EatLoco Farmers Market Vendor Handbook
For ALL Seasons
PURPOSE OF THIS HANDBOOK
Please read this vendor handbook carefully as it outlines the rules & regulations governing the EatLoco Markets. All vendors are required to agree to the handbook agreement page at the end of the EatLoco Application and to abide by the terms and conditions at all times.
EatLoco Farmers Markets are proud to serve as an outlet for the many local farms, nurseries, bakeries, meat providers, cheese makers, specialty food producers, and Health care providers. We’re also so thrilled to be the home of local artists, artisans and their hand-crafted unique products. And now we've added some Health related businesses (i.e., Trainers, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, etc.) to our weekly vendor lineup. Every vendor we accept is carefully vetted and screened with a commitment to creating a diverse Farmers Market with the highest quality, locally produced products, and health services available.
In 2015, Dan Hine conceived and developed EatLoco, LLC. A 25+ year veteran of digital marketing and advertising in Loudoun County, Dan envisioned EatLoco as a source of information for healthy and local eating and living in Northern Virginia. In mid-2017, EatLoco began working with local farms and farmers markets providing pro bono marketing services. In late 2017, EatLoco expanded into 2 year-round Farmers Market operations beginning with the EatLoco Farmers Market at One Loudoun in December 2017, and the EatLoco Farmers Market at Brambleton in April 2018,
Key Contacts & Helpful Links
EATLOCO, LLC (Mailing Address)
525-K East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
FOUNDER & CEO
Phone: (703) 737-0311
Cell: (301) 503-7703
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO)
Cell: (703) 431-5610
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Cell: (703) 798-6412
2023 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
EatLoco Farmers Market at ONE LOUDOUN
Location: Atwater Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147
Saturdays - 9:00am - 1:00pm
EatLoco Farmers Market at BRAMBLETON
Location: Corner Olympia & Legacy, Brambleton, VA 20148
March 26th - Nov 19th, 2023
EatLoco Farmers Market at LOUDOUN STATION
Location: Central Station Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147
Sundays - 9:00am - 1:00pm
EatLoco SATURDAY Market at METPARK (Home of Amazon HQ2)
Location: Arlington, VA
Saturdays - 9:00am - 1:00pm
EatLoco TUESDAY Market at METPARK (Home of Amazon HQ2)
Location: Arlington, VA
Tuesdays - 10:00am - 2:00pm
2023/24 WINTER MARKET SCHEDULE
2023/2024 Winter Season
One Loudoun - Nov 25th, 2023 - March 23rd, 2024
Brambleton - Nov 26th, 2023 - March 24th, 2024
Market Closures due to Holidays: (None)
Definitions & Abbreviations
As used in this handbook, “EatLoco Management” refers to the owner(s) of EatLoco, LLC, and designated Senior Associates. EatLoco Management makes all policies, rules and regulations (that affect EatLoco’s Farmers Markets); has sole authority for all financial arrangements and procedures; and must annually approve all applications by vendors to participate in the EatLoco markets.
“Market Manager” refers to an EatLoco on-site staff designated to handle logistics, space control, attendance recording, and other operating issues at the markets.
TYPES OF VENDORS ACCEPTED
EatLoco accepts all types of farmers and food producers. We also accept anyone in the Health & Wellness industry (i.e., Dentists, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Trainers, gyms, etc.), and some nonprofits. Exceptions to the policy may be made at the sole discretion of EatLoco to meet the needs of the market.
Generally, EatLoco vendors must be located within 125 miles of the EatLoco market at which they sell as calculated by using the “Measure Distance” function of Google Maps. Exceptions to the policy may be made at the sole discretion of EatLoco to meet the needs of the market.
LICENSES AND PERMITS
Vendors must ensure compliance with all federal, state and local regulations in the production of their food products. Vendors must also obtain, present, and maintain as current all applicable federal, state, county and local licenses and permits within their vendor profile. Licenses and permits include but are not limited to state and local business licenses, food permits, and temporary food establishment permits. When required by law, permits and licenses, including temporary food permits, must be displayed at the EatLoco market site daily. Vendors with expired or absent licenses or permits will be removed from the market and may be charged an additional fee until such time as the licenses and/or permits are back in place and current.
VIRGINIA HEALTH PERMITS
Virginia/Loudoun County Temporary Food Establishment Permits
Loudoun County Public Health Department
Point of contact: Tamara Shellenberger email@example.com
Office: (703) 777-0642 Cell (571) 268-5814
NOTE: ALL VENDORS PREPARING HOT FOOD ON-SITE, MUST DISPLAY A VALID TEMP FOOD PERMIT
ON THEIR TENT AT ALL TIMES FROM THE VA HEALTH DEPT OR THEY WILL ASKED TO LEAVE THE MARKET.
ALL vendors MUST carry insurance for general liability and property damage, in an amount not less than $1,000,000 (one million dollars). Liability insurance provides business protection and covers legal fees from market operations (such as injuries from a flying tent) and from claims of product damages (such as food poisoning or a house fire from use of a candle). The policy must list EatLoco as an Additional Insured (or sometimes referred to as Certificate Holder) with the exact name and address listed here.
A current and valid Certificate of Insurance (COI) must be provided and uploaded into your EatLoco portal. It is the responsibility of the vendor to maintain a current policy. If the insurance policy expires during the season and the vendor does not get it renewed, the vendor will be removed from the market until such time as the insurance is back in place and current. Obtaining Liability Insurance should wait until after your EatLoco application has been approved.
See instructions for your COI HERE.
Registering for EatLoco Farmers Markets
Applications OPEN for both EatLoco 2022 REGULAR Season Markets on Feb 1, 2022.
VENDOR MARKET FEES
EatLoco has routine fees and non-routine fees. All fees are billed and paid electronically through our accounting system using the credit card you have on file with us (provided when you pay your Admin Fee).
Market Vendor Fee
Late Sales Reporting Fee
Late Set-up/Early Departure Fee
Failure to Clean-up your Space Fee
Missed Market Day Fee
A $45 Application fee per vendor applicant is due at the time of EACH season application. This fee must be paid via credit card via the EatLoco Online Payment System system and is non-refundable, even if your application is not accepted. This will be the same credit card information we will use for all your billing if you are accepted. Applications will not be considered until the Application fee is paid.
MARKET VENDOR FEES
Vendor market fee payments are essential to the operations of the EatLoco Farmers Markets. Your fees are used to pay for road rent, road signs, banners, tents, tables, chairs, office supplies, marketing and promotions, event supplies, entertainment, staff wages, administration, social media advertising, website, mailings, gift certificates and numerous other marketing activities.
Note: EatLoco will NEVER Take a Percentage of Your Sales.
Season Pass Holders (Weekly vendors) pay the least amount of money to be at an EatLoco Market and receive the most benefits. These vendors are committed to being a vendor at the market every week during the season. They will be given priority with approximately the same assigned spot each week. We market and promote our Season Pass Holder vendors heavily throughout the season (even during the week) to drive traffic to the EatLoco market they attend, to their farm, store-front, or website for online sales.
Due to the discounted market fee and the amount of marketing included for season pass holders, each time a season pass holder misses a market date (planned or unplanned, excused or unexcused), they will incur an additional $25 missed-market fee. If a season vendor simply does not show up on market day without advance warning OR cancels on the day-of the market, they will incur a $50 no-show fee. All market fees must be paid in full before the vendor can continue on future market dates. No partial payments and No refunds.
Drop-IN Vendors require more flexible schedules and would like to pick and choose the market dates they will attend during the season. The more notice DROP-IN vendors give of their preferred drop-in dates, the better placement they will receive at the market for that weekend. Cancellations and/or schedule changes for DROP-IN Vendors received by Wednesday at 9:00 PM EST prior to that coming weekend’s market using the Vendor Communication Form, will not be charged for that weekend. Cancellations and/or schedule changes given AFTER Wednesday at 9PM prior to the market, will forfeit their market-day pass. If a DROP-IN vendor does not show-up on a scheduled market day without advance warning (by Wednesday’s cutoff) OR cancels on the day-of the market, they will incur a $50 no-show fee. All market fees/fines must be paid in full before the vendor can continue at future market dates.
DROP-IN VENDOR PASSES (non-refundable and non-transferable):
Drop-IN Vendors can purchase drop-in passes at any point in the season. Separate DROP-IN PASSES must be purchased for each market location and cannot be used between them. Also, drop-in passes cannot be transferred to the next EatLoco season. Additional passes (beyond what you have signed up for originally when you applied) can be made HERE.
LATE SALES REPORTING FEE
Weekly sales reporting is required and must be reported using EatLoco's Smartsheet portal by clicking HERE. Vendors must report weekly sales by 9PM the Wednesday following the market day. EatLoco DOES NOT charge our vendors a percentage of their sales, however, we do require your sales numbers to be recorded weekly to help determine how we’re doing and what we need to address with our marketing efforts. These numbers are also used in recruiting additional vendors, sponsors, advertisers and market venues. If a vendor allows customers to pre-order products that are picked up at the EatLoco Farmers Market, the vendor shall include the pre-orders as part of that week’s market sales. Vendors who do not report their sales will be billed a $25 late sales reporting fee each week your sales go unreported.
LATE SET-UP/EARLY DEPARTURE FEE - $25
Vendors are required to be set-up and available to sell by 8:45AM on market day, and to stay setup throughout the market operating hours, 9-1PM. Vendors cannot disassemble, breakdown, put items away, etc. until the market is officially over at 1pm. Note: Even if the vendor sells out of inventory, they are still required to stay setup until 1PM.
FAILURE TO CLEANUP YOUR SPACE FEE - $25
Vendors are required to leave their spaces clean and free of market debris at the close of the market and are required to have appropriate equipment and a trash receptacle for cleanup. Vendors are responsible for removing their own boxes and garbage from the market site. Community trash cans are provided as a courtesy to customers only and should not be used by vendors.
MISSED MARKET DAY FEES- $25/$50
Season Pass Holders are required to be at the market every Saturday or Sunday of the entire season for the market(s) they signed up for. Season Pass Holders receive the lowest market fee, advertising, priority market placement, etc
Season Pass Holder cancels anytime BEFORE Market Date, they're fined $25, plus they forfeit their market fee
Season Pass Holder cancels ON a market date or they're a NO-show, they're fined $50 and forfeit their market fee
Drop-IN Vendors must notify EatLoco by the Wednesday 9:00 PM deadline of any changes to their schedule for the upcoming weekend to avoid forfeiting their market fee (excused or unexcused) but will not be fined.
DROP-IN Vendor - Cancels before Wed. 9PM deadline - No forfeited market Fee. No fine.
DROP-IN Vendor - Cancels after Wed. deadline - Forfeit market fee. No Fine.
DROP-IN Vendor - Cancels ON market date or is a No-Show - $50 FINE plus forfeit market fee
ANY Vendor that is a NO show or Cancels the day-of the market more than once per season, can be ejected from the market without a refund.
PRODUCTS FOR SALE
All products for sale must be listed and pre-approved for by EatLoco Management each season. Products not listed as approved in MMM must be removed from sale. Repeated violations are grounds for dismissal.
ADDITION OF A PRODUCT
Approved vendors who wish to add additional products to their approved products list shall first discuss their plans with EatLoco Management for a preliminary decision. Please include the name of the product, the ingredients, source of ingredients, facility used for preparation, and licenses & permits obtained. Upon receipt of the above information and documentation, a final decision for approval or denial will be provided by EatLoco Management. Once instructed to do so, the vendor may then apply for approval in writing via MMM
TYPES OF VENDORS
EatLoco Farmers Markets accepts applications from a variety of vendor types including:
Farm and Ranch Foods/Products
Health Related Business, (non-food, non-artisan)
Partners & Advertisers
MARKET SPONSORSHIP AND ADVERTISERS
EatLoco establishes sponsorship and advertising relationships with community businesses and organizations in order to promote the EatLoco Farmers Markets. You can expect to see these businesses and organizations periodically at the Farmers Market representing their business. You may also see their logos displayed on EatLoco banners and social media.
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
The use of CSAs is encouraged at EatLoco Farmers Markets. CSA’s recruited at the EatLoco Farmers Market must be reported in the week’s sales.
If a vendor allows customers to pre-order products that are picked up at the EatLoco Farmers Market, the vendor shall include the pre-orders as part of that week’s market sales.
Vendors must be pre-approved by EatLoco Management to sell business-related merchandise at their stands. The merchandise must be related to your business or farm. Requests should be in writing using the online communication website. The sales of extra merchandise at the market must be included with your weekly sales.
ANIMALS AT HE MARKET
Customers can bring their well-behaved, non aggressive pets to the EatLoco Farmers Markets. However, for liability issues, vendors are prohibited from bringing their pets to the market. In coordination with the EatLoco Management, vendors may bring well-behaved FARM animals to the market to enhance the education and experience of the customer. In this case, the vendor must provide pens or crates, appropriate supervision of the animal as well as hand-sanitizing supplies for the customers touching the farm animals. This must first be approved by EatLoco Management.
EXPIRED/LACK OF CREDIT CARD/CARD FAILS
Vendors must maintain a valid credit card on file with EatLoco at all times. Vendors will not be allowed to set up at the market until new payment information is provided and the charges have been run successfully.
REMOVAL FROM THE MARKET
EatLoco, LLC reserves the right to remove a vendor from a market at any time at EatLoco’s discretion for violation of our rules or regulations. No refunds will be provided.
EatLoco values its vendors and the benefits of long-term relationships with them. Therefore, higher consideration is naturally given to returning and year-round vendors. However, this does not guarantee automatic acceptance to any of the EatLoco Farmers Markets from season to season.
EatLoco strives to provide Farmers Markets where the finest fresh and local products are sold. EatLoco Management has the responsibility - in cooperation with regulatory agencies - for maintaining product quality control as it relates to health, safety and labeling issues at the market. EatLoco Management has the right to inspect any and all products and to remove those products that are not labeled properly.
Value-added products sold at the market must display the ingredients list.
Products produced under a state or local exemption must include the exemption on the product label.
ORGANIC OR NATURALLY GROWN LABELING
Vendors who use the word "organic" to describe their products must have USDA organic certification. Vendors who use other terms, such as “naturally grown/produced,” must be certified by an approved agency. All vendors are required to display their certifications and respond to customers’ questions truthfully.
DISPLAY OF LICENSES AND PERMITS
As required by state or local law, licenses and permits must be displayed at all times during market hours. This typically applies to food trucks and hot food concessions.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT INSPECTION
At any time local Health Department Authorities may inspect vendors’ facilities. Evaluations resulting from these inspections must be promptly shown to the EatLoco Management, along with a specific plan and timeline for correcting any of the Health Department’s concerns.
Wild mushrooms may not be sold at EatLoco without prior EatLoco Management approval. This policy is intended to empower EatLoco Management to scrutinize potential mushroom vendors to ensure they have adequate knowledge of their product and appropriate, ecologically responsible gathering practices.
SAMPLING AND CONCESSIONS AT THE FARMERS MARKET
Vendors providing samples and concessions at the EatLoco Farmers Markets shall maintain VDACS and/or local Health Department sampling and concessions food safety guidelines and facilities. As of July 1, 2021, VDAC and VFMA do not have any Farmers Market sampling policies in place for COVID-19. However, that may change at any time. EatLoco will communicate any COVID-19 policy changes regarding samples at the market, from the CDC, VDACS and/or VFMA directly to the vendors. Changes like offering customers samples only if it’s 100% wrapped or covered (like in a small plastic ketchup container you might receive at a fast-food restaurant.), and you may not be allowed to allow customers to grab their own sample from a tray of samples and have to hand each customer a sample yourself.
PRODUCT REFUND POLICY
All vendors selling at EatLoco Farmers Markets shall guarantee the quality of the products they offer, including food, craft, plant, or any other item sold at the market. If an exchange or other arrangement is not acceptable to a customer, the vendor must offer a refund in the same form as the payment - usually cash - to the customer. In order to qualify for a cash refund, the customer must return the unused portion of the product in question. Refunds beyond a 7-day (one week) period from the time of purchase will be offered only at the discretion of the vendor.
EatLoco Farmers Markets and its vendors are responsible for providing a safe market environment for fellow vendors and customers. In the event that local authorities issue orders to stay at home or if EatLoco Management feels the roads are too dangerous to travel, the EatLoco Farmers Markets may be closed. You will also be notified by email and Facebook postings if we will be closed due to severe weather. Refunds or credits will not be issued due to weather closings. If a vendor feels the weather is too unsafe for them personally or for their staff to participate in that day’s market due to bad weather, they can elect to not attend that week without refund (and also without penalty), but must notify us immediately.
If you feel you must leave the market for your safety due to high wind and/or inclement weather after you are setup and the market is already in progress, please notify the EatLoco Market Manager on duty or EatLoco Management FIRST. Leaving without notifying us is not an option. Our Market Manager must help guide you to safely remove you from the market during these very extreme situations.
VENDOR TENTS AND WEIGHTS
Vendor tents must be in good repair and free of unsightly soilage and tears. For safety reasons, if a vendor utilizes a tent structure (with or without the covering), they must secure the tent structure with 50-pounds weight per leg regardless of the weather. Weights must be secured to tents with bungee cords or velcro to ensure they do not become detached from the tent legs. Repeat offense of this policy may be asked to leave the market.
Tent locations are assigned at the discretion of EatLoco Management and could change weekly to accommodate new vendors, drop-ins, drop-outs, entertainment, etc.. An on-line layout link is given to each vendor when they sign-up for the market. That link is updated weekly to include new vendors and ongoing vendor changes. Season vendors will always have approx. the same space each week. Drop-in vendor spaces could change from week to week.
Vendor vehicles should park only in assigned parking spaces as directed by EatLoco Management. Care should be taken to avoid parking in customer parking spaces. Vendors should never park in parking spots that are within a 5-minute walk to the market. Those spaces should be reserved for your elderly and handicapped patrons.
Table displays and signs must allow clear visibility and access to adjoining tents. Display and selling techniques must not impair other vendors' ability to sell. Displays may also not impair the natural flow of foot traffic through the Farmers Market.
All vendors MUST present signage or a banner with their company name clearly identified. The company name should be large enough to be read from 20-feet away.
Petitions and Publication Materials
Non-market and non-vendor related petitions and materials MAY NOT be distributed at any of the EatLoco Markets. EatLoco Management has the right to remove materials at its discretion.
Vendors are not allowed to use amplified music or paging systems. Amplified music is only for entertainment arranged by EatLoco Management.
EatLoco Management has the authority to conduct vendor inspections to verify that products sold at EatLoco Markets are vendor produced as required in this handbook, to verify that the vendor lives and works within geographical boundaries, or when complaints are received about a vendor. EatLoco Management may delegate to vendor members or other qualified individuals the authority to assist in inspections. EatLoco requires vendors to submit to inspections at the request of EatLoco Management or the Market Manager.
EatLoco Management will keep a record of inspections.
Inspectors will note production capabilities of each facility visited.
If an Inspector cannot verify that a vendor produces his/her own product, vendor participation in EatLoco may be denied or terminated. The vendor may appeal to EatLoco Management.
EatLoco Management must respond to written appeals within thirty (30) days.
EatLoco Management has final authority to resolve all discrepancies referred by the Market Manager or appealed by a vendor.
EatLoco Management reserves the right at its sole discretion to revise the Market Rules and Policies.
All EatLoco vendors and their sales associates will behave towards market customers, other market vendors, market staff, and volunteers in a professional manner, fostering a spirit of camaraderie and cooperative participation while promoting EatLoco as a whole to the community it serves. In addition, please make sure that everyone participating at your tent is not sitting down, and not engaging with their cell phones.
All vendors must adhere to sanitary procedures as required by the VDACS or the local county health department. Any vendor found selling contaminated food or produce, or who is in violation of any codes shall be suspended from selling at EatLoco Markets until satisfactory clearance has been obtained from the county health department.
All vendors must wear shirts and shoes. Low cut blouses or low cut t-shirts are not allowed. Hair must be neatly tied back.
Smoking is not permitted by vendors in or within 25 feet of the market spaces. Customers are not permitted to smoke inside vendor tents.
Sexual harassment violates federal laws and the principles of the EatLoco Farmers Markets. All vendors and staff shall project the necessary attitudes and behavior to afford a work environment free from sexual harassment and ensure that sexual harassment does not occur. Vendors observing or having knowledge of incidents or practices that violate this policy shall report their observations to EatLoco Management. Confidentiality will be maintained whenever possible. EatLoco will not tolerate instances where a vendor or staff is retaliated upon in any way for complaining of sexual harassment.
It is the policy of the EatLoco Farmers Markets to comply with the spirit and intent of federal equal employment opportunity laws and rules. Whether dealing with customers or other market participants, EatLoco, its staff, and all persons selling at its markets or participating in EatLoco functions shall not discriminate against any individual in regard to selling of products, hiring, promotion, discipline, or other matters because of age, sex, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, or the presence of any physical, mental, or sensory disability.
Foul language will not be tolerated at EatLoco Markets while customers or vendors are present. Repeated violations may result in expulsion from the market.
DISCIPLINARY POLICY AND PROCEDURES
EatLoco Management has the responsibility and authority to maintain a professional atmosphere and to impose appropriate discipline at the market site and expects full cooperation from all vendors and their employee
The vendor handbook describes important information about EatLoco Farmers Markets and I understand that I should consult EatLoco Management regarding any questions not answered in the handbook or to ask for clarification via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This handbook and the policies and procedures contained herein supersede any and all prior practices, oral or written representations, or statements regarding the terms and conditions of your affiliation with EatLoco Farmers Markets. By distributing this handbook, EatLoco, LLC expressly revokes any and all previous policies and procedures that are inconsistent with those contained herein.
I understand that any and all policies and practices may be changed at any time by EatLoco Farmers Markets. All such changes will be communicated through official notices, and I understand that revised information may supersede, modify, or eliminate existing policies. Only EatLoco Management has the ability to adopt any revisions to the policies in this handbook.