market booth layout -revisited

little_minnie(zone 4a)September 28, 2012

I am always trying to find my favorite market booth layout. I am now convinced that the inside U scares people off. At our market we only have 10 feet so you can't get everything just out in front like at some markets where you can put two big tables across the front. So I did the outside U with my 2 6 foot tables down the sides and a card table in the middle, just a little pushed back. Then I used tipped over crates to advantage this week. I had dumplings/ delicatas spilling out of one and gourds spilling out of another with stuff on top. I think height is important. Then I put a few makeshift platforms made from boxes and coolers on the one side with pretty fabric over them (I do that when short on space). The butternuts were out in front and the buttercups toward my truck. People bought more butternuts that way where it had usually been buttercups (I have a bumper crop of butternuts).

People seemed to not feel comfortable walking on the side of the one table but have been very comfortable walking in the other way all along due to the neighbor on my left having 2 spots and some room between us. I don't think I will ever go back to the inside U!

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I had 2 spots and the inside U worked well for that amount of space. I can see that it wouldn't work for less than 20'.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 9:33AM
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I still only have 10 feet. I have been going with two 6' tables in a sideways T. The back part of the top of the T, the customers can't reach and that is where I keep bags, money, stuff to change signs around etc . In front of tables on the side without the T- intersection I set a lower table with tomato or basil plants on it. Those plants are done so it could be a wagon full of pumpkins or whatever bulky item is in season. There is about 18" on one side for me to squeeze through to get to the front of the stall for maintenance.

Height assisted layering with crates and baskets helped when I had more stuff and couldn't fit it all on the table. In this case eggplant and chard got sold fine from the back row. I am at the end of a "culdesac", on the outside of the curve and easy for shoppers to avoid with a quick u-turn around the inside, The stand has to be a prominent as I can make it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 2:19PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Interesting. I too want to bring my picking wagon for squash display. I know I couldn't pack it in the truck though and since it is less than half mile wished I could just tow it but would get pulled over I am sure.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 10:48PM
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Do you have a Reese hitch? There are platforms that fit into a reese. Even a wagon.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 6:51PM
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we get 10' also. the setup changes with the quantity we have. we start with the inside U and then as the tables start looking sparse we set up one table fronting on the walkway. we tried the outside U and the space was too crowded. saying its 10' may be a little generous.
be nice to have a market just a half a mile away. you could probably walk the wagon there.
this thread has me rethinking the setup.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:25AM
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I set up 1 long table (about 8ft) across the front, and put boxes in front of it with bins on top when I had a lot. People still had to bend over a bit to get tomatoes out of the bins, but the pumpkins did well there (toddler height LOL).

I will have to rethink my arrangement too for next year, if I go to market next year. I've got 2 wholesale customers now - could keep me busy.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:53AM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

The wagon is just those little wire mesh red carts- not something road worthy. But I stick it on my hitch around the farm and haul it on the driveway.
It is barely a half mile I think. 8 blocks to the bridge then across the bridge and the next left at the lights. I do sometimes think I could haul some stuff there and then come back. I once left a cinderblock there under the tree for an entire season and used it every Thursday.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:56PM
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The Amish near us, use their wagon, about the same size on the road. Of course, they are only going a very very slow (horse drawn).

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 10:09AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I have set up my booth so many ways, it just depends on what you have and how much space you have and you need.

I usually always have more stuff than space, so the U shape has been the standard, if space is limited. I have also done two rows on either side of the tent. people can get at it from either side. At my hometown market we have plenty of space, so I will just start lining up tables. 6 6 foot tables and two 4 foot tables and I usually run out of space during the summer. In the fall we have fewer vendors, so the vendors we have try to set up as big of displays as possible to give the illusion of a bigger market.

Here are some of my market booth pics. Most are from the end of the season as during the summer I never have time to stop and take a picture.

Winter Markets

October Market Last year

10 by 10 stall space

Small early June Booth from 3 year ago

I am sure I have more pics, but this is all I can find.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 1:38AM
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I've found over the years that I used the U shape more than any. At times, I changed table set shape during market. Start out with U then gradually change into a straight line as produce was sold out. I did notice when I started to change the shape and 'drop' tables, people noticed and would rush over to get what produce was left. They were afraid that I was packing up to leave. It was a great way to prompt that 'end of market' rush to start a bit earlier.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:37AM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Tonight we had so few vendors due to the weather I asked if we could all spread out. We had no canopies for borders anyway due to wind. So I put all my tables in a row in front. It was the best I could do with the way the day was. I like that set up except I find it hard to man the whole length of it really.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:30PM
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Minnie, that's the down side of one long table top.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:35PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I use overgrown patty pan squash for wonderful basket tilters.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:00PM
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Getting to the end of the season, 1 8-ft table and no boxes in front last week, I took another vendor's spot to fill in a gap (there were only 2 bakeries and 2 produce vendors at market last week! And the other produce vendor only had 1 tent with outside U instead of her usual 2 spaces).

I didn't put my EZ Up directly in front of my (backed-in) truck, it was a little off to the side and tailgate didn't come inside the back legs. I had people walking in from the street behind me, past the corner of the truck, under my canopy and behind where I was standing, cross to the other side and go out the side to get to the bakery next to me. One lady didn't even say anything when I turned around (hearing the rustling leaves) and said hi to her!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Unless you have some kind of barricade, people will walk wherever they can and will. I use empty stacked boxes. But warning on that, they will also just pick up the empties and walk off. I had to chase one guy down to get one back. He stated that since it was empty, he thought it was 'fair game'. I explained to him that these boxes weren't cheap and I reused mine several times. He didn't want to pay for the box, just wanted to use it to buy from someone else. No way, let them furnish boxes for their own customers.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:37AM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Jeez! I hate rude people who walk where they shouldn't. Set up is a complete hassle for me so I used to put a string barrier with sign across the front of my booth before market started. People would walk to the side where there is a gap always (the guy next to me leaves it) and they would walk back there and into my booth. I couldn't believe it. I stopped using the string barrier.

This is what my one table looked like last week with no tablecloths due to wind.

The middle table had value added stuff and the last big table had fresh produce.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Looks very fall like. I didn't think about using labels on baskets, I used index cards and binder clips or clothes pins. Sometimes it was hard getting big enough binder clips to put on some of the larger stemmed pumpkins.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 8:20PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)
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