A few MSU students have created a new wonderful market that is run through the Towns Harvest program. A bus was converted into a mobile market facility. The plan is to visit small towns around Bozeman where the access of fresh local is scarce, and sell it to community members at a very low cost. There are 2 locations in which the bus travels, Belgrade Montana and Three Fork Montana. I had the pleasure of working in Belgrade last week. The sites chosen in each town are the senior centers, there are the locations where the bus goes to and sets up food stands. Apparently the market in Three Forks was more successful than the Belgrade Market, where we only had a handful of customers. Food is sold at a really low cost, for instance, $1 will get you 6 farm eggs, or a big bag of lettuce, these prices are 50-70% less than the normal cost at a farmers market. To me, this is a great opportunity for people to eat fresh local food, and it’s so cheap, I ended up buying 5 dollars worth of stuff before I left.
As far as a critique on the mobile market, I think there just needs to be more advertising. Things like flyers and radio add have been implemented, but there needs to be more. I think things will pick up too once word of mouth has spread, and more people realize what a great deal this is. Also, I do not think the location of the senior center in Belgrade is the best spot. It is really far from main street, and there are no other buildings around it, plus it’s literally right next to the Gallatin Valley Airport. We did however have volunteers go out to the street and hold a sign and wave as people drove by, but it didn’t seem to dram much attention. I honestly think if the Belgrade location was on main street at a park or even at a gas station, we would kill it. Other than that, I am excited to see what the future holds for the mobile market.