About Being a Vendor

The indoor market is designed to showcase the variety and quality of food grown, produced or caught in Massachusetts and throughout New England. This opportunity offers prime retail space for local producers in the heart of Boston's emerging Market District.

OVERVIEW

The Boston Public Market is managed by the Boston Public Market Association (BPMA) - a 501 (c) 3 organization whose mission is to operate a permanent year-round market that provides fresh, healthy food to consumers of all income levels, nourishes our community, and educates the public about food sources, nutrition, and preparation.

The Boston Public Market project is a public-private partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, individual and corporate donors, foundations, and the City of Boston.

In 2012, the Association was designated by the Commonwealth as the developer and operator of Boston's Public Market: a 28,000 square-foot indoor retail location on the ground floor of the Haymarket T-station building abutting both Boston's Greenway and Government Center. The Market is located at 100 Hanover Street.

Our goal is to have the highest quality food products from the most local sources. Businesses that educate their customers about their products and production and represent the variety of interest and diversity of backgrounds within our community are encouraged to apply. Favorable consideration will be given to product lines that offer a variety of price points. New and creative ideas are welcomed.

All vendors are required to accept EBT/SNAP/WIC payments for all qualifying product categories. Market management will make the provisions necessary to allow vendors to accept these payments and will promote the opportunity to recipients of EBT/SNAP/WIC.

LOCAL SOURCING

This market is focused on local sourcing. Storefronts are expected to offer food products that either originate or are produced in New England. Prepared food vendors who plan to use a mix of locally sourced products in their offerings will be viewed more favorably than those who do not. 

As part of the application process, all vendors will be subject to an initial inspection to confirm production standards, sourcing, and code compliance prior to lease signing. Subsequently, all BPM vendors will be subject to annual scheduled and random inspections with escalating penalties for non-compliance, up to and including expulsion from the market.

THE INDOOR MARKET

The indoor year-round vending floor accommodates up to 45 permanent vendors' retail locations. Vendors can lease a designated space with water and electric utility hook-ups in which they may create their own retail environment with furniture, fixtures and products. Permanent vendors may build out their space within the BPM's design guidelines to accommodate their businesses' specific needs. Rentable space is modular and able to accommodate concepts that range from as little as 50 square feet to up to 800 square feet. The market hours are 8am - 8pm Monday – Saturday, and 10am – 8pm Sundays.

SEASONAL FARMERS MARKET

The exterior market will be available May-November for vendors who may not be able to make a longer commitment or offer year-round merchandise. Space will be available for lease by season. These vendors will be held to the same local sourcing standards as permanent vendors (products must either originate or be produced in New England).

VENDOR SELECTION

All applicants will be evaluated using a standard scorecard to determine if they meet qualifications for a permanent stall. BPMA is committed to maintain excellent product diversity, and even vendors who are deemed excellent candidates may be waitlisted if their product category is already fully represented in the market. 

The BPM seeks vendors who offer product freshness, consistency, uniqueness, ethnic diversity, taste, and a wide variety of price points. Also taken into consideration are the experience and reputation of the vendor, production practices and standards, financial plans, staffing, pricing, display, proven ability to compete within a product category, and commitment to the BPMA mission. We ask that all vendors include affordable options. Prepared food vendors who plan to use locally sourced products in their offerings will be scored more favorably than other prepared food concepts. Concepts that integrate prepared food, grab-and-go, or other value-added foods within a broader grocery retail concept will be viewed as highly favorable.

Prospective vendors will be evaluated across three categories: Product Quality, Local Sourcing and Business Plan. Within each category, applicants' vending concept will be graded on a broad set of standards.

1. Product Quality standards will include, among other things, an assessment of: taste, freshness, consistency, price point(s), ethnic diversity, and uniqueness.

2. Local Sourcing will be evaluated in an effort to create a marketplace that best reflects the variety of our local New England community. Both the location of production, and in the case of prepared foods, the origin of ingredients will be taken into consideration.

3. Business Plan/Operations criteria will include a vendor's experience, financial plan including their financial offer (or rent), staffing, vending plan, business size and current number of sales outlets, and impact on local economy.

LEASE AND RENT STRUCTURE: "FINANCIAL INTEREST"

We view our vendors as our business partners. Our job is to foster an overall market assortment that best attracts regular foot traffic by a variety of customers. We provide the cleaning, maintenance and repair, general building services and loading area, the advertising and marketing of the Public Market, the upkeep of all common areas, and ongoing community programming and promotional activities. Vendors must have a commitment to participate in market management and to their fellow vendors, to maintain high standards of customer service and product quality, and to meet their financial obligations.

Leases and rents will differ by vendor based on their location in the market, the size of the stall, length of lease term, initial build-out of the stall, the type of product, and whether the vendor is a start-up or an experienced business. Rents will be a combination of a base rent per square foot and a percentage of sales.

As part of the application process, vendors are required to submit a statement of "Financial Interest." We ask vendors to reflect a financial offer (or rent structure) that they feel is both profitable for them and fair for the rest of the marketplace. Financial interest in participating in the market will be only one of a number of criteria considered in vendor selection.

3 STEP VENDOR APPLICATION

1. INTENT TO APPLY. All vendors interested in leasing space must submit their "Intent to Apply" to: vendor@bostonpublicmarket.org.

2. VENDOR APPLICATION. All vendors who submit an Intent To Apply will receive a Vendor Application.

3. LEASE NEGOTIATION AND STALL DESIGN. All vendors selected to vend at the market will enter the third stage of the process and engage in lease negotiations and stall design. A deposit will be required to reserve vendors' selected spaces.