We are aware that a former volunteer with our organization is putting out quite a bit of misinformation regarding the Attleboro Farmers Market. Normally we ignore this kind of stuff and let our hard work and overwhelming success speak for itself. We as a Board are proud of our 9 years of dedication that has lead us to being named the #1 Farmers Market in the state! It’s unfortunate that such a wonderful asset to our community, and the people who run it, are under attack… Again.
The Attleboro Farmers Market is a not-for-profit corporation that each year files our incorporation papers necessary under the general laws of the Commonwealth (starting in 2011). We are current and our corporation is legal. The Annual report for this season was filed April 26, 2019 and then certified by the state on June 28, 2019.
Collectively we will be forever grateful to Councilor Conti for bringing us all together 10 years ago at the Attleboro Public Library to figure out how to revitalize the decades old downtown farmers market. It was a sad day when Mr. Conti and his wife resigned their volunteer duties two years into the revitalization as a result of an escalating disagreement between the Market and the Attleboro Public Library Board of Trustees.
After the Conti’s departure the market continued to grow. We consulted with Attorney Edward Casey to discuss how to protect the market, each volunteer and the city of Attleboro as a whole and ensure that we were in compliance with all laws of the Commonwealth. It was determined that because our income equals our expenses at the end of the year, we should form a not-for-profit LLC as becoming a full 501non profit would be cost prohibitive.
The Attleboro Farmers Market works within a very tight budget. As stated earlier we spend every penny that comes in on the operations needed to run this very successful market. In the beginning of the year, we evaluate the probable number of full/half year and part time vendors and develop a marketing and operations budget designed to spend every dollar we take in. Our rule of thumb is 40% goes to online advertising, 20% goes to offline marketing/promotions (signs, swag,/print ads) and 25% goes into operations (insurance, port-a-potties, canopies/tables/chairs, paint, miscellaneous expenses etc) 15% goes to paying for music. Each week, we reevaluate our earnings and budget and adjust it as we go through the year. Our fee structure is public with considerations including grandfathered vendors, event pricing and hardship situations. What we charge individual vendors and spend on our specific marketing channels is proprietary. Importantly, (apparently to the disbelief of our naysayers) no member of the board accepts a salary for our estimated 1000+ annual volunteer hours though it would certainly be within our rights to do so. However, we prefer to invest in the market’s growth (and have often personally provided additional funding ourselves). The GOAL of Attleboro Farmers Market is to support small business, not profit from them.
We refuse to let someone’s misplaced anger and aggression dampen our spirits and place a shadow on our success or question our integrity and business practices. It is unfounded and petty and a reflection on that individual and her character, not ours. The fact that someone is trying to cause controversy about our market sure seems to be a sign that we are doing something right.
Attleboro Farmers Market Board of Directors
A list of our non profit vendors from 2019
Attleboro Connections Committee, Hebron Food Pantry, Special Olympics, Empty Bowls Attleboro Area, Boy/Girl Scouts, Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter, Blue Pride Palooza, Attleboro High Music, Bristol Norfolk Medical Reserve, Various Veterans organizations, The Moving Wall, Attleboro Community Theater, Sturdy Memorial Foundation, AFD 848 Boot Drive, Running from Anxiety, Food ‘n Friends, The Holy Family Coptic Orthodox Church Summer Festival, South Attleboro Lions Club, Willett School Garden, Attleboro Community Garden, Attleboro High School Football, Department of Children and Family Services, Brennan Art Club, Bristol County Mosquito Control, Attleboro Youth Baseball, Attleboro Fireworks, Attleboro Youth Commission, RI Master Gardeners, Attleboro Public Library, Attleboro Rotary, Northeast Generals Hockey, Jewelry City Steampunk Committee, YMCA, Friends of Capron Park Zoo.