The Cheverly Community Market was founded in 2007. Local resident Crystal Lal and a small group of committed friends and neighbors wanted to have access to good, fresh food in the neighborhood and develop relationships with local growers and producers. Finding locally grown food in Cheverly has been a great challenge. We've grown accustomed to trips to distant farmer's markets and CSAs, but soaring fuel prices and a growing awareness of the importance of being a "locavore" created a desire for a farmer's market within walking distance of most Cheverly homes. That interest in a deeper relationship with and understanding of locally sourced food led the group to form the Cheverly Community Market.
Now in our sixth season, the Market has grown from four vendors to about 20. The Market is governed by a Board of Directors representing expertise in agriculture, business, government, education, and food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does my money go when I spend it at the market?
Your dollars go directly to the individual vendors. Each vendor is an individual enterprise which, in turn, pays a table fee to Cheverly Community Market. The Market uses the money for supplies, publicity, outreach and modest compensation for our manager(s) for running the market throughout the season.
In addition to table fees, the Market has held fundraisers, such as Cheverly Community Market Days at Behnke's Nurseries, potluck dinners, the sale of herbs and seasonings from Vann's Spices and Landreth seeds and also the sale of goat cheese, Christmas trees and raffle tickets.
Of course, what makes the market really work is the hours of effort put in by volunteers helping with publicity and promotion, providing music, advising the market managers, keeping our books and also assisting vendors on market days.
Why is the market held only every other Saturday?
In our first year, we tried this schedule because we were starting small and wanted to "test the waters" to see if there was really a demand for local produce on a regular basis. We were also able to attract some vendors who couldn't commit to a full season but were willing to fit our small market into their busy schedules on a biweekly basis. Many of these original vendors have stayed with us because this schedule has worked well for them. Now we maintain this schedule because it works for us. Certainly, having a market every week is a goal for the future. Despite there being many other Saturday markets throughout the state, we still thought it would be the best day for the community-enhancing experience within Cheverly.
What constitutes local produce at the Market?
Our vendors represent mostly Maryland agriculture, including aquaculture and viticulture, but we also have vendors from Pennsylvania. Cheverly Community Market defines "local" as being within a roughly 125-mile radius of Washington D.C. Our goal is to get the freshest food to you as fast as possible.
Why isn't there more organic produce available at the market?
All of our farmers subscribe to the philosophy of "best farming practices". That means that if you take care of the land, the land takes care of you. The quality of our produce reflects this: when you buy local, you are buying fruits or vegetables that have ripened on the vine or on the tree until the optimal moment for picking, not for shipping. You are buying varieties that are bred to taste better, not travel better. Buying locally grown food not only reduces our carbon footprint, but preserves the land and open space right next to us so that we can breathe cleaner air and keep our children in touch with nature and their place on the food chain. Buying local -- whether at theCheverly Commuity Market or at the grocery store -- means choosing the most nutritious food for your family every day. We think that's important.
Why aren't there wineries at every market?
Cheverly Community Market was the first farmer's market in Maryland to feature Maryland wine. Under current Maryland law, our wineries are alloweda limited number of special event permits (that includes any appearances where wine is poured) per county per year. Each winery must factor in the growing number of wine festivals statewide and the numerous specific regulations each county has about these appearances. As the laws governing sales of alcohol change, we are committed to welcoming the best local producers to the Market.And, while we're not always certain what the future of liquor sales at Cheverly Community Market holds, we are proud of being a small part of this growing state industry, and will continue to promote the pairing of local wine and liquor with local food.
How does one become a vendor at the market?
Keeping in mind that the main mission of our market is to promote local food and community, at the beginning of every year our market manager sends out contracts and a market schedule to existing vendors, asking for a commitment to the whole season. Those who can commit to a whole season will be given preference. They send in their application fee with their applications before the beginning of the season, having made arrangements on how they want to pay their table fees. The inclusion of new vendors, including farmers, food vendors, artists, craftspeople, and community groups is entirely at the discretion of the Market Manager. We strive for a varied selection of items that cannot be easily found in our immediate area, with a preference given to food products.
2013 Special Markets Application and Handbook
2013 Vendor Handbook
2013 VendorGuidelines & Application
What is Cheverly Community Market's policy regarding community group and non-profit tables? Cheverly Community Market recognizes the important opportunity that the Market provides for Non-Profit and Community groups to convey their message yet we also need to stay true to our mission and want to maintain the friendly open atmosphere of the Market.
As a result the Market Board is enacting this policy:
In order to best fulfill our mission - building a vibrant market that strengthens a sense of community, supports fresh food from local sources, and encourages local business and arts - the Cheverly Community Market will have one fundraising/vending table available for the regular market table fee, per market, on a first come-first served application basis for non-profit and community groups. Additionally, there will be space set aside for up to four informational tables per market through pre-arrangement with the market manager, and meeting the criteria below.
All non-profit groups must provide the Market Manager with satisfactory proof of the organization's non-profit status or be recognized by the Town of Cheverly as having community group status, and of his or her position as a representative of the organization. If applying for fundraising/vending table, sale items must be approved in advance by the Market Manager and be in line with the mission of the Cheverly Community Market.
Non-profit/Community groups must abide by these rules:
- Individuals or groups may not interfere with Market operations by aggressively soliciting signatures, donations or attention. Any activities undertaken at the Market may not block pedestrian traffic flow or access to assigned seller stall spaces.
- All individuals or groups must stay with their tables or displays. At no time may representatives walk through the Market handing out information.
- Individuals or groups must accept the spaces assigned to them by the Market Manager.
- Each organization or individual appearing at an Information Table must prominently display its name and bring its own tables and chairs.
- The Market retains the right to regulate the time, place and manner of activities relating to displays, signs, posters, placards and other expressions of the interests represented. The use of "fighting words", obscenities, grisly or gruesome displays or highly inflammatory slogans likely to provoke a disturbance may be prohibited by the Market Manager.
- No political campaigning is permitted at any time within Cheverly Community Market.
The Board of Directors has authorized the Market Manager to enforce the above rules. Violation could mean immediate or seasonal expulsion from the Market. Appearance at the Market does not constitute an endorsement from the Cheverly Community Market of any group, cause, or opinion.
Our 2013 Special Markets Application and Handbook is now available. The application deadline has been extended to Monday, October 28.
2013 Community Group and Non-Profit Group Policy & Application
How can I get involved in the Market?
First, make the market one of your regular destinations on Saturday morning. Shop, learn more by talking with our vendors, and relax and visit with your neighbors over a cup of coffee and a pasrty. And tell all your friends to meet you at the market! Second, we always need volunteers to set up and take down tables on market days, and to help vendors load in and out. We also need help during special market events. In short, we could always use an extra hand!
Organizationally, we are a work in progress. If you think you have the special skills necessary to guide us to becoming a sustainable enterprise, we need you. We especially need fundraising help and grant-writing expertise as our direction becomes clear. Please visit our Support & Volunteer page for more information.