I love to shop at the Farmer's market. The idea of buying locally grown food from small farmers is so appealing. The prices are cheaper. The food is in season and fresher. The profits go into the little guy's pockets instead of corporate pockets. It's also just plain fun. You can ask a billion questions, and you get enthusiastic replies from people who are passionate about what they do. It's not simply about profit.
I asked a friend who worked as the produce buyer for a large grocery store chain, "What would a local farmer need to do to sell to your stores?" He replied with a smug little laugh, "Hmmpf, you can't even sell to us unless you have at least five million in insurance." That ended the conversation. Really I wasn't interested in them anymore. Now several years later, that chain has gone out of business and sold their stores to a local retail chain. Can't say I'm sad, except for the job hunting a lot of managers had to do. They tried to bill themselves as more local and friendly than Wal-mart. As one of their employees I know said, "We're for people who hate Wal-mart."
I don't hate Wal-mart. But I do love Farmer's markets.