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Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding NFM's merchant standards and general practices in 2015.
Q: Will NFM largely be a producer-only market?
A: Yes, NFM has introduced merchant standards for farmers, producers, artisans and crafters that require the merchant to "grow it, raise it, catch it, make it or bake it." In addition, the market has introduced craft & flea standards to showcasecrafts, international street food and international and/or vintage goods.
Q: Will there still be a Flea Market at NFM?
A: In 2015, the weekend Flea Market will transition to a Craft & Flea Market. Merchants in this area of NFM will showcase products that have either/or: been individually designed, produced and handcrafted; or are deemed as vintage, international or flea market items that fall into categories of permitted products in accordance with the definition of, and standard for, permitted products. This area will focus and celebrate the diversity of our city through new types of product offerings and special events.
Q: Why can't resellers continue to sell under the sheds at NFM?
A: The Market's conception, in the early 1800's, came about in the town square as a central selling place for farmers, pulling up their wagons to sell fresh produce and handmade goods. NFM was founded as a producer-only market where you could find fresh, unique items not easily found in other retail outlets and environments. In the last twenty years that NFM has been at it's current location, widely commercially-available products were often the majority of what could be found. A critical component of NFM's strategic vision and mission involves providing a showcase of the freshest and most unique items that our farming and entrepreneurial community has to offer; and honoring and returning to practices more consistent with how and why NFM was founded.
Q: How will this change impact the establishments that operate in the Market House?
A: NFM has established standards for new Market House restaurants and shops to further implement the vision of NFM including: sourcing locally and regionally; showcasing and providing diverse menu offerings; and utilizing green and sustainable paper products beginning January of 2016 . NFM will continue to encourage current Market House establishments to embrace local and regional sourcing in a more significant manner and introduce a market wide recycling program and expanded evening hours in the spring of 2015.
Q: Why are you doing this and why now?
A: The board's strategic vision and plan for NFM is to become a world class destination connecting people to food, culture; offer a unique Nashville experience and become financially self-sufficient. Our focus is to transform the market by; increasing the diversity of merchants with quality and one-of-a-kind product offerings, standardizing our processes, and enhancing the customer and merchant experience through improvements and new initiatives. The commitment we make now will impact the commitment and support we receive from local and regional farmers, producers, artisans, craft and flea merchants. These efforts prepare the market to become a destination and gathering place for many generations to come.