Vendor Handbook

Mission Statement: To form a relationship with local growers and food producers and to provide fresh, seasonal produce and agricultural products for our community while fostering a sense of place in Old Town Coppell.

Governance

CFM Staff

  • Farmer’s Market Director: Amanda Austin, contact: email [email protected] or text 214-972-8449
  • On-Site Assistants: Christa & Kenya
  • EBT/Card Terminal Operator: Sandy
  • Volunteer Staff

Organization

With the support of the City of Coppell, the Coppell Farmers Market (CFM) was established in 2003 by citizens who had a vision for a farmers market in Old Town Coppell.

The CFM Committee, a steering committee of citizen volunteers, supervises the market. A paid market director is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the market and maintains primary contact with the vendors, the city, and the steering committee. The city provides a liaison to the market to support the relationship between the market and the city.

Vendor input is vital to the success of the market and is coordinated through the market manager.

The 501(c)3 non-profit organization that oversees the market is the Coppell Sustainable Food Organization.

Market Operations

Market Dates:

The Coppell Farmers Market is open weekly April thru mid-December and Second and Fourth Saturdays from January-March. The CFM is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas weekends.

Market Hours:

The Market is open from 8 am – Noon

Schedule

  • 6:30 On-Site Assistants begin setup
  • 6:30-7:50 Vendor Setup
  • 7:55 Parking lot is barricaded – all vehicles must relocate from the loading zone to the parking lot.
  • 8:00 Market Opens
  • 12:00 Market Closes
  • 12:00-1:00 Breakdown
  • 12:45 All carts must be returned.
  • 1:00 Vendor must be loaded and ready to leave.

Services:

  • Loading Dollies shared between vendors.
  • 120v electrical (vendors must request a booth with access to electricity on their application).
  • Drinking Water
  • Restrooms

Fees & Stall Size

Application Fee

A nonrefundable processing fee of $25 must accompany new vendor applications, paid online.

Weekly Stall Fees

Stall fees are paid online on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. Invoices are emailed every Wednesday and are due on the following market day.

Vendors who fail to notify the Market Manager of an absence will be charged the stall fee for their missed day.

  • Outside Stall (10’ X 10’): $20
  • Pavilion Stall:
    - Large (12’ X 9’): $30
    - Small (9’X9’): $25
  • Food Trucks/Trailers: $35
  • Student Groups, Non-Profit Organizations, City Affiliate: $0

Vendor Types & Definitions

VENDOR TYPES
Our market hosts food producers only, with very minimal exceptions for body care, home cleaning products, and food-related services. We also reserve one booth space per week for Community Groups. 

 

Farmers
Any vendor who grows, raises, and/or wild-harvests a food product.

  • Farmers – Growers of vegetables, herbs, fruits, nuts, mushrooms, cactus, nursery products, grains, pulses, flowers, and other horticultural crops
  • Ranchers – Producers of animal-based products, including meat, eggs, and dairy products
  • Other – Producers of other raw, unprocessed products that are grown or raised on a farm, ranch, plant nursery, or wild-harvested in accordance with relevant regulations, to include honey, seafood, foraged foods, and garden/landscaping plants.

Specialty Food Artisan
Any vendor who uses one or more ingredients to create a product by processing, blending, packaging, or altering using other preparation methods.

  • Prepared Food Vendors – Any vendor who prepares foods in an approved production facility or commercial kitchen to be consumed off-site or to be used as an ingredient.
  • Cottage Food Vendors – Producer of foods prepared under the Texas Cottage Food Law (Texas Department of State Health Services, Health and Safety Code, Title 6, Chapter 437). To learn if your business qualifies, see details under Addendum 1, found at the bottom of this page.
  • Food Trucks- Any vendor who prepares food in a mobile kitchen to be served and consumed at the market. Limited space available.

Services

Any vendor who provides a service to enhances the Market in some meaningful and mission-aligned manner may be allowed to participate.


Community Groups
Nonprofit Organizations, Student Groups (k-12), Governmental Entities, and Young Entrepreneurs (k-12) 

Coppell based organizations registered as either a federal or state nonprofit, students and student groups (k-12), or governmental agencies.

Vendor Requirements

All Vendors

  1. All products sold at the Coppell Farmers Market must be grown, raised, and produced directly by the vendor. Very few exceptions are considered (see Agricultural Producers Rule 2 for details).
  2. All production must take place in North Central Texas (within 150 miles) and must be performed using land and facilities that the Vendor controls through ownership, lease, rental, or other legal agreement.
  3. Products must be produced and sold in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  4. Vendors are responsible for maintaining required permits, licenses, and certifications for all products they produce. Details can be found under addendum 1 at the bottom of the page.
  5. Vendors must follow product sampling guidelines as specified by the City of Coppell Environmental Health Dept. Sampling guidelines can be found under Addendum 2, at the bottom of the page.
  6. Vendors are permitted to sell only items that were approved upon application. New products intended for sale by current vendors but not included on the most recently approved application must be approved prior to their sale at Market. To make a request to add or change product inventory, vendors must send an email to [email protected]
  7. Farm and Kitchen visits will be conducted by CFM volunteer staff within 6 months of new vendor admittance and on occasion as years pass.
  8. All vendors are subject to audits if there's concern about the source of any products. See addendum 3 for audit details, at the bottom of this page.
  9. The market will not hold financial or legal responsibility for consumer illness or dissatisfaction with vendor products.

Agricultural Producers

  1. We make very few exceptions to our producer-only guideline and any vendor who sells a sourced product without prior approval will be no longer be allowed to participate in our market. For details, see addendum 4, at the bottom of this page.
  2. Only certified organic growers may display signs using the word organic and all items sold as organic must meet the requirements of the National Organic Program. Sellers of organic items must send a copy of their certification to [email protected] upon application approval.
  3. Approved Vendors may sell plants and trees, fresh and dried flowers, herbs and decorative vegetation grown or legally gathered themselves. Purchased nursery stock must be repotted and grown for a minimum of four weeks before being sold.

Animal Producers

  1. Animals must be raised and managed using humane husbandry practices and environmentally sound methods.
  2. Live animals are not allowed to be sold.


Specialty Food Artisans

  1. Products must be processed and packaged by the vendor in their own facility or lease facility.
  2. The use of recyclable/compostable food containers is preferred and encouraged.
  3. Use of locally sourced ingredients is preferred.

Community Groups

Nonprofit Organizations, Student Groups (k-12), Governmental Entities, and Young Entrepreneurs (k-12) must comply with the following:

  1. Must follow all applicable market rules.
  2. Market walk-throughs to solicit or recruit participants is prohibited.
  3. Coppell-based, Non-Profit organizations and Student Groups (k-12) may participate no more than once per season.
  4. Young Entrepreneurs must be k-12 students and can participate no more than 3 times per season.

Market Day Rules & Regulations

  1. Smoking and vaping: Smoking and vaping are prohibited at the Market, including beneath the pavilion and in surrounding green spaces and parking lots.
  2. Alcohol and drugs: The consumption of alcoholic beverages or drugs is prohibited at the Market.
  3. Accessibility: Pre-determined fire lanes and ADA pathways cannot be blocked.
  4. Soliciting and Canvassing: Soliciting and canvassing at the market is prohibited by city ordinance 9-11-3.
  5. Stall Assignments:
    1. Our market assigns stalls on a long-term basis, meaning we prioritize maintaining vendor location whenever possible. Newly approved vendors are placed where there's an open stall.
    2. Stall assignments are reconsidered annually or when a change of the stall layout is required.
    3. Stall assignments are based on attendance, product mix and logistical constraints as determined by the Market Director and Committee.
    4. Irregularly attending vendors and vendors who do not attend year-round will be assigned to a stall in our part-time vendor row.
    5. Vendors may request a maximum of two stalls. Request must be emailed to [email protected]
    6. Pavilion stalls are available by application only. The application is sent to vendors by email on an annual basis, during the month of January.  Vendors must meet the following guidelines to apply for a pavilion stall:
      - Attend year-round and with regularity (no more than 10 market days missed per season). Attendance is reviewed at the end of each season.
      - Must have front of table signage. Hanging banners not permitted.
      - Pay a higher stall fee than vendors assigned to outside stalls.
      - Pavilion stall assignments expire after two market seasons. When a vendor’s term expires, they must reapply.
  6. Stall Requirements:
    1. Canopy or coverings is required for all stalls located outside the pavilion.
    2. Vendors shall provide all their own equipment. The CFM will not provide weights, canopies, tables, or chairs.
    3. Equipment must not exceed the parameters of the Stall.
    4. All canopies and other forms of stall cover must be sufficiently and safely secured to the ground with weights from the moment the canopy is erected until it is taken down. We require at least 20 lbs. per canopy leg. If coverings are inadequately secured, the vendor will be required to take down the covering, or in some cases, to leave the market for the day.
  7. Signs:
    Refer to this article for helpful signage and stall setup tips.
    1. All farmers/producers are required to post the followings signs every market day:-Product prices.
      -Business name. The sign and lettering must be large enough to be easily read from a 6 ft. distance.
      - A list of accepted forms of payment. Standard forms of payment include: SNAP benefits, cards, cash, tokens, and cashless app types and user handles.
    2. All Prepared-Food & Cottage-Food Producers are required to post product types on the front of their canopy or tablecloth every market day (i.e. baked goods, coffee, pickles, bread, etc.)
    3. Signage must be accurate and truthful in claims of production practices, sourcing, or other claims.
    4. Signs cannot be posted outside the stall perimeter.
    5. Pavilion Stall Signage Requirement:
      -Signage cannot be mounted to the pavilion posts, walls, or windows.
      -Front of Table, table-top, and floor signs are to be used in place of banners.
      -Signs cannot be placed in the aisle or outside of the stall perimeter.

8. Attendance

  1. Attendance directly impacts stall assignments.
  2. Written notice of absence must be given as soon as possible and no later than 7:30am on the market day. Email or text notice to [email protected]ellfarmersmarket.org or 214-972-8449
  3. A vendor who no-call, no-shows on a regular basis will not be permitted to participate in the CFM.
  4. We prefer year-round, weekly attendance. We can make few exceptions upon request but part-time or seasonal vendors must follow a schedule (1st/3rd Saturday, 2nd/4th Saturdays, or XYZ months of the year).

9. Parking: See Vendor Parking Map at the bottom of this page. Vendors are prohibited from parking in spaces highlighted in yellow. Vendors with physical limitations or disabilities are exempt from this rule.

10. Pricing:

  1. The sale or likely sale of goods at less than fair value (dumping) is prohibited.
  2. Vendors will determine the prices of their own products.

11. Professional Manner:

      1. Vendors must represent their products in an honest manner, whether written or verbal.
      2. When market staff notices that a vendor has become burned out or no longer happy with attending the market, their participation will be reassessed. When personal life problems are impacting a vendor’s success and participation, leave of absence can be granted.
      3. Vendors must conduct themselves in a courteous and professional manner and must treat customers, staff, volunteers, and fellow vendors with respect.
      4. Inaccurate, inappropriate, threatening, or harassing words or statements construed as disparaging or harmful to other vendors, vendor-to-customer relationships or the Market is prohibited and can be grounds for termination.
      5. No disruptive or aggressive promotion is allowed.

 

12. Housekeeping 

  1. Vendors are responsible for keeping their area clean during market and are responsible for cleaning their stall location after market is over.
  2. Unsold product and packing boxes must be carried off site.
  3. No music other than that provided by the Market is allowed.

 

13. Natural Gas and Propane Use: Natural Gas and Propane use is prohibited at the market.

14. Electric Use: Please be aware of overloading our breakers. Each power outlet can handle only ONE heating appliance. Always inform market staff of power outages so that the city electrician can be contacted.

15. Space Heaters (electric and propane) are prohibited.

SNAP/EBT

Our market accepts SNAP/EBT.

What is SNAP? SNAP is a USDA program that provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of persons in need.

How do vendors sell product to SNAP customers? EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) refers to the use of a SNAP card, similar to a debit card, to make purchases. The USDA requires use of a special card processing machine to process EBT payments. The market has the required machine and SNAP users swipe their cards at the market info/token booth.

Which market products can vendors sell to SNAP customers?

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, and Dairy
  • Breads and Other Baked Goods
  • Cereal and Edible Grains
  • Packaged Foods not for onsite consumption
  • Food-producing Plants or Seeds

Which market products are ineligible for SNAP purchase? 

  • Flowers, Non-food items
  • Soap, Household Items
  • Pet Foods
  • Foods sold hot
  • Food or drinks intended for onsite consumption
  • Any foods purchased for the purpose of reselling

Market Tokens 

Market tokens are available for customer purchase when they swipe their credit, debit, or EBT card. Vendors redeem the tokens for cash at the close of the market day. 

Token Reimbursement Protocol: 

1.) Tokens can be reimbursed between 11:30 and 12:15 each market day.

2.) Vendors must submit their tokens in a market-issued plastic bag.  No exceptions. Replacement token bags are available.

3.) Submit your token count and totals in writing. Separate line items are needed for red and green tokens.

 

What's the difference between red and green tokens? 

Red Wooden Tokens are worth $1 and are used by SNAP-paying customers only. Cash change CANNOT be given. Only vendors who sell SNAP eligible items can accept red tokens.

Details in the "SNAP" section of this handbook (above).

Green Wooden Tokens are worth $5 and are used by credit or debit card-paying customers. Cash change CAN be given. All vendors are required to accept green tokens.

 

Rule Violations

Vendors will be notified of violations of the rules and regulations by one of two methods:

  1. A verbal notification on a market day from the Market Manager, followed by an email verification.
  2. By written notice from the Committee and Market Manager.

* The Market Director and CFM Committee will be carbon copied on all emails in order to maintain a shared memory and documentation of the issue.

Next Steps:

If a vendor fails to cease or remedy a violation within the time specified, the vendor may be subject to any of the following:

  1. Relocation of stall space.
  2. Temporary suspension or leave from the market.
  3. Permanent suspension from the market.

When resolution can't be reached, the Director and Manager will work with the vendor to plan an exit strategy.

Disputes & Grievances

The following procedures are in place to provide any vendor with a clear process for settling a dispute or addressing a complaint or grievance.

On-Site Resolution of Minor Problems 

The CFM Manager is the first step in addressing any matter. The manager will make every effort to resolve an issue. Vendors are asked to provide the manager with a clear explanation of an issue, and to work with staff to reach a resolution. After gathering all available information, the CFM manager and staff will make a determination regarding the issue based on their interpretation of the best interest of the Market as a whole and the specific circumstances. Vendors must abide by the determination on that Market day so as to maintain order in the Market. If a vendor disagrees with the determination, the formal Grievance Process is in place.

Formal Grievance Process

A vendor must email written statement of the grievance to the Market Manager and Director at [email protected] The Director shall work with the Manager and use best efforts to resolve the grievance within fourteen (14) working days of receiving the written statement. The Manager and Director shall issue a written response to the grievant with either the resolution or next steps if additional time is needed to address the issue. The CFM Committee will be carbon copied on the email in order to maintain a shared memory and record of the issue.

When resolution can't be reached, the Director and Manager will work with the vendor to plan an exit strategy. 

Your Input

Input from vendors, customers, and all CFM stakeholders is valued. If you would like to share any thoughts, please contact the Coppell Farmers Market Director at [email protected]

Addendums

ADDENDUM 1
Permits, Licensing, and Cottage Food Requirements

Who is required to hold a city permit in order to sell at the CFM? Any vendor who processes food in a commercial kitchen or sells raw meat, dairy products, or eggs.

How to obtain a city permit:

While completing the Coppell Farmers Market (CFM) online application:

  1. Sign and upload a completed Farmers Market Permit Form (find the blank form under the “Presented Documents” section of the CFM Application).
  2. Upload the following documents to the “Requested Documents" section:
  • Labels for all products. Labels must list allergens, ingredient list, address of manufacturing facility, Business Name and Phone Number or email address.
  • Copy of your Food Handlers Card.
  • Copy of Food Manufacturing License.
  • Copy of Facility Inspection.
  • Meat producers only: Processing License.

Upon approval of your CFM Application, a permitting fee of $100 will be due to the Coppell Department of Environmental Health. A link to pay the permitting fee online will be emailed to the email address provided on your CFM Application within 5 business days of application approval.

Permitting and Licensing Resources:

  • Food Handlers Card: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/food-handlers/training/online.aspx
  • Facility Inspections are provided by facility operators. Facility operators must obtain an inspection from either the State of Texas Department of Health and State Services, the local city Environmental Health Department, or a third-party inspector.
  • Processing Licenses are provided by facility operators.

 

Process for Cottage Law Food Producers

While completing the CFM online application, upload the following documents to the “Requested Documents" section:

  • Labels for all products. Labels must list allergens, ingredient list, address of manufacturing facility, Business Name and Phone Number or email address.
  • Copy of your Food Handlers Card.

Cottage Law Resources:

Find approved cottage foods, labeling requirement, FAQs, and resources about the Texas Cottage Law at https://texascottagefoodlaw.com/.

Obtain a Food Handlers Card at: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/food-handlers/training/online.aspx

 

How to Obtain a Mobile Food Vendor (Food Truck) Permit

While completing the Coppell Farmers Market (CFM) online application:

  1. Submit the make, model, and VIN number of the food truck.
  2. Sign and upload a completed Farmers Market Permit Form (find the blank form under the “Presented Documents” section of the Coppell Farmers Market (CFM) Application).
  3. Upload the following documents to the “Requested Documents" section:
  • Copy of Vent Hood Inspection.
  • Copy of Commissary Agreement.
  • Copy of Commissary Inspection.

Upon approval of your CFM Application, you’ll schedule a Mobile Food Vendor inspection with the Coppell Department of Environmental Health. The market manager will send an email to connect you with our city’s health department specialist.

Upon passing the Mobile Food Vendor inspection, a permitting fee of $200-$300 will be due to the Coppell Department of Environmental Health. A link to pay the permitting fee online will be emailed to the email address provided on your CFM Application within 5 business days of application approval.

ADDENDUM 2
Sampling Guidelines
*All samples must meet the following criteria. Failure to abide by these sampling requirements may result in the loss of sampling privileges. Please note a sample is defined as a bitesize portion of a full serving.

Raw Fruit and Vegetable Sampling:

  1. Any produce intended for sampling shall be washed prior to cutting with potable water to remove any visible dirt or contamination.
  2. Person preparing samples on-site must perform proper hand washing immediately before preparing samples and wear clean disposable plastic gloves.
  3. When cutting samples: use either
    1. clean, disposable utensils and cutting surfaces, or
    2. smooth, nonabsorbent, and easily cleaned utensils and cutting surfaces.
  4. Potentially Hazardous Foods (PHFs) must be kept at 41°F or below. The following are classified as PHFs:
    1. cut melons
    2. cut tomatoes
    3. cut leafy greens
    4. raw seed sprouts
    5. raw garlic and oil mixtures.
  5. Toothpicks or disposable utensils must be used to distribute the samples.
  6. Samples must be disposed of no later than two hours after cutting or preparing.

Processed, Packaged, and Prepared Food Sampling:

  1. Hand washing set up shall be available. The public restrooms located on site will suffice.
  2. Potentially hazardous food shall be maintained at 41 F or below, and hot food shall be maintained at 135 F or above.
  3. Samples must be bitesize.
  4. Toothpicks, disposable utensils, or individual packaging must be used to distribute the samples.
  5. On-site preparation of food products is prohibited.

ADDENDUM 3
Audit Procedure 

When Coppell Farmers Market staff, volunteers, or customers suspect that a vendor may be reselling unapproved items, the vendor in violation will be subject to an on-farm audit.

The audit will be performed by the Market Director within 72 hours of notification to the vendor. The auditor will provide a listing of item(s) in question and may provide an image of the item(s) in question (as they were represented on a market day). The vendor in question will be required to show or prove the source of the item(s) on the auditors list. The market may review of harvest or production records (to be provided by the vendor), tour the site of production (including washing, packing, or warehouse facilities), and in the case of farm audits, look for plants of origin of the item(s) in question.

ADDENDUM 4
Exceptions to Producer-Only Guidelines and Approval Procedure

In very seldom cases, the CFM will permit the sale of items not produced by the vendor. Exceptions to this rule will only be considered if full disclosure of the name and contact information of the source is filed with the market and signage is posted at the vendor stall to indicate the source (business name and location) of the approved items. In some cases, labels will suffice in place of signage. The business of origin will be subject to a site visit.

To apply to sell sourced items, submit a request in writing to [email protected] Include every item you wish to sell along with the name, address, and contact information of the business of origin

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