Alexandria Farmers Market is looking for more vendors

The following was provided by the Alexandria Farmers Market:

Louisiana Central is looking for more vendors to sell a variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables and other specialty products at the Alexandria Farmers’ Market, which has grown steadily since it opened seven years ago.

The market at 2727 Jackson Street, Alexandria saw record attendance in 2021 and continues to grow. In 2021 alone, over 14,000 people visited the market, buying fresh food and items from over 30 vendors. It is open every Tuesday from 3-6 p.m. and is operated by Louisiana Central.

To support the expected growth in 2022, the market is looking for more vendors to sell the following items:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially produce beyond the common yield of tomatoes, cucumbers and summer squash.
  • Yeast breads and baked goods, such as French or Italian breads, croissants and sandwich bread.
  • Salty baked goods like bagels and rolls.
  • Cheese made with milk from a Louisiana dairy farm.
  • Pasture-raised pork with high-quality labeling.
  • Poultry with high quality labelling.
  • Seafood with high quality packaging.
  • Honey (full range).

The Alexandria Farmers’ Market is a weekly gathering that connects the Alexandria community with central Louisiana farmers, ranchers, and agricultural artisans. This connection strives to improve the physical, social and economic well-being of the region by providing access to fresh, healthy and local food for residents; foster community relations; and serve as a business incubator for growers and producers.

“In 2021, we were delighted to welcome five farmers to our family of sellers. Our vendor base is growing, and that goes hand in hand with the support of our community every Tuesday,” said Audrey Kolde, Alexandria Farmers Market Manager.

Incentive programs help marketplace buyers maximize their dollars and help vendors increase sales. Through grants and sponsorships, children receive $5 to spend on fruits and vegetables with each visit to the market, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program dollars are matched up to $20 per visit, and market visitors who use their Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupon books receive an additional $25 to store. Last year alone, kids spent $8,293 on fresh produce with their $5 tokens, and SNAP customers spent an additional $25,000 through the matchmaking program.

Every Tuesday, the market will feature kids’ corners, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, yoga sessions, face painting and seasonal events. “It’s more about the food and the community with each passing year,” Kolde said.

Prospective sellers can obtain information about requirements and regulations, seller fees, and the application process on the Louisiana Central website:

Market acceptance is not guaranteed. The Alexandria Farmers Market prioritizes year-round vendors who produce and grow their own items. Applicants who sell value-added products are rated favorably when the products are made with ingredients grown, harvested, raised or produced in Louisiana.

“The market supports local farmers and producers by creating opportunities for them to sell their fruits, vegetables and other local products, and local residents benefit from having fresh and healthy food to buy in one place,” Bahia said. Nightengale, Louisiana Central’s executive director for Farm and Food. “We are more than pleased with the steady growth of the market and look forward to seeing it grow even more in 2022.”

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James V. Payne