The Market Mission: The mission of the Cuyahoga Valley Farmers Market is to provide access to and education about sustainable foods and agriculture to the communities in the greater Akron area by building connections between the low-income families, mothers and children, seniors and the community at large with the producers of locally sustainable food sources.
Location, Dates and Hours of Operation:
SUMMER Season: The market is open rain or shine, Saturdays from the first week of May through the end of October. The market is open from 9am until 12pm (May-October) with vendor setup 7am-9am. The market is located Howe Meadow in Cuyahoga National Park
WINTER Season: The market is open Saturdays rain or shine, from the first Saturday in November through the end of April and closed for Christmas and/or New Year’s Day. The market is open from 9am until 12pm with vendor setup from 7:30am-9am.
Exact start-up dates and locations are chosen yearly after discussion by the market manager and Board of Directors.
FEES: Please see fee schedule on application. Payments are due according to the dates listed on fee schedule. No refunds will be given for vendor fees.
- Interested vendors are required to read the market regulations, sign and complete the vendor application form, and return it to the market manager prior to being permitted to sell at the market. Any available seasonal spots will be assigned by the manager with consultation of the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee based on providing customers with a balanced and varied product mix, the locality of the vendor, product quality and sustainability.
- Vendors must be located within 100 miles of Akron, with all products sold at Market produced within that area.
- Outdoor vendor spaces are 12 feet wide Indoor vendor spaces are for an 8’ table. Food trucks and trailers may exceed usual space limitations and will be located at the Market Manager’s discretion.
- Vendor spaces are assigned and must be approved by the market manager. Booths may not be shared or sublet to another vendor without prior approval by manager. In order to present a professional venue and to ensure the safety of customer and vendors, vendors are expected to remain with their booth setup until the end of the market, tear down cannot start until market has ended.
- Vendors are expected to have their booths completely set up at least 10 minutes before the market opens in order to present a professional venue and to ensure the safety of customers and vendors. Late arriving vendors may be permitted to set up as space permits. If the assigned space of the late arriving vendor has been occupied, or is inaccessible, the manager will help the vendor find an alternative location. Late arriving Summer Market vendors may not be allowed to enter the market with a vehicle to set up if customer safety is put at risk. Vendors who are repeatedly late arriving at the market will be disciplined in accordance with rule # 24.
- Attendance at each market, while encouraged is not mandatory, but vendors must contact the market manager with at least 24 hours advance notice if they are going to miss a day. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cuyahoga Valley Farmers Market is a not-for-profit corporation; all proceeds will be used for the benefit of the market. Fee scales may be adjusted on a yearly basis by decision of the board of directors.
- Vendors are required to carry their own personal and product liability insurance policy for protection in the event of a lawsuit. The market liability policy only covers Cuyahoga Valley Farmers Market Inc., not the vendor.
- Vendors are responsible for bringing their own tables, chairs, signage and weather protection.
- Vendors are required to identify their farm or business with a clearly written or printed sign affixed to their table or stand. These signs need not be professionally produced but must include the name of the business or vendor and its location.
- Vendors are required to clean up their sites at the conclusion of each market day. Vendor waste may not be deposited on site. The market manager is not responsible for cleaning the market property at the end of the market.
- Vendors are prohibited from smoking in their booths.
- Vendors shall refrain from disparaging the Market or other vendors and their products. Disputes not settled by the interested parties may be brought to the manager or his/her representative for arbitration. The manager’s or his/her designates decision is final. The manager may elect to bring the dispute before the market board for decision. If the vendor would like to dispute a decision, then the matter must be presented to the market board within thirty days.
- Vendors shall not give produce or other products away for free or at reduced pricing in order to potentially undercut sales of other vendors. Dumping large quantities of produce at low prices is not permitted. This does not include product samples or giving good salable produce to charities such as the food bank or homeless shelter. Trading between vendors is permissible.
- Vendors are not permitted to hawk their products in a loud or repetitive way that interrupts the sales of surrounding vendors, nor are they permitted to pursue sales away from their assigned vendor site. Vendors are not permitted to play music during market hours.
- Organic Certification: Vendors using the term “organic” in reference to their products must provide a copy of their certification with their application and post a copy of this certification at their stand on market days. If a vendor would like to state, “chemical-free,” “naturally grown,” or “grown without the use of pesticides,” proof will need to be provided to the manager or market board. Proof of exemption eligibility relating to sales volume must be provided to the market manager.
- Cuyahoga Valley Farmers Market Inc. is a producers’ only market. Wholesale or retail purchase of items for resale is not permitted. Goods sold shall be grown, baked or otherwise produced by the vendor. “Carrying” or the sale of up to 10% of local but non-vendor produced products may be permitted with the prior approval of the market manager under advisement of the board of directors. Product specific definitions are explained in the Producer Specific Guidelines Addendum below.
- Allowed products include, but may not be limited to:
- Raw or minimally processed farm products including produce, eggs, fresh and frozen meat, honey, herbs, annual seedlings, nursery stock, cut flowers, and maple syrup.
- Cottage foods and non-refrigerated baked goods, jams, coffees, and tea that are made from scratch using raw ingredients. Products made from prepared doughs and mixes are not permitted, with preference given to those made with ingredients that are harvested from your farm or a farm within 100 miles of the farmers’ market.
- Products that require more stringent inspections, regulation, and usually refrigeration, including acidified foods like pickles and relishes, cheese and other dairy products, vinegars, and ready to eat prepared foods.
- Farm Crafts produced predominately from materials grown or harvested by the vendor.
- Vendors are expected to be aware of and in compliance with all state and local requirements for their product(s). They must comply with all applicable guidelines, obtain all required inspections and licenses, and meet all labeling requirements. Vendors are solely responsible for being aware of Ohio Department of Agriculture and local Health Department rules and regulations and must display or produce necessary certificates and licenses at their booth or when requested by the Market Manager or a state or local regulatory agent. Failure to do so will be disciplined as stated in Rule 25.
- Cuyahoga Valley Farmers Market will provide the market venue, vendor or exhibitor screening, market liability insurance, advertising, media contacts and promotion, special musician or performance events, fee collection, coordination and community outreach as well as representation with local government entities as needed.
- The market manager will make all day-to-day operating decisions.
- The market manager will make annual farm and business visits for product verification along with select board members and advisory committee members.
- The Board of Directors will make all other decisions.
- Vendors or exhibitors not willing or unable to comply with market regulations will be disciplined by market manager or his/her designate as such:
- One verbal warning.
- One written warning and vendor will be asked to leave the market for the remainder of that day.
- If rule is broken a third time, vendor will be not be permitted to continue selling at the market, and will forfeit any paid site fees.
- All vendors must agree to participate in the food assistance programs administered at the Market, including, but not limited to: SNAP, WIC, and Produce Perks. These programs provide customers with alternative methods of payment using a token or voucher system. Customers purchase tokens at the market information booth and may use the tokens or vouchers to purchase eligible items from any vendor. Vendors may turn tokens in to the market manager for reimbursement at the end of every market. Vendors must also accept the Market tokens used for credit/debit transactions, although vendors may offer their own card reader if desired.
- No refunds will be given for vendor fees. If a vendor decides to change schedule or end their participation in the Market after paying a full-season fee, no refund will be paid to the vendor.
- Vendor’s signature on the application form indicates that they have read, fully understand, and agree to comply with all the rules stated above.