STERLING’S MARKET
Vendor Information and Applications

Vendor Category Definitions and Guidelines

Application Process

  • Produce that has been grown on the producer’s land (including leased land) located within 250 miles of the Market and in the State of Texas.
  • Applications must be submitted and paid through the application portal.
  • Applications will not be considered until (1) non- refundable application fee has been paid; (2) all parts of the online application, including the 2021 Market Details Agreement and the Indemnity and Hold Harmless Agreement, has been completed; (3) and photos of products and/or current booth layout sent to vendor@sterlingsmarket.org
  • A jury will evaluate and oversee the Vendor selection process.
  • AFTER being contacted by the Market Manager, Vendors should make advance arrangements to drop off their product(s) for sampling and packaging approval by Market Manager.
  • Applicants will be notified within three weeks via email of acceptance or wait list status.
  • If approved, Vendors, if not already permitted, must apply for a City of Houston/Harris County Farmer’s Market Health Permit or apply for Food Handler’s permit if a Cottage Law applicant.
  • All Vendors that sell at the Market are required to carry and maintain insurance in the amount of $1 million for products liability and $2 million for general aggregate liability with “St. Martin’s Episcopal Church” named as additional insured.
  • Once a Farmer’s Market Health Permit and insurance have been obtained, Vendors should submit these to manager@sterlingsmarket.org and wait for a confirmation email from the Market Manager to be sent with their start date.
  • Due to limited booth space, Vendors who are placed on the wait list will be notified only if booth space becomes available.
  • Notification of any changes in application information, especially changes in email or mailing address, must be emailed as soon as possible to manager@sterlingsmarket.org.

Location

Sterling’s Market at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road, Houston, TX 77056.

The Market will be set up in the West Parking Lot (corner of Woodway and Sage).

Vendors must park in the designated Vendor parking area only and not in other church parking areas

Hours

The Market hours are 9 a.m.–noon every Saturday except holidays

The Market hours are 9 a.m.–noon every Saturday except holidays*

All Vendors or Vendor representatives must be present in their assigned booths by 8:30 a.m

Merchandise and Products Guidelines

  • Agricultural Producers, Value Added Vendors, and Prepared Food Vendors must allow Market representatives to inspect their farm, production facility, and/or kitchen prior to selling at the Market and from time to time.
  • Merchandise and products must be original. No imitation designer items will be allowed.
  • Vendors must represent their products in honest and non-deceptive manner at all times, both in written form on signs and in oral form during conversations.
  • All items sold or labeled as organic must meet the requirements of the National Organic Program. Only certified organic growers may display signs using the word “organic.” If a Vendor offers both organic and non-organic items in the same booth, individual signs should make it clear which items are organic and which are not.
  • All merchandise and displays must be appropriate for a church and family setting. The Market is a faith-based event and is held on a church campus. Products that are political in nature or are considered inappropriate or offensive are not allowed.
  • Burning candles and incense are strictly prohibited at the Market.
  • St. Martin’s cannot guarantee product exclusivity for each Vendor.
  • St. Martin’s reserves the right to ask Vendors to remove merchandise deemed inappropriate
Booth Dimension, Pricing and General Information
  • Booths are 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The Market Manager may permit a Vendor to occupy and pay for more than one stall if the amount of product justifies it and if the Market can accommodate it. Requests for additional booth space must be made in advance.
  • Only approved Vendors may utilize booth space. Vendors may not share booth space with any Vendor who has not been approved by St. Martin’s.
  • Vendors must keep their booth and their equipment in a clean, safe, and hazard-free condition.
  • Vendors must supply their own tents, tent weights and tables. For the safety of all present at the Market, tent weights must meet manufacturer requirements, but not less than 25 pounds PER tent leg. Bungee cords may be used only to hold tent weights in place, not to suspend the tent weight. Ropes or tie down straps that connect the weight to the tent must be taut at all times. Tent weights must be attached IMMEDIATELY after pitching the tent and, when weights are removed, the tent must be IMMEDIATLEY taken down.
  • Vendors should be prepared to adapt to all kinds of weather.
  • Vendors approved to use electricity must provide at least one 100’, three-prong, heavy duty outdoor extension cord that is UL Certified and accommodates at least 10 amps/125 volts. Electricity usage will be monitored, and the per-booth limit of 15 amps will be strictly enforced.
  • All electronics must be plugged in by 8:45 a.m.
  • Free Wi-Fi login information will be provided via email. Vendors should consider having a backup internet connection in case there is a network outage.
  • Please note that tables and chairs are not provided by St. Martin’s.
  • No storage space for Vendors is available at the Market.
  • No loud or aggressive promotion is permitted. Radios or stereos may only be operated with the permission of the Market Manager.
  • No smoking is permitted at the Market. No consumption of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs is allowed at the Market.
  • Vendors must be set up and vehicles moved to Vendor parking at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the Market. Vendors must remain set up until the close of market, even if they have sold out.
  • Vendors must provide all display materials such as tablecloths, drapes, lattice, display racks, etc. and any equipment needed for hauling, building and decorating their booth. Vendors must also provide sales materials such as calculators, pens and a cash bank. St Martin’s is unable to provide monetary change.
  • Vendors must conduct themselves in a courteous and professional manner. Vendors must treat all customers, staff and volunteers of Sterling’s Market, and fellow vendors with respect at all times. Vendors not respecting these guidelines may be removed from the Market, and their agreement revoked.
Local and State Permits
  • All Vendors must comply with all applicable city, county, state and federal health regulations at all times. The Market Manager will keep in each Vendor’s file copies of all applicable permits and licenses. It is each Vendor’s responsibility to provide current copies to the Market Manager, as well as to keep copies with them at the Market to be available for inspection by government officials.
  • Vendors who are required by law must provide St. Martin’s with a copy of their State and Local Use and Sales Tax Certificate prior to their application being accepted. A copy must be made available in each Vendor’s booth throughout the Market.
  • Exempt Vendors must provide written documentation of the exemption. This documentation will be provided to
    St. Martin’s accounting and legal departments.
Selling Food and Beverages / Food Permits
  • The City of Houston Health Department requires that all Vendors selling and/or sampling foods have a Temporary Food Permit from the City of Houston.
  • Information is available at houstontx.gov/health/Food/or through the Bureau of Consumer Health Services at
    832-393-5740.
  • Permits must be kept on site at all times for the duration of the Market. For ease of access by City of Houston Inspectors, permits may be displayed on the outside of booths.
  • Food Labeling Requirements:
    • All items must be clearly labeled according to Texas law and include:
      1. Contact information: address, phone number and/or email address
      2. Common usual name of product that consumers will recognize
      3. List of ingredients according to weight
      4. The eight major food allergens
  • Cottage Law Vendors must indicate on product labels this statement: “This product is not inspected by any state of Texas or local health department.”
Empty Booth Policy and Inspections
  • All Vendors must be present in their assigned booths for the entire market.
    In case of an emergency, Vendors should notify the Market Manager at manager@sterlingsmarket.org.  
  • Vendors must give the Market Manager 24-hour notice if they are unable to be at the Market. Unless prior timely notice is given, vendors will be required to pay their booth fee even if they are unable to be at the Market.
  • If Vendors close their booth and leave the Market before the Market officially closes, they may be subject to an additional fee and/or suspension from the Market
Vendor Unloading
  • Vendors must provide dollies, carts or helpers necessary to unload their merchandise and booth display materials. Market staff and volunteers will not be available to load/unload.
  • Vendors must unload their merchandise as quickly as possible and then move their vehicle to the Vendor parking lot.
Safety and Security
  • Security officers will be on duty during set up, throughout the Market hours and during tear-down. In case of a
    life-threatening emergency, vendors should call 911 immediately and notify a Market committee member.
  • In case of missing merchandise, Vendors should immediately notify a Market volunteer. The Market volunteer member will contact Security.
Parking
  • Vendors must park in the designated Vendor parking area only and not in other church parking areas
Check-Out and Tear-Down Procedures
  • The Market closes at noon.
  • Vendors may not start tearing down before the Market closes. Vendors are responsible for removing all trash from their booths. Recycling containers are available on campus for disposal of paper products.
Non-Compliance
  • Non-compliance with Market rules will result in disciplinary action at the discretion of the Market Manager.
    • First warning will be verbal
    • Second warning will be written
    • Third warning will be a monetary fine of up to $25 per non-compliance
    • Final warning will be suspension from the Market for a period of time and possible termination of the Vendor’s participation in the Market.
Complaints and Suggestions
  • Suggestions and feedback for Market improvement are always welcome. These should be made via email to manager@sterlingsmarket.org.
  • Complaints or grievances should be brought to the attention of the Market Manager, who will investigate the issue and, if a problem is found, address it.
  • Vendor complaints must be made to the Market Manager in writing.
  • Upon request, the Market Manager will provide an update on the status of the effort to resolve the complaint, to the extent that the Vendor confidentiality permits.
  • The Market Manger will respond to the complaint in writing and will promptly provide all parties involved a copy of the complaint. In most situations, Vendor problems will not be addressed during Market hours.
Publicity
  • St. Martin’s parishioners will receive frequent announcements, mailings and emails.
  • Publicity to local neighborhoods
  • Sterling’s Market social media
* 2021 Holidays
  • November 27, 2021
  • December 11, 2021
  • December 25, 2021
  • St. Martin’s reserves the right to add holidays as needed.
* 2022 Holidays
  • January 1, 2022
  • April 16, 2022
  • November 26, 2022
  • December 24, 2022
  • December 31, 2022
  • St. Martin’s reserves the right to add holidays as needed.

Agricultural Producer

Examples: farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, foragers

Application fee $25; Booth fee $45 per week

  • Produce that has been grown on the producer’s land (including leased land) located within 250 miles of the Market and in the state of Texas.
  • Meat (except fish, fowl and feral animals) that is from animals born and bred on the producers’ land (including leased land) and processed at a USDA inspected facility as well as processed meat products such as bacon, jerky, sausage, or products such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, honey, soap or yarn from these animals.
  • Foraged and wild-crafted items where the producer responsibly wild harvests a raw agricultural product from their own land, leased-land or public land (where foraging is allowed) and packages the item(s) with minimal additional ingredients. Example products include yaupon tea, chile pequin, henbit or ramps.
  • All agricultural producers must maintain at least 50% of products/items sold at market comprising their own agricultural products to maintain this vendor category.
  • Nursery Vendors: Any business that grows or distributes plants with the intent to sell in temporary markets or at a temporary location needs a Nursery/ Floral license.

Value Added

Examples: salsa, hummus, cider, dog food or treats, baked goods, herbal products

Application fee $50; Booth fee $55 per week

  • Value Added Vendors create culinary products from any operation that has changed the form, flavor, blend, and/or the substance of raw products.
  • Kitchen must be within 150 miles of the Market.
  • Value Added Vendors need a health permit or be a Cottage Law Vendor.
  • Preference given to those Vendors who use local products.

Prepared Food

Examples: waffles, brisket, iced beverages, tacos, coffee

Application fee $50; Booth fee $65 per week (includes electricity)

  • Prepared Food vendors offer freshly made food and drinks available for sale and immediate consumption on-site.
    These products may be hot or cold ready-to-eat food or drinks under a City of Houston Health Department Permit.
  • Commercial kitchen must be located within 150 miles of the market.
  • Preference given to those who use local products.

Artisan

Examples: beauty and skincare products, jewelry, art, ceramics

Application fee $50;
Yearly booth fee $55 per week;
Seasonal booth fee $65 per week 5 per week

  • Artisan vendors utilize materials from outside the area of the farmers’ market when integrated with other local products or sell products created by a local artisan located within 250 miles of the Market attended.

Nonprofit

Examples: pet adoption groups, awareness groups, educational, community groups

  • Nonprofit, non-partisan organizations may apply for complimentary booth space at the Market based on availability.
  • No fundraising allowed at the Market.
  • No sales activities allowed.
  • No aggressive marketing allowed, i.e. a membership drive, walking through the Market from your table for a solicitation, etc.
  • Commercially packaged food (water bottles, snacks, candy) may be given away free.

Sterling’s Market Application Forms