Market Manager Opportunity

The Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market is looking for a new manager to lead the market into its eighth season in 2020.

This is a unique and profoundly rewarding volunteer opportunity for someone — or several someones — to make a lasting impact on multiple fronts:

  • Helping fledgling or small-scale farmers get a vital foothold in the local economy.
  • Providing nonprofits and other organizations with an effective, face-to-face outreach platform.
  • Increasing access to healthy, affordable, locally grown food beyond the high-disposable-income demographic.
  • Hosting a positive, vibrant, community-oriented event in a space that would otherwise be empty.
  • Bringing together individuals, couples and families whose paths might not cross under any other circumstances.
  • Contributing to a more sustainable food system.
  • The list goes on.

The current manager has overseen the market for the past seven years. In that time, the vendor count has grown along with foot traffic, volunteers, community partnerships and regular activities/events. A new manager would be taking control of that established platform and all its possibility.

Lack of experience isn’t a disqualifying factor. What’s far more important is dedication, resourcefulness and vision.

This role also isn’t limited to one person. If you’d like to divvy up the managerial responsibilities and work alongside others as a team, that should be doable.

The current manager is committed to advising and actively volunteering, and there’s an existing pool of committed volunteers from the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council who are willing to handle specialized roles (e.g., music booking, volunteer coordination, kids’ activities) and assist with setup, point of sale and teardown during market days.

And, finally, there is the possibility of pay. There are potential funding sources and other resources that could be pursued should that be a priority of the new manager(s).

If you’re interested, pleased e-mail or call (509) 255-3072. You can also stop by the market on any of the next three Fridays in September (3 to 7pm, 2310 N Monroe) and come to the market info booth.

Without a manager (or managers) firmly in place by January, it’s unlikely that the market will be able to continue.

2018 Market Volunteer Opportunities

Interested in volunteering at the Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market this season?

Our market is entirely volunteer-driven, which is why your participation could make the difference between something great and something amazing.

Here are the broad areas where we can use your volunteer assistance followed by a brief description of what’s involved. The commitment is flexible — there’s something for everyone and their busy schedules.

Bear in mind that there’s a how-to and existing resources for each of these areas, so you won’t be starting from scratch or going it alone. If something piques your interest, let us know and you’ll be given all the support you need to do it.

Scheduling musicians

Identify musicians who can perform each week at the market. Enter their contact info into a schedule. Ideally, be onsite during setup (2:30-3pm) to help them get them settled.

Vendor relations

Approach new vendors (typically farmers, bakers, ranchers, food trucks). Handle incoming applications. Make sure they’ve paid their fees and their questions are answered. Keep the process of application/payment/scheduling organized. We like to have about 25 vendors each week.

Social media

Post regularly on the market’s Facebook and Instagram pages with recipes, news, events, opportunities, photos, videos, etc. Create Facebook events each week to promote the market. Interact with vendors, customers, foodies, other markets on social media.

School market poster contest

This year it involves Garfield and Audubon Elementary. Get K-6 students to design market posters with the help of their art teachers, announcements in the Monday folders, etc. Collect and judge their submissions, notify the winners.

Print marketing

Get the market posters designed (maybe you know a graphic designer who can augment the school drawings?), printed and hung across town. Get market leaflets designed, printed and distributed.

Community partnerships/events

Got some ideas about fun community-centric activities you’d like to see? Use the market as a platform to put them into action! We like to involve churches, nonprofits, community centers, libraries, schools and other local organizations in the market. You would help identify and approach those organizations as well as plan and promote any special events, such as food truck rallies, our annual Craftwalk event, fun activities, themed market days, etc.

Cooking demos

Work with area chefs to hold cooking demonstrations using market ingredients about once per month.

Day-of volunteering

This means being onsite each Friday during the market season to help staff the market booth (info and payments), supervise the KERNEL kids’ activity, or set up and tear down. There’s already a place where you can sign up for individual shifts during the market season:

Volunteer coordination and recruitment

Many hands make light work! If you can help bring more volunteers—family, friends, neighbors, classmates—into the fold, it means we can do bigger and better things with less individual effort. If someone wants to take the lead on organizing our volunteers, it would free core staff to concentrate on managerial stuff.

… so get in touch!

If one or more of those areas might be up your alley, or if you’d just like to learn more about what’s involved, just drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.