How To Become A Vendor
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Do you have an awesome Ohio product?  Are you interested in becoming a vendor with Harvest?

Do you have an awesome Ohio product?

 

Are you interested in becoming a Vendor with Harvest?

   ********************************

 

If the answer to those two questions are "YES!", then read through the

information below and contact our store manager, Clint A. LeVan to get started!

 


 

What type of store Harvest is (and isn't):

Harvest at The Woodward is a local (Ohio) food grocery store serving the needs of the customers in our area.  Harvest is a consignment store, offering two options to our vendors depending on whether they choose to volunteer each month or not.  We are not a surplus store nor are we are not a part-time market.  Not every product is a fit for our store and our customers.  You may have more than one product available and we may only elect to carry specific items from your product line, Harvest makes that choice, not the vendor.  We do not charge our vendors a membership or shelf rental fee to carry their products.  The only fee is a percentage consignment fee deducted from monthly sales.

 


 

Information You Need To Know:

All potential vendors must agree to our Standards of Use in order to become a vendor with Harvest.  Each category of product may have specific standards that are required.  All federal, state and local laws must be followed by the vendor as well.  Every vendor is expected to produce a short bio for their business or product so that they can be featured in our weekly e-newsletter.  Our current Standards of Use are posted next.

 


 

Standards of Use

General Seller Guidelines:

Harvest is part of the Woodward Local Food Initiative (WLFI).  By selling at Harvest the vendor is partnering with WLFI.

Sellers must be based in the State of Ohio

Products must be processed in the state of Ohio

Certain growing/ processing methods will be given preference.  This means that these products may receive more shelf space and advertisement.  (Example:  Non-homogenized milk would be given preference over homogenized milk)

Products must comply with all federal, state, and local health regulations, licensing, and labeling requirements

Vendors are expected to inform themselves on laws and regulations governing the production, display, distribution, sampling and sale of their products.

Sellers of produce must participate in an annual Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training from an accredited source and provide the certificate of completion to sell produce. Harvest Staff maintains the right to determine accredited training programs

There shall be no re-sale of products through the WLFI

Harvest is a grocery store, not a surplus store.  Our customers expect to come in and find their favorite products each time that they shop.  If the vendor is found to be using the store to sell only what they cannot sell elsewhere or to be trying to just “maintain a presence” then this contract will be terminated with cause and the vendor will be informed to remove their product.

Vendors are expected to deliver their product to the store.  At times other arrangements may be made, but this is on a case by case basis at Harvest’s discretion.

Each vendor sets the sales price of the product(s) sold in the store.  It is important that you figure your consignment split into your cost, as well as your other costs when figuring out how much you wish to charge the consumer.

Each vendor will be required to volunteer a minimum of 7 hours per month at the store for an 80/20 split with the store (20% to the store) OR any month that volunteer time is not done then a 70/30 split will apply (30% to the store).  If complete volunteer time is not given during a specific month, the vendor will not receive the volunteer consignment split - you must put in the agreed upon volunteer time each month.

Anyone from the vendor’s business or farm who is age 16 or over may put in the volunteer time.

Vendors are paid only once per month in the month following the month sales were made.  For example, sales made in November will be paid to the vendor in December.  Vendors will not receive a check until consignment sales are $15 or over (or every quarter if sales are still under $15).

 

Definitions:

Locally Grown: Grown or raised in the State of Ohio

Locally Grown & Produced: Product produced in the State of Ohio from start to finish, with primary ingredients grown or raised within the state and processed/packaged here

Locally Produced: Final product processed and packaged in the State of Ohio

In-Market Prioritization:

Food will have priority over non-food products.

Storefront retail space is limited: the amount of space given to each seller is at the discretion of Harvest staff and will be based on product variety and chosen to create the best overall experience for the shopper.

With shelf and cooler/freezer space at a premium, Harvest staff may assign priority to certain sellers based on criterion such as:

Geographical proximity to Knox County

Sustainable practices (e.g. small-scale family operations, limited use of chemical inputs, use of pasture production)

Locally Grown & Produced over Locally Produced

Years as a partner

 

Products:

All products must comply with federal, state, and local health and licensing regulations

Animal Products: Products from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) as defined by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and products from animals treated with growth hormones, such as rBGH, may not be sold through the WLFI

Routine use of antibiotics is discouraged, though we understand that from time-to-time antibiotics may be used on individual animals in time of illness.  If antibiotics are used to treat an illness all withdrawal recommendations from the manufacturer must be followed prior to processing and sale at the WLFI.

Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, ice cream, other milk products)

The farm must be located within the State of Ohio.

Products must be produced in Ohio and processed in the State of Ohio in an inspected and certified facility.

Dairy products from grass-fed animals are given preference.  If grain needs to be fed when grass is unavailable, feed should be non-GMO or organic

Low temp/ vat pasteurization given preference.

Non-homogenized is given preference.

 

Meat (beef, lamb, pork, goat, fish)

Meat animals (except fish) must be owned by the seller for a minimum of ninety days.

Meat must be raised in Ohio and processed in the State of Ohio in an inspected and certified facility.

Meat from grass-fed animals is given preference.  If grain needs to be fed when grass is unavailable, feed should be non-GMO or organic.

Freshwater fish and shellfish must be grown in tanks or ponds located in the State of Ohio.

If fish are commercially harvested, the product must be obtained in a way that does not deplete or endanger the species collected and ensures a sustainable harvest for future generations.

When applicable, a copy of the commercial fishing license must be provided to the WLFI.

All products must be delivered in good condition (frozen).

*Important - Must be labeled with net weight by the meat packing processor (weights wrote in by hand will not be accepted)

Meat (poultry, rabbits)

Poultry may be ordered from any source, but it must be raised in Ohio and processed in the State of Ohio in an inspected and certified facility(s).

Meat from pasture raised poultry or rabbits is given preference.  If grain needs to be fed when pasture is unavailable, feed should be non-GMO or organic

All products must be delivered in good condition (frozen).

*Important - Must be labeled net weight by the meat packing processor (weights wrote in by hand will not be accepted)

Eggs (chicken, turkey, quail, duck, and other poultry)

Follow state and local regulations including permits, facilities, etc.  Labels have to be approved by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The grower must own and raise layers from at least sixteen weeks of age.

Eggs from pasture-raised, free ranging poultry is given preference.  If grain needs to be fed when pasture is unavailable, feed should be non-GMO or organic

Customers prefer cardboard egg cartons over plastic or foam cartons.

Producers may reuse cartons provided that they:

  • Are in clean, good condition

  • Remove all other labels that do not identify the product inside (store labels, “grade A”, etc)

  • The Vendor should check with the store at least once per week (by phone, email, or in person) to see if they have egg carton returns from customers.

Produce: Vegetables and fruits from Ohio farms and gardens may be sold through the WLFI

Grown from seed, transfer or plug within the State of Ohio by the seller.

Includes all forms of production.  No chemical pesticides/ herbicides.

Only fresh harvested products may be sold. Cutting, chopping, washing, shelling, and mixing items grown from a different field is considered processing and must be done in a commercial kitchen facility. Examples of processed items are: carrot sticks, washed salad mix, or mixed items in bags (stir-fry mix or spinach and lettuce salad mix).

If lettuce, greens, herbs, or other produce is in a plastic bag the bag cannot be zipped closed or tied in any way.  It can be folded over, but not secured closed or it is considered processed and must be done in a commercial kitchen.

Harvested lettuce mix grown from mixed seeds is ok, but you are not allowed to mix the lettuce yourself from various patches

Beans dried in the field are considered harvested and are ok. Beans harvested then dried are considered processed and are not ok.

Products can be sold by pint, quart, bunch, or by weight. The weights and measurements department specifies what type of packaging is acceptable accordingly by product (based on what has been traditionally done).

Bagged produce (like potatoes or salad) should include the net weight, price per pound and total weight on the label. Weight should be at least what is in the package (can be more, not less) and should not include the weight of the container/ bag

Items traditionally sold in a “bunch” (Carrots, celery, beets) do not need to have weight • Items sold by volume (pint, quart) do not need to have weight information.

Customers prefer neat products over dirty products.  Brush as much dirt off as you can (do not wash that would be considered processing).

If produce is to be sold bagged, in pints/ quarts or another packaging it must be brought into the WLFI already packaged.  The vendor will not be allowed to package while in the store.

Other: Vegetable byproducts (such as tofu) and meat substitutes, etc. may be sold through the WLFI. Products must be processed in the State of Ohio.

Wild-Crafted/Forged Products: Sellers may collect wild berries, ramps, etc. from within the State of Ohio to sell through the WLFI. Products must be obtained in a way that does not deplete or endanger the species collected and ensures a sustainable harvest for future generations.  No wild mushrooms may be sold in Ohio.

Preserves/Canned Goods: Honey, syrups, relishes, jams/jellies, condiments, and other such goods may be sold through the WLFI.  Products must be produced and processed in the State of Ohio.  If produced at home, Ohio Cottage Food law must be followed.

Baked Goods: Bread, pies, cookies, cakes and other baked goods may be sold through the WLFI.  Products must be produced and processed in the State of Ohio.  If produced at home, Ohio Cottage Food law must be followed.

NOTE: Other food items not mentioned in the above section may be sold through the Woodward Local Food Initiative at the discretion of Harvest Staff.

 

Labeling:

Products must comply with all federal, state, and local labeling requirements.

Sellers should check with the most up-to-date regulations listed by the Ohio

Department of Agriculture at http://www.agri.ohio.gov/

In order to use an “organic” label, the seller must be certified organic and must supply copies of documentation. Small-scale farms are not exempt from this requirement.

Products can say “No sugar added” but cannot say “no sugar” or “less sugar”

If a product is sealed as a gift package and the ingredients are not able to be read, then an additional ingredient label must be placed on the outside of the package.

Cottage Food Labeling:  Are made in your home, no license required

What can you sell?  http://www.agri.ohio.gov/foodsafety/docs/cottage_Food_Rules_final6-09.pdf

All items must all be prepackaged and labeled correctly.  If not labeled correctly the product(s) cannot be accepted or sold.  If you have questions, bring in your label and we’ll gladly look at it with you.

Required on a Cottage Food Label:  

Name of product

Statement of responsibility: name & address • Email, phone optional  

Ingredients in descending order, by weight • All sub ingredients listed out (ex: chocolate chips must list all ingredients used in chocolate chips)  

Net weight in ounces and grams

“This Product is home produced” (10 pt type)

 

Insurance:

Partners, individuals, sellers and/or corporations are not covered under the WLFI’s insurance plan.

If incorporated or an LLC, the seller must provide a certificate of insurance.

Sellers should insure themselves to the level they feel appropriate.

 

Inventory:

The vendor will provide Harvest with inventory (products) on a regular schedule or as needed basis as determined by the store manager.

Harvest is a grocery store, not a surplus store.  Our customers expect to come in and find their favorite products each time that they shop.  If the vendor is found to be using the store to sell only what they cannot sell elsewhere or just trying to just “maintain a presence” then this contract will be terminated with cause and the vendor will be informed to remove their product.

The vendor will let Harvest know of any times/ reasons that non-seasonal inventory will be unavailable, providing the best estimate of when inventory will become available again.

Seasonal inventory items may be made available in the store at the discretion of the store manager.  The vendor will get prior approval before bringing inventory into the store.

Inventory displays will be provided by Harvest.  Any vendor provided inventory displays must receive prior approval from the store manager before being placed.  If a vendor provided inventory displayed is placed in the store, Harvest reserves the right to remove it at any time.  If a vendor provided inventory display is removed by Harvest, the vendor will be notified of a deadline to retrieve it and if it is not retrieved the vendor display will be discarded as Harvest does not have excess storage space.

Harvest reserves the right to accept or refuse any product.

Harvest reserves the right to remove any product from the store.

All inventory (products) coming into (receiving) or being removed (returns) from the store must be listed on the proper Harvest Inventory Form.  The form must be completed entirely and signed by the vendor (you) and a member of Harvest’s staff.  You can obtain copies of the Inventory Form from Harvest Staff or you may ask to have the form emailed to you.

Harvest Staff will use Harvest Inventory Forms to enter inventory data into the computer system to track inventory, sales and vendor payments.

Physical Product Inventory checks will be made available to sellers by advance request (via email or the phone) to be updated on a regular basis determined by Harvest Staff.

Harvest staff will do their best to synchronize inventorying and payment checks so as to make the market experience as convenient as possible for sellers.

The Vendor is to inform Harvest of when their product should be discounted in the event that it should become close to it’s “Best by” or “Sell by” date.  (Day of...A day or two before..etc).  The Vendor has the option of not discounting and coming to pick up the items instead.  Vendor needs to let Harvest know what percentage (%) the product should be marked down by.

Vendor Self Stocking Guidelines:

If a vendor chooses to stock their own merchandise or volunteers in the store and is asked to stock another vendor’s merchandise the following guidelines will apply. All vendors must get along when stocking their own merchandise/products or helping stock another vendor’s merchandise/products (when volunteering). No vendor is allowed to push aside, hide, etc another vendor’s products to place their products on top of the shelves. If you stock your own products or stocking another vendor’s products while volunteering and you do not know where to put products, you must ask the staff where it should/needs to be placed on the shelf/shelves. Sometimes current product needs to be rearranged to accommodate the incoming product(s) that need to be put onto the shelf/shelves.

 

If a vendor is caught/knowingly hides, pushes, places on top of another vendor’s product(s) the following actions will occur:

 

First offense: The vendor will be given a warning and the vendor will be made to correct the situation/problem.

 

Second offense: The vendor will not be allowed to bring any products into the store for 30 days. They will only have the products that are currently in the store during that time. On the 31st day, they may resume bringing in additional product/merchandise for sale.

 

Third offense: The vendor will be removed from the store as a vendor permanently and the vendor will have to remove any products from inventory immediately at that time.

 

Vendor Code of Conduct:

Vendors will not talk badly about other vendors.  If there is an issue it should be brought to the store manager’s attention out of earshot of customers and other vendors.

Vendors who volunteer in the store are to come appropriately dressed wearing closed toe, closed back shoes.  No tank tops, cut-offs, plunging necklines, see-through clothes or otherwise revealing outfits.

Vendors who volunteer must actually do what is asked of them in order to receive credit.  Just standing in the store does not mean you are volunteering.  Vendors who are sampling their product should be prepared with enough product to last the entire volunteer time or spend the rest of their time engaging with customers about their product if they run out of samples.

 


 

Required Documentation To Become A Vendor:

 

[  ]  Cottage Foods Vendors (provide label examples)

[  ]  Commercial Kitchen License copy

[  ]  Cannery License copy (does not apply to Cottage Foods jams/ jellies)

[  ]  Bottling Facility License copy

[  ]  Home Bakery License copy

[  ]  State of Ohio Department of Ag Label Approval (Egg vendors only)

[  ]  Proof of Well Inspection (Egg vendors only)

[X]  Insurance verification (applies to EVERY vendor)

[  ]  GAP Certificate (Produce vendors only)

[X]  Biography (Bio applies to all vendors - will be used to feature you in our newsletter)

All items do not apply to every Vendor, with the exception of insurance and a short bio.  

Cottage Food Vendors may supply a copy of their homeowners or renters insurance policy page.

 


 

Does it sound like your product needs a home on Harvest's shelves?  

Here's what to do next:

 

Mail in or Walk in a sample of your product(s) for us to sample and have some of our regular customers sample.

 

Email Clint to request a copy of the Vendor Contract.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

We look forward to working with you!

Contact Us

105 South Main Street
Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050
Phone: (740) 392-6142
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.