The Central Area Collaborative (CAC) and other neighborhood groups are maintaining open dialogue to help local neighborhood vendors showcase their products in New Seasons Market Grocery stores. As the CAC asks questions….New Seasons provides answers. Below is our most recent dialogue and information provided by New Seasons Market:

KARINDA HARRIS (New Seasons Community Manager)

This month, we will hold a vendor fair for our Ballard store. It’ll be held at the Northgate Community Center (10510 5th Ave NE) on Tuesday, Feb 20, beginning at 10:30am until 4:30 or so. We will extend the time, if needed. Vendors will need to make online appointments; slots are in 20 minute increments. If vendors have specific questions, they can contact me or Chris directly. Chris is planning to hold a similar fair for the CD Store later in the year.

CENTRAL AREA COLLABORATIVE (Leadership Committee Members)

 How do vendors get prepared?

CHRIS TJERSLAND (New Seasons Partner Brands Development Manager)

 Each vendor will have 20 minutes to present their product and share a few samples.  I would suggest they bring 1-2 product samples, examples of packaging, any information on pricing and order minimums.  This will start the conversation and give our buyers the information they need to make a decision

CENTRAL AREA COLLABORATIVE (Leadership Committee Members)

What does it mean to be ready?

CHRIS TJERSLAND (New Seasons Partner Brands Development Manager)

Great question.  I have attached a form that would be helpful for each vendor to fill out and bring with them to the meeting.  It’s a top line overview of who they are and information about their product.  Here are the key things that determine if a vendor is ready:

  • Is the product made in a licensed production facility or kitchen?
  • Is the product properly packaged and labeled for sale, i.e. label follows FDA guidelines and includes information about ingredients and any allergens?
  • Does the product have a UPC?
  • Does the product have a shelf-life that has been tested or verified by the Washington Dept of Health.   Perishable products are critical in this one since many have a short shelf life.
  • Proof of Product Liability Insurance

 

CENTRAL AREA COLLABORATIVE (Leadership Committee Members)

Do they bring their food products, any products, packaging, merchandising?

CHRIS TJERSLAND (New Seasons Partner Brands Development Manager)

Our meetings are very user friendly and our buyers really just need the basics.  It’s important to bring product to sample with the buyer so they can taste and give feedback.  Packaging is important so we can make sure it will fit on the shelf and is properly labeled.  Any product information and details – price, case pack, i.e most of the stuff on the attached form. Note – since most of our team is traveling we will have limited space to take samples home so keep samples at a minimum.

CENTRAL AREA COLLABORATIVE (Leadership Committee Members)

What are they supposed to be able to talk about?

CHRIS TJERSLAND (New Seasons Partner Brands Development Manager)

Talk about themselves, their product and the passion behind what they do.  We want to get to know what makes each vendor unique and the story behind what they do.  That’s what matters to us and our customers.  Twenty minutes can go fast so I would suggest they keep it simple, there is always time for follow-up after.

Two more key points:

  1. If a vendor has a product that is almost but not quite ready for us to sell they are welcome to present and get feedback.  If they aren’t ready in time for Grand Opening we can still look at them to be introduced at a later date.  We review and add products to our stores on a regular basis.  That said, products presented should have some concept of what finished product and packaging will look like.
  2. It’s okay to ask questions.   We don’t expect everyone to have all the answers so feel free to come with questions and our buyers will help them work through it.

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