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Starting a Farmers Market

In June 2010 the Mayor’s Office of Food Initiatives was created to assist local farmers, merchants, and various City departments to determine viable areas that would embrace and thrive from Farmers Markets.

Step 1

To start a Farmers Market, first you must:

  1. Designate a Manager.

  2. Determine a Public or Private Location.

Step 2

Once you have designated a manager, the manager must fill out a Market Profile and submit it to the Office of Food Initiatives (OFI). OFI staff will then use this information to obtain all necessary permits.

2014 Market Profile

Special Conditions

There are a number of permits managers may need under certain circumstances:


ConditionType of Permit/ ProcessContactLinks
Public WaysObtain a permit from the Public Works Department if a market is on a public sidewalk.Anne McNeil, Rm. 714, City Hall

617-635-5312
Public Works Permits
ParksObtain a permit from the Parks Department if a market is in a City park.1010 Mass Ave, 3rd floor

617-635-4505
Parks Permits
MusicObtain an entertainment license from the Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing if there will be amplified music at the market.Rm. 817, City Hall

617-635-3834
Consumer Affairs & Licensing
Portable GeneratorsObtain a permit from the Boston Fire Department if markets need portable generators.617-343-3415Boston Fire Department
Cooking DemonstrationsContact the Boston Fire Department Special Hazards Division to see if a fire inspection and/or permit is needed for cooking demonstrations.1010 Mass Ave

617-343-3447
Boston Fire Department
Tent StructuresTent structures must be reviewed and approved by the Fire Department and ISD Building Divisions.1010 Mass Ave

617-635-5300
Boston Fire Department
Inspectional Services Department

Managers May Also Need:

  • A contract for waste removal.

  • A letter of support from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) listing days and hours of operation and all activities.

    Contact Neighborhood Services »


Additional Points of Contact


IssueContact
Farmer's Market & Wine Sales

MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources
617-626-1754

Only bottled wine can be sold on Private Property.

Food Sold By WeightISD Weights & Measures Division
617-635-5328
State RegulationsMA Food Protection Program
617-983-6712