Mobile Markets

Mobile markets operate from a truck, van, bus, trailer, or other mobile device. Similar to farmers’ markets, mobile markets can serve various communities on a scheduled or rotating basis. However, given their ability to change locations at a moment’s notice, mobile markets can also serve multiple communities in a short span of time. Mobile markets have gained popularity particularly in rural communities where access to healthy food is limited and residents must travel long distances to access grocery stores that sell fresh food.

Key Strategies and Resources

  • Rely on proven and documented business strategies. Similar to other forms of healthy food retail, mobile markets can benefit from comprehensive business plans. These enterprises can tap into targeted technical assistance programs that advise participants about how to increase their earning potential. Existing small business development training programs can also help mobile markets improve their marketing strategies to increase their profitability.
  • Research existing mobile markets. Mobile markets have taken on many different forms across the country. While strategizing about what type of market can benefit your community, it is important to know how other markets have been successful. The Resource Library includes case studies of mobile markets that have worked across the country.
  • Develop public private partnerships for funding mobile markets. For more information on these, go to the Public Private Partnership Primer.
  • Develop financing/funding packages for each mobile market project. For more information on finding funding for your mobile market project, go to Financing.

Success Stories

  • Chattanooga Mobile Market: In Tennessee, Chattanooga Mobile Market travels to multiple communities that are underserved by traditional forms of healthy food retail.
  • Santa Fe’s MoGro Mobile Grocery: In New Mexico, MoGro is a temperature-controlled truck that provides fresh food to several of New Mexico’s tribal communities and offers educational workshops on health, wellness, and sustainable agriculture.
  • Arcadia Mobile Market: In Washington, DC, Arcadia's 28-foot mobile farmers’ market delivers local, sustainably produced food to underserved communities across the area.
  • Bridgeport Mobile Market: In Cleveland, this market travels to where people live, work, recreate, and worship, bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to communities that lack grocery store access.
  • R&G Family Grocers' Mobile Market: In Oklahoma, the Healthy Community Store Initiative (HCSI) began R&G Family Grocers which does business as the Real Good Food truck, a full-service, mobile grocery store that brings healthy, affordable food to 12 unique and underserved areas of Tulsa.
  • Farmshare Austin: In Texas, Farmshare mobile markets make designated weekly stops in neighborhoods that currently lack access to organic fruits and vegetables, both in Austin, including Hornsby Bend, and in other parts of Travis County, such as Del Valle.
  • Market Boxx Community Stores: In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a group of African American entrepreneurs launched a company that works with local entrepreneurs, in partnership with community organizations, to build skills and launch mobile grocery store businesses. Read more in this article here.