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Fresh Food, Fresh Shirts at the Dallas Farmers Market

Shopping local doesn’t just feel good, it tastes good. Since 1941, the Dallas Farmers Market has been cultivating a community following with regional farm offerings, seasonal events, and a chance for Texans to connect with their area farmers. And while eating local produce is great, the educational opportunities provided are equally important. Recently, they’ve added a new offering to the market—custom Dallas Farmers Market t-shirts! Providing fresh food, agricultural education, and now free t-shirts has made the Dallas Farmers Market a staple in downtown Dallas, Texas.

While the Dallas Farmers Market initially began as a horse-and-wagon affair, it has since set up a permanent space and is open all year round. In addition to seasonal produce and ranch staples such as meats and dairy, the market stocks honey, baked goods, and even arts and crafts. The Dallas Farmers Market is recognized as a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Farmers Market Coalition, the Dallas Agricultural Club, and many more agricultural collectives. It has also received accolades from the Dallas Observer and is Go Texan Certified.

With honesty, transparency, and responsibility driving the Dallas Farmers Market’s mission, they have proven to be an invaluable force in bringing the Dallas community together. Located in Dallas’ downtown amidst high-rise buildings the market helps bring a bit of nature and balance to the hustle and bustle of the city.

Nowadays, the Dallas Farmers Market sees a loyal following of customers who want a healthier, more sustainable way to shop for their food and give back to their local farmers and community. Since educating the community is one of the Dallas Farmers Market’s goals, they wanted a way to draw in new people and demonstrate the importance of shopping local to support area farmers and small businesses. Starting with “produce focus days” such as the Watermelon Festival, customers could learn about the effects of Texan climate and seasons on regional agriculture. With the market open throughout the entire year, people can get a firsthand look at the way produce changes with the seasons and weather.

As the Dallas Farmers Market features so many diverse shops and offerings, they needed some way to represent their organization at events like the Watermelon Festival. When a previous market employee introduced them to Custom Ink, the inspiration to offer custom shirts took off. “We wanted to engage the community and wanted something memorable for our customers to take,” says Ashley Tobar, a market representative. What better way to achieve these goals than with matching Dallas Farmers Market shirts?

After placing orders with Custom Ink, the Dallas Farmers Market started offering free custom merchandise during these seasonal events as a way to engage the community. Last year, both the Watermelon Festival and the Pumpkin Festival gave away custom t-shirts as gifts to the first number of customers who showed up. With a special edition logo designed by local artist Dan Rizzie, the custom shirts could visually represent customer loyalty and generate buzz around the Dallas Farmers Market.

The shirts were a hit with the market crowd. “They loved the shirts! They went very fast!” says Ashley. “It was definitely a big draw and a marketing tool. We really loved how it complimented our events.” Each event featured a different thematically-appropriate color to match the event. For example, the shirts for the Watermelon Festival were red and green while the shirts for the Pumpkin Festival were orange. For the Watermelon Festival, the shirts even served a dual purpose; the red shirts went to the public and the market staff wore green custom shirts. This helped easily identify who customers could go to for assistance.

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  1. Find the appropriate colors.
  2. Upload your logo or design an image.
  3. Add your organization’s name.
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With the custom shirts, the Dallas Farmers Market could even build up hype before the events. Soon after posting preview photos of the t-shirts on their Instagram, followers were already leaving responses about their excitement. People reacted with comments about even showing up early to the festivals to ensure that they could get their hands on one of the free Dallas Farmers Market shirts.

The festivals and custom shirts drew in both old and new faces and provided ample opportunity for the Dallas Farmers Market to teach people about everything their local farmers do to serve their community. With the success of these events, it’s only a matter of time before the next season’s harvest brings in another popular festival.

You can find out more about the Dallas Farmers Market on their Instagram and Twitter.


Kendra is the Copywriting Support at Custom Ink. She has a background in art but she loves writing, so she finds a compromise between the two by creating comics in her free time.

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