Vend in the Vermont Building at the Big E

Bear carving and string lights at the Vermont Building

Overview

The Vermont Building, located on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition, showcases the authenticity, quality, and spirit of Vermont. Each year, companies from across Vermont head down to West Springfield for up to 17 days to share their products with fair-goers who appreciate the high-quality products in the Vermont Building. In 2019, there were 1.6 million attendees to the Big E, making this a great event to showcase your Vermont products to the southern New England audience. 

The Vermont Building provides companies with the unique opportunity to share their products with an audience of over 1.5 million people eager to experience the quality of Vermont. 

Vendor Opportunities 

Vendor Booths at the Vermont Building

Booth spaces are offered for both retail and food/beverage products. Vending opportunities exist for the entirety of the 17-day fair, 8-9 day rotating spots, and occasionally 3-4 days. While most booths are inside, there are additional spaces on the grounds for products deemed an appropriate fit.

Eligible businesses are those that are registered with the Vermont Secretary of State and have been in business for over one year and are in good standing with the State of Vermont. 

Harvest New England Day

Businesses interested in trying their product out at the Big E without a multi-day commitment are encouraged to participate by vending at Harvest New England Day, a single day event.  Vendors participate in the farmers market-style event on front lawn of the Vermont Building.  There is no fee to participate at this level.  The application process is separate from multi-day vendor participation. 

Please submit an application to be considered for participating in 2021 Harvest New England Day.  Application deadline is June 30, 2021. 

Event Details

  • Dates: September 17 - October 3, 2021
  • Hours: The Vermont Building is open to the public: 10am – 9pm each day.  Special programming may occur on Vermont Day where vendors hours may be extended.
  • Deliveries: Deliveries may be made each morning/evening at designated times.
  • Booth Design: Vendors are responsible for programming and decorating their own space. Each booth space is different and should be treated as a retail space rather than a tradeshow space. VAAFM will provide some design parameters, layout information, and photos of the booth space for new vendors to plan their booth space ahead of time. 
  • Permits, Codes and Regulations: It is the vendors responsibilty to acquire any required permits necessary to sell or sample their product.  All vendors must adhere to any required health, safety, building and fire code and regulations as provided by West Springfield, MA.  Additionally, they must abide by any requirements of Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services deemed applicable to their booth.  
  • Product Storage: Limited dry storage space is available within the Vermont Building. Space is allocated based on how many people request it per year and will be assigned ahead of the fair. This storage is not secure.  "Dead Storage" may be available through the Eastern States Exposition for on-grounds long-term parking of larger vehicles. No electrical access is available.  VAAFM provides a service to vendors by offering freezer and cooler space at no cost. Space is at a premium and is not meant to hold all products for vendors for the duration of their stay, however, off-site options are available nearby.
  • Cost to Participate:  Vendors enter into contract with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets and are required to pay a standard commission on all sales made at the Big E.  These funds are used for maintenance, management, and programming of the Vermont Building. 
  • Products of Interest:
    • Savory prepared foods that do not emit any grease laden vapors in the cooking process,  Fried or grilled foods are not permitted in the building at this time. Food may be par-cooked and heated on site and/or cooked using appliances such as convection ovens, crockpots, microwaves, etc.
    • Apple pie or crisp
    • Vermont made pottery
    • Hot and cold coffee to go
    • Other consumer goods such as accessories, art, gifts, jewelry, body products, apparel, and home products.

How to Apply

Businesses interested in vending for multiple days at the Vermont Building must submit an application to the Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, to be reviewed by a selection committee.  Application closes June 15th at 11am.

  1. Download the Vermont Building at the Big E 2021 Request for Application (RFA).
  2. Review the WebGrants Application Guide.
  3. Submit questions. We are collecting and questions as they come in. We will update the FAQ document periodically. 
  4. Review FAQ's (coming soon). 
  5. Prepare and submit your application through our online application system, WebGrants

 

APPLY NOW!

 

 

COVID-19 IMPACTS FOR THE 2021 BIG E
VAAFM and Eastern States Exposition are underway in planning for an in-person Big E event in September 2021. Due to unknown circumstances between the release of this RFA and the event, applicants are encouraged to take into consideration that the event may necessitate safety measures to be taken by vendors and/or any circumstances in which the cancellation of the event may be justified.

 

Program Contact

Lauren Masseria
lauren.masseria@vermont.gov
(802) 505-5413

WebGrants Technical Assistance

Diana Ferguson
diana.ferguson@vermont.gov
(802) 622-4094

Melissa Moon
melissa.moon@vermont.gov
(802) 828-3828

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901
802.828.2430

 

Program Contacts

  • Media Inquiries                      802.622.4662
  • Licensing & Registration        802.828.2436
  • Business Development          802.828.1619
  • Feed, Seed, Fertilizer & Lime  802.828.5050
  • Working Lands                    802.622.4477
  • Public Health & Resource Management                802.828.2431
  • Laboratory                                  802.585.6073
  • Animal Health                        802.828.2421
  • Dairy                              802.828.2433
  • Consumer Protection / Weights & Measures                           802.828.2433
  • Produce Program                  802.461.5128
  • Meat Inspection                    802.828.2426
  • Water Quality                               802.828.2431
    • Grants                                  802.622.4098
    • Enforcement                                802.828.2431
    • Reports                                      802.272.0323
    • BMP's                                      802.828.3474
  • Act 250                          802.828.2431 
  • Pesticide                        802.828.2431