Markets range from small mini-markets to large farmers markets.
Community food distribution
Farmers market and vendor guidelines
City of Minneapolis COVID-19 guidance for Minneapolis farmers markets and vendors
Minnesota Department of Agriculture COVID-19 Guidance for Minnesota Farmers' Markets and Vendors
Community garden recommendations
COVID-19 community garden recommendations
Becoming a vendor
To become a vendor at a Minneapolis farmers market or other public market, contact the market manager.
All vendors must be invited to participate in markets and public events by the market manager or the event food sponsor.
Every invited vendor must give their permit or license number, or exemption information, to the market manager.
Vendors at Minneapolis farmers markets must get a Minneapolis Seasonal Food Permit, with some exceptions. Exceptions are food trucks licensed by the City of Minneapolis and exempt vendors (see #2 below).
Vendors allowed at Minneapolis farmers markets:
Seasonal Food Permit vendor
This permit allows vendors to participate in farmers markets and public events in Minneapolis.
Seasonal Food Permit vendors typically:
- Provide food intended for immediate consumption
- Provide packaged food intended for off-site consumption
- Resell produce
- Are wild harvesters - A wild harvester is a vendor who sells products that are grown and harvested on land that is not owned or leased by the harvester, and who is licensed according to Minnesota law or city ordinance.
- Are farm processors - A farm processor is a vendor who sells products that are grown, raised or harvested on land owned or leased by the farm processor and have additional ingredients added that are purchased and/or not grown, raised or harvested by them on their land such as to produce sausage, bacon, cheese, flavors added to honey or maple syrup, etc. and who is licensed according to Minnesota law or city ordinance.
You must get a Seasonal Food Permit even if you have a:
- Restaurant license
- State retail or state mobile food license (such as a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Mobile Food Unit or a Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Retail Mobile Food Handler license)
The Seasonal Food Permit fee is $240. Seasonal Food Permits are valid for one year, from April 1 through March 31.
A maximum of two stands can operate under each permit per event.
State law allows specific vendors to operate without a permit or license. You are an exempt vendor if you meet the definition of exempt vendor in state law.
If you are a Cottage Food Producer, you must be registered with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to use your exemption.
- A Cottage Food Producer is an individual who prepares and sells home processed non-time and temperature control for safety food directly to the consumer.
- Cottage Food Producers must meet the requirements of MN Stat 28A.152.
- Visit the MDA website for information on becoming a registered cottage food producer.
You must tell the market manager if you are an exempt vendor. You do not need to be registered with MDA if you are one of the following vendor types.
- Product of the Farm vendor - A grower, or a group of growers, who sell products that are grown, raised or harvested on land owned or leased by the grower(s) with no off-farm ingredients added. Examples include vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats, plants, flowers, honey, maple syrup, etc. as recognized by MN Stat. 28A.15.
- Meat Processor – Farmers who sell meat from their own animals that have been processed at a state “equal to” or USDA facility. No ingredients may be added to the meat. To be exempt from licensing, farmers must only sell their inspected meat.
- Food demonstration and sampling - A market sponsored food demonstration and sampling activity. The main ingredient(s) used must be from vendors at the market. The market must have a MN registered Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) present during food demonstrations. The demonstration must meet promotional or educational purposes as defined in MN 28A.151.
- Poultry Processors - Farmers selling whole or cut up poultry (no other ingredients added) from their own flock that were slaughtered at an MDA inspected facility.
Minneapolis Licensed Food Trucks
Food trucks with a Minneapolis Mobile Food Vehicle Vendor license are allowed at farmers markets and at permitted public events in Minneapolis.
Using mechanical refrigeration
Vendors with cold time/temperature control for safety foods must use mechanical refrigeration certified or classified for sanitation by an ANSI accredited certification program (such as NSF, CSA, ETL, or UL).
Time/temperature control for safety (TCS) food is any perishable food that can support rapid and progressive grown of infection or toxigenic microorganisms.
If you have questions, conact Minneapolis 311. Ask to speak with a health inspector on the food permit team.
Farmers market vendor categories
Table of farmers market vendor types with the permit or inforamtion to give to your market manager.
Minneapolis seasonal food permitRegister with market manager and the MN Dept. of AgricultureÈ
|If you are a||Then you need|
|Seasonal vendor||Minneapolis seasonal food permit|
|Farm processor||Minneapolis seasonal food permit|
|Wild harvester||Minneapolis seasonal food permit|
|Regestered cottage food vendor||Register with market manager and the MN Dept. of Agriculture|
|Registered poultry Processor||Register with market manager and the MN Dept. of Agriculture|
|Product of the farm||Register with market manager|
|Meat processor||Register with market manager|
|Food sampling/demo||Register with market manager|
The market manager is responsible for the:
- Control of the market
- Removal of vendors who were not invited to the event
The market manager must be present when the market is open to the public.
The market manager must make sure all food vendors are permitted or licensed before operating at the market, unless they are an exempt vendor. Refer to the section Becoming a vendor above.
The market manager must keep an accurate record of each vendor. Minneapolis Public Market ordinance 201.95 lists the information that must be recorded. The records must be easily available and given to City of Minneapolis staff when requested. Logs must be kept for one year.
Green To Go at markets
Market managers are responsible for the collection and handling of to-go food and drink containers at their market.
Market managers must:
- Provide recycling collection bins for recyclable food and drink containers
- Provide organics collection bins if any vendors use compostable plastic food containers
- Have systems in place to send materials collected for recycling or composting
Visit Green To Go for more information.
Market managers looking for vendors can use these lists. The City of Minneapolis does not endorse any company or individual.
MDA Cottage Food Producer lookup - lookup under a business name or the name of a registered individual
Operating a licensed market
Opening and operating a farmers market or other public market in Minneapolis requires a license with a plan review approval.
Minneapolis has three types of market licenses:
- Farmers markets
- Mini markets
- Produce and craft markets