) encourages all interested vendors to submit their applications by this year’s application deadline, which is Saturday, March 1. The VOMCFM Vendor Selection Committee then evaluates and scores all applications during the month of March, and applicants will be notified whether they have been accepted during the first week of April.
Local farmers, food purveyors, artisans and service providers are encouraged to apply. “Every year, we have more applications than available spaces,” said Bill Dardon, VOMCFM board president. “Although many vendors reapply and are accepted again, we evaluate all applicants each year, and we always accept some new vendors.”
The board strives to select a balanced mix of vendors that supports local farms and businesses, while also considering the changing and evolving trends and tastes of the community. In particular, Dardon said, they are always hoping for and seeking new farmers. “We are, first and foremost, a farmers market,” he explains.
Applications for the market are available on the market’s website, sonomaplazamarket.org. Prospective applicants can navigate to the “Vendors” page, and then select the appropriate application form. Three different applications are available for “Farmer,” “Food” and “Artisan,” plus a separate application for nonprofit organizations.
Christopher Welch, market manager, said all application forms have been revised for 2014. A $35 application processing fee is required with all applications, but not for nonprofits. Applicants can mail in their applications or deliver them to the VOMCFM office at 34 W. Spain Street, inside Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley.
Welch said the Vendor Selection Committee uses a point-based scoring system to objectively evaluate each application based on a number of factors, including how local the business is, participation in prior years’ markets, locally-sourced and/or sustainable ingredients, etc.
The 2014 Tuesday Night Market opens May 6 and continues every week through Oct. 28.