Farmer's markets play necessary role in Utah

Sherman Bennett, of Alpine, offers free taste of berries to a customer at the Farmer's Market at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City, July 30, 2005. Farmer's markets play an important role for local vendors.

Sherman Bennett, of Alpine, offers free taste of berries to a customer at the Farmer's Market at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City, July 30, 2005. Farmer's markets play an important role for local vendors. (August Miller, Deseret News)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Farmer's Markets are helping small businesses boost their business.

Up to 80% percent of the vendors in Utah say they wouldn't have been able to start their business any other way, according to Utah Farmer's Market Network Director Jaclyn Pace.

She said, currently, there are 41 markets across the state.

"On our website, you'll see all of the names and locations of the markets … whether they have restrooms available, if there is wheelchair accessibility," she said.

Last year, venders reported bringing in an average $18,000 for the season. Pace pointed out money went directly into the vendor's pocket.

It seems Utahns love visiting farmers markets, as well, and often make a weekly visit to their local market.

"Last year the Utah farmer's network in conjunction with Utah State University, collected data at markets across the state and found that up to 89% of customers reported visiting their local market every week and spend an average of $29 to $52 per day," Pace said.

Pace said they value inclusivity across all 41 markets. Data shows up to 70% of their vendors are women and nonbinary owned businesses.

The Utah Farmer's Market Network also works closely with Utahns Against Hunger to promote SNAP benefits at the markets, like through their Double Up program. For more information, visit utahfarmersmarketnetwork.org.

"Last year up to $43,161 worth of food was distributed to low income households," Pace said.

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