One of the great things about going to farmers markets is that you’ll often be able to talk to producers directly. Whether it’s talking to the farmer who grew and picked the tomatoes that morning or talking to the person who brewed your kombucha, you’re sure to learn something new. That direct connection between small business owners and their customers is really special because it can help small businesses grow without costing a whole lot. At farmers markets, there’s little overhead and great potential for exposure and development of a loyal customer following, which allows for many small businesses to grow larger.
Many Atlanta staples have their roots from farmers markets and have since grown even larger. At its core, farmers markets are about community and relationship building. They are spaces that allow for experimentation and growth, and they can help turn a simple idea into a successful business. Behind many successful businesses is a story of community support, so take a look at a few of these Atlanta businesses that began at the farmers market!
Sometimes, all you need is a cart and some hot dogs to make your dream come true. After 4 years of slinging dogs from carts around Atlanta and farmers markets, Doggy Dogg had such a following that James Hammerl decided to open up a brick and mortar location in Decatur. What makes it so special? James’ hot dog creations aren’t just delicious— they’re a testament to the power of small businesses collaborating. Meat is sourced from The Spotted Trotter, relish from Preserving Place, bread from Ratio Bakeshop, and the list goes on. Read more about Doggy Dogg in our blog when we visited him.
Little Tart Bakeshop
Before Sarah O’Brien first opened her first brick and mortar bakery in Grant Park, she was a regular vendor at East Atlanta Farmers Market and Grant Park Farmers Market. Now, Little Tart Bakeshop has another location in Krog Street Market, and Sarah credits a lot of success of the bakery to the following that developed while she started at the farmers market. These days, Little Tart can still be found at farmers markets around Atlanta and still sources as much locally as possible.
It’s hard to beat a good doughnut, especially doughnuts that use fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Maria Moore Riggs knew it and her loyal following knew it. Originally selling a variety of baked goods at farmers markets, Maria eventually decided to stick with just doughnuts when they became a hit. After raising over $12,000 through crowdfunding in 2012, Maria opened the first Revolution Doughnuts location in 2012 in Decatur. A new location is opening in Inman Park soon, and in the meantime, people are still buying up all the doughnuts available whenever Revolution shows up to a farmers market.
Those are only a few of the small businesses that had beginnings from farmers markets. King of Pops, The Spotted Trotter, La Calavera Bakery, and more were all able to cultivate a customer base from farmers markets and other community events, and eventually expand their operations. Even more important, for every $1 spent at a local business, $.68 stays in local economy at a farmers market versus only $.25 stays in the local economy at a grocery stores. And from all the wonderful stories we’ve looked at so far, much of that money goes right back into other local businesses.
Come out this week and support your local small businesses! We’re celebrating their hard-work and making it easyFor every $5 you spend, vendors will be giving out tickets for you to enter into a raffle and have the chance to win special prizes.