This unusual market sells products exclusively produced on the stall holders' own farms: fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, honey… The market opens when the bell rings. Owing to the very short duration of the market (1 hour), food items are sold in pre-weighed packages.
This market was originally created in 1956 by the producers themselves and is organised by Vourles town council. It was originally a wholesale market only available for professionals and all the stall holders were fruit farmers from southern Lyon, the Mont du Lyonnais and the Loire. Every evening, customers and stall holders gathered at 6:30pm. They would wait behind a rope until the bell rang and they could begin trading.
But the success of this market began to decline when production increased, and the market in the Perrache district opened, combined with the evolution of buying practices.
It was deemed necessary to rethink the way in which this market was organised. In 1978, the market was opened to the general public, as well as professionals. Thanks to TV coverage, the market became successful very quickly. The producers began to diversify their crops and the visitor numbers evolved until the market became more popular with the general public than professionals. The wholesale section of the market was phased out.
Today, 80 producers come to the rather atypical Vourles market, where the past tradition of ringing the bell at 6:30pm has been kept alive. There is a set of rules to respect: the stall holders can only sell their own produce and owing to the very short duration of the market (1 hour), food items are sold in pre-weighed packages.
Since 2008, the fruit market has been held in a different location as it required more space, to provide producers and customers with added comfort and safety. This new market was officially opened on 11 July 2008 by Mr. Michel Barnier, French Minister for Agriculture.