Have you gotten ahold of the microgreen growing bug? Has your green thumb also suggested that you should make some money off of this new hobby? If you’re wondering where to sell your microgreens, the great news is that there is a multitude of options!
Let’s take a look at the places where you can be most successful in selling this hot new growing item as your new health conscious side-gig or fulltime hustle. Along the way, we’ll examine a few cautions to make sure that you don’t end up getting cut short.
Have You Checked Your Local Farmers’ Market?
All across the country, one popular place to see microgreens exchanged is at your local farmer’s market. If you don’t know whether or not your county has one, it’s just a google away. Most states have some sort of direct sales method for growers to consumers.
If you want to check out the farmers market scene just make certain you know a few things.
- Do you need insurance? Some markets will require, either by their founding or by local laws to present proof of business insurance before you can sell there. It is especially important selling raw foods to be covered in case of accidental infection.
- What is the charge, if any, to set up shop and sell. Most venues, in order to fund themselves will need to be paid. Most will need payment up front before you sell a single radish green.
- How saturated is the market with your planned greens. If everyone is selling sunflower greens, your margin will take a pretty hefty hit.
What About Restaurants?
As healthy foods rise in popularity in America, so too will its availability at local eateries. Restaurants that serve microgreens are always on the lookout for fresh product, especially with microgreens whose freshness is extremely short lived.
The best way to go about getting into a restaurant’s supply chain is to first research in your local area for which establishments prepare with microgreens and what types they prefer. Some greens are more cost effective than others and will cut hard into your margins.
While many managers are knowledgeable about how the food is prepared and what goes into them, the chef is always going to be the undisputed captain of the kitchen. He or she will need to be your main point of initial contact to sell your greens.
Special Considerations for Restaurants
While not as officially observed as the farmers markets are, you will still need to have a few business details handled before jumping in:
- Restaurants will want to know if you have business insurance. If their customers get sick off of product you have sold them, they will need official relationship documentation and you will want to be insured so that your personal assets aren’t in danger.
- How regularly do you plan on providing greens? If microgreens are a regular part of their culinary experience, and as they do not store for very long at all, you may need to be ready to provide a steady stream of fresh product.
- Have you checked out your local competition? They are likely providing for the restaurants already. Do some research (and by that we mean go eat at the restaurant) and see what the standard of quality is for their greens.
- Restaurants are businesses. Be ready to present yourself as a business so that you come across more as a business partner and less as somebody with hopes, dreams, aspirations, and no organization.
Does Your Grocery Store Sell Local?
In an effort to belong to the places they are built many chain grocery stores endeavor to buy locally grown crops to sell in stores. You can see most of their displays marked with “We Buy Local” in big bold letters.
This is a great opportunity for you to become part of their supply chain even if they have a few suppliers. Once a store becomes known as a regular supplier of super health foods, the business beats a path to their door
Before You Start Selling to Your Grocer
The grocery store is a good medium ground between farmers market and restaurant. With a few details planned ahead of time, you can be a successful partner for them.
- As microgreens grow in popularity, many states have begun to regulate the standard for their sale to the public. Check your state’s regulations. Many of them will have a standard for cutting above the soil, as opposed to beneath it. Stores will require you to meet those standards so that they can certify that THEY are meeting that standard
- Like both previous options, you will want to have proof that you have insurance in the occasion that one of your greens sickens a customer. Medical bills taking care of salmonella for one of your customers should not take your home away from you.
- Research the average selling price to your grocer so that you do not over or undersell your product.
- If you are selling your product under the name of a business, it may help the store sell your product if they can label it with your business name.
Do You Even Need a Third Party?
Thanks to the wonder of word of mouth and social media sales places, it’s possible to sell in your local area without even needing to utilize a farmers market or traditional distributors.
With the proper business approach to this solution, you can save on the overhead of a booth. You can also sell for a final price versus the reduced price of being a partner member of a distribution chain for a restaurant or store.
Before Becoming a Door-to-Door Greens Champ
As with all other models, some decent mindfulness is required to sell your greens without a distribution apparatus.
- Your first customers will likely be people you know who are similarly interested in health food.
- Since your initial constituents are your friends, make sure your standards are up to par. No one likes to poison their friends.
- Take care of your insurance. Paying for your friend’s health bills through your insurance can preserve your relationships while losing major assets to do so is going to destroy all but the strongest friendships.
- As the business owner, be ready for internet feedback. Have a thick skin for keyboard warriors and receive feedback in a healthy and productive manner.