Steps for Starting a Farm Market (Onsite Production)
Thank you for considering what it takes to open a farm market in Loudoun County! Local consumers enjoy a wide array of locally grown products thanks to talented farmers and entrepreneurs like you.
This page is designed to give you an overview of important considerations before establishing a farm market ( onsite production), but your specific situation may have different requirements. The Revised 1993 Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance is the ruling document.
Working with Loudoun County and Virginia Commonwealth staff will help verify that those requirements are met. Our combined goal is to ensure that your operation is safe for customers, so that your business can be successful.
Before establishing a farm market, it is important to understand what is permitted with that use. A farm market exists to support parcels in agricultural use, which means you can sell:
- Aquacultural, horticultural and agricultural products (Ex: nursery stock, flowers, bulbs, mulch, compost, Christmas trees and greens, fresh produce, honey, cider, etc.);
- Accessory products (Ex: pottery, baskets, gardening supplies, baked goods, floral supplies, etc.).
No more than 10 percent of the total space in your market may be devoted to accessory products. The rest must be for the sale of aquacultural, horticultural or agricultural products
A minimum of 25 percent of the total products offered must be derived directly from products produced onsite or on another Loudoun County farm owned or leased by the farmer.
The sale of lawn mowers and tractors is prohibited. Farm markets are not fullservice restaurants, commercial kitchens or catering operation unless you choose to apply for that additional use.
While this page focuses on farm markets, think about what additional uses (if any) you might consider later. Communicating these additional uses to Loudoun County and Virginia Commonwealth staff up front can help avoid surprises later in the process. If you have questions at any point, please contact Loudoun Economic Development at 1-800-LOUDOUN.
Detailed contact information for County and Commonwealth regulatory departments can be found at the bottom of this page.