Extension Veg. Crops
61meo Report 71-2 HUME LIBRARY
/- l THE "IDEAL" ROADSIDE MARKET JU 1972
by I.F.AS. Univ. of Florida
James M. Stephens
Assistant Vegetable Crops Specialist
Who Would Run It?
A farmer and his family would own and operate it, with some out-
sidehired help if needed. The primary objective of promoting roadside
markets should be to provide a farmer with a means of selling what he
grows. It is not a means of'providing just anyone with the way to buy and
resell at a profit.
Where Would It Be Located?
It will be located on or near the farm, or market garden.
The site will be.attractive, well-shaded, and within 50 feet of a
well-travelled, well-maintained highway, and near (within 8 miles) of a
town or community of over 5,000 people.
What Would Be The Facilities?
.The simply designed frame or concrete block building would have a
display area of 600 square feet or more, and storage area capable of holding
1,000 bushels. Refrigerated (walk-in) storage would be available, as well
as refrigerated display. Ample parking space for at least 15 cars, with
easy entrances and exits weuld be provided.
Who Would Shop There?
It would cater to Iccal repeat customers with a small percentage of
For How Long Will It Operate?
It will be open for 6-7 days per week, between 3 and 6 months a
What Items Will 3e Sold There?
Will sell produce grown on his farm, but will purchase from neigh-
boring farmers othr Items for tesell that meet same high quality standards.
The market will specialize in a limited number of vegetables (and
fruits) for which the area Is known. Largest sellers are tomatoes and
sweet corn, but most all fresh quality produce locally adapted will sell.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, other Items may be sold such
as homemade foods, including jams and jellies, pickles and relishes, honey,
syrup, candy, and fruit cakes.
The fastest growing non-food Items are nursery products and garden
What Prices Will 8e Charged?
Prices charged for items sold should be based on these things: the
price competitors charge; price charged previous year; the wholesale price
listing; supply and quality of the product; and what the clientele will
The price should be somewhere between the wholesale price and the
supermarket retail prices; however, If the quality is good enough, a price
higher than average retail is justified.
The pricing technique will probably be in multiples of 5 cents.
Will Produce Be Graded?
Yes, by a combination of size, color, and quality. The operator
will charge varying prices according to grade. He will anticipate quality
deterioration and place on "quick sale" any such produce while it is still
a good usable value. He never displays for sell partially spe lied produce.
How Much Land Is iiecessary For The "Ideal Market?"
The Ideal market should be based on a productive acreage of 15-20
acres. However, successful markets are possible with less acreage, say down
to 1 acre minimum; and the entire produce from considerably larger acreages
(20-50 acres) might be moved through a good roadside market.
What Would The Annual Cost Be?
Costs per acre for vegetables may be considered in D. L. Brooke's
"Costs and Returns from Vegetable Crops in Florida."
Based on an Ohio report (RB 1003, 1967) the average roadside market
value of physical assets averaged about $6,000 in 1965 (buildings, land,
machinery, and equipment).
What Is The Future For Roadside Marketing In Florida?
Maybe it is much the same as in Ohio, as stated in Ohio State's
Research Circular 150, June 1967:
"As the retail margin in food stores climbs for fresh fruits and
vegetables, so does the opportunity for successful roadside marketing.
The extent of the opportunity seems limited primarily by the business
ocumen of the farmer-marketer and his willingness to 'think retail.' The
farm market operator also must be willing and able to manage two full-time
jobs during at least part of the year when seasonal production and sales