St. John's Farmers' Market

Request for Proposals

Posted on July 10, 2019


Market Café

The SJFM is inviting proposals from individuals, groups or small businesses to manage and operate the Market Café during market days.

Who We Are:

With more than 150 diverse and talented vendors, the St. John’s Farmers’ Market (SJFM) is the ultimate farmers’ market experience for families, foodies, and everyone who’s looking for locally grown produce, specialty foods, ready-to-eat fare, art, crafts, and so much more!

Founded in 2007, the SJFM is a non-profit cooperative operating year-round.  Our current schedule is:

  • Every Saturday 9-4,
  • The first Friday of each month from 5-9,
  • and occasional Sundays. These have generally been the second Sunday of each month, however for July and August, we will be holding Sunday markets each week from 11-4.

The Opportunity:

During market days the SJFM operates a coffee shop out of the Market Café that is committed to featuring the products of local bakers, brewers, and coffee roasters, and to providing customers with beverages and treats to supplement their visit to the Market.

With several thousand people visiting the Market daily in peak season, it is a spot with great potential!

Currently the café’s beverage offerings are limited to drip coffee, tea, and cold drinks, along with bakery treats.  While people have been happy with the quality of what we serve, there has been an ongoing and untapped demand for more diverse offerings such as espresso-based, or more complex coffee and tea based drinks.

Based on the data we have collected from being in this location since last July, café sales vary from $300 on quiet days, to over $1000 during peak season.  However, we know we are not using this space to its full potential.  With the right operator, we feel those sales could be much better.

The SJFM is now inviting proposals from individuals, groups or small businesses to manage and operate the Market Café during market days.

To maintain our commitment to supporting local small business, environmental awareness, and sustainability, the proposal will need consider the following:

  • The new Market Café operator must be able to provide coffee and beverage services and be able to commit to being open for the full duration of each day that a market is scheduled.
  • Applicants must be a local small business, group, or individual. Larger businesses, franchises, or enterprises not based in Newfoundland and Labrador will not be considered.
  • Applicants must indicate how they will continue the commitment to local products through what they sell at the Market Café. Commercial, pre-packaged, or non-local products are not acceptable.  The café, as well as all our vendors at the Market, must meet the “Make it, Bake it, Grow it” standards.
  • The SJFM restricts the use of single use plastics, and does not permit the use of Styrofoam in any form.
  • The Market Café will continue to be a shared use space. That means that the new operator will have full use of the space on Market days, while SJFM retains the capacity to use or rent the area during the remainder of the week.
  • The new operator will be provided use of some cooler and cupboard space on an ongoing basis.
  • Electrical and commercial dishwasher access on market days will be included in the contract. Also included on market days will be access to SJFM coffee grinder, ice machine, double coffee brewer, reusable dishware and cutlery, and cash register. Additional equipment and supplies will be the responsibility of the new operator.
  • Use of the SJFM commercial kitchen space for prep or cooking is not included. If kitchen usage is required, please indicate this and we can discuss options.
  • Similar to other Market vendors, the new Market Café operator will need approval from both the SJFM and ServiceNL regarding which products may be sold through the Café.   This is for Food Licensing purposes, as well as to ensure that proposed products do not profoundly impact the sales capacity of pre-existing vendors.
  • If the Market schedule changes, SJFM will provide ample advance notice to the Café operator.
  • The Café contract will be in place until December 31st, 2019, at which time the SJFM and Market Café operator may consider renewal.

Interested in Submitting a Proposal?

To be considered for the operation of the SJFM Market Café, please forward a proposal that includes:

  • Contact information, including business name, individual contact, phone, and email
  • Background – A little about your experience, current operation, and capacity
  • Vision – How are you a good fit for the Café. How will you meet the criteria outlined above?
  • Products – What products would you plan to offer at the Café.
  • Proposed vendor/rental fee or compensation plan you feel is appropriate for use of the Café.
  • Readiness and commitment – If you were successful, how quickly could you be ready to take over operations? Are you able to commit to being here for each market day?
  • Additional Info – anything else that you feel might be relevant or important for us to know.

Proposals will be evaluated on the following four criteria, weighted as indicated below:

40%     Vision                          20%     Product Offerings

20%     Fees                            20%     Readiness

Proposals should be sent by email to and be received no later than Friday, July 26, 2019.

For additional questions or clarification, please email

Latest News

Come enjoy another relaxing market experience this SUNDAY!

Sunday Sept 22nd market lineup is NOW online!

Find us at 245 Freshwater Road from 11am - 4pm.

Click here to see full vendor list for Sundays market: #sjfmnl #sundaymarket

Still lots of veggies here at the Saturday Market, including this fresh onions from Hender's Organic Vegetable Farm. Come check out what all the farmer vendors have today till 4pm. #sjfmnl #localveggies #saturdaymarket

Come enjoy live music by Bob Muggeridge till 2pm today at the Saturday St. John’s Farmers’ Market. #sjfmnl #musicatthemarket #saturdaymarket

It’s getting colder and colder out there folks but that means you can treat yourself to a new warm winter hat. Come check out Knit Happens with Claire knitted hats and other items today till 4pm. #sjfmnl #saturdaymarket #winterhats

We’d like to welcome first time vendor Wendy S. Sheppard Photography to the St. John’s Farmers’ Market! Make sure to stop by their table and check out how they can help you with all your photography needs. #sjfmnl #saturdaymarket #localphotography

Load More...