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How to Start a Roadside Fruit Stand in Florida

Fruit image by Sergey Yakovenko from

Starting a roadside fruit stand in Florida is a way to make extra income by selling fruit and vegetables you have grown in the state of Florida. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture Food Service Division, no license is required to sell unprocessed or unaltered produce you have grown yourself. However, check with any local governments or agencies where you are planning on opening a fruit stand, because local permit requirements vary from city to city. State permits are required if selling produce in an organized farmer's market.

Choose a location with a good traffic flow so potential customers can see your roadside fruit stand. The location may be at the front of your property, at a busy intersection or along a busy highway. The location should be far enough away from traffic so customers can drive in and out of the business without endangering themselves or others. Check with local city or county ordinances about acceptable locations to set up a fruit stand.

Build an attractive display for your fruits and vegetables with prices clearly visible. The size of the display depends on the size of your fruit stand. It may be a few tables behind a truck or van or a larger permanent location. The area should be clean with fresh fruits and vegetables easily accessible. Place paper or plastic bags within easy customer reach.

Placing a group of vegetables in small containers encourages the customers to buy the entire contents of the container rather than picking through the vegetables and buying by the pound.

Have a few pictures of your farm displayed so customers get a feel of where the produce originated from.

Use an accurate scale to weigh produce if selling produce by the pound. Some customers will weigh the purchases once they get home and will not be repeat customers if they don't feel they received a fair deal.

Arrange the fruit stand so you can easily move between the paying customers and shopping customers. In other words, don't put yourself in a position where you are a long distance from the cash box or checkout area at any time. The customers shopping for produce may have questions and you want to help them without having them wait while you help another customer.

Get change before you open the stand each day. Fruit stand customers usually pay in cash. Closing down the stand to go get change is not good for business.

Arrive early each day so the fruit stand is stocked and ready to go at opening time. If you have regular hours and a good quality product, customers will arrive early and wait for you to open.

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