A question CFM staff gets regularly is "Where is "X" vendor?". Sometimes vendors are in the same booth every week, and some move around. Why is that? While it may not always make sense on the front end, there is a method to the madness!
Each year, before the season kicks off, we hold a stall lottery, where vendors get to purchase an "annual stall". An annual stall allows a vendor to be placed in the same space every week. Vendor stall selection is based upon their seniority with our organization. Our longest sitting vendor has been with us since 1987! (Can you guess who it is?) Each year there are typically a handful of spots that open up, from when a vendor retires or quits the market. After reviewing the available stalls, we go through each seniority year, seeing if anyone wants to get a stall, move from their current stall, or get a 2nd stall. If a vendor moves from one stall to another, then their old stall is available to vendors with less seniority. We go through that process with each seniority year, until everyone that wants a stall gets one or all the stalls have been selected.
Occasionally, you may still notice that some vendors move around. While the majority of vendors have annual stalls, there is a handful that chooses not to get one. Additionally, first-year members and day vendors are not eligible to purchase an annual stall. As many of our vendors sell limited seasonal items (such as apples or asparagus) and/or a vendor takes a rare Saturday off, we pop this group of vendors into the empty stalls.
This week, we held our 2021 annual stall lottery. Pictured above is the 2021 annual stall map. Kicking off our third season at the Pavilion, we're really starting to grow into our new footprint. Pre-Pavilion days we had 68 stalls and were constantly trying to come up with "new" locations to fit vendors. The market footprint now has 98 stalls and we've got lots of room for our vendors and customers!
Each year there are always those coveted "better" stalls, and since the Pavilion was constructed everyone obviously wants to get under the roof! Of the 98 stalls at the Ag Park, only 40 of those are currently under the roof. With only a third of our vendors under the roof, there are still a lot of pop-up tents going up Saturday mornings, leaving those vendors, their products, and our customers still exposed to the always-changing Missouri weather. With your help, we can put the whole market under one roof in 2022. Our capital campaign, Build This Town, has a goal of raising the remaining funds needed for wings, $200,000, by June 1st. If we can hit that goal, we can mobilize a construction crew to build the wings this coming winter. With the market using the entire footprint during the summer, the winter months are the only time construction can take place. With your support, we can finish the MU Health Care Pavilion, and get everyone, under one roof next year! To donate visit www.BuildThisTown.org/donate.