A new farmers market in Mattituck created by residents, and for residents, will open next month.
Last Thursday, Southold Town Board members gave the green light to a handful of local business owners and growers who have worked since November to open an outdoor farmers market in back of Mattituck Florist on Love Lane.
East End Farmers Market will operate as a pilot program for six weeks beginning May 9. If all goes smoothly, the organizers hope the town will extend the market through Oct. 31. It will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. on Fridays.
The goal is to help boost the local economy by offering space to 11 Southold-based businesses that don’t have farm stands or brick-and-mortar stores from which to operate. It is a personal founding principle for organizers Maryann Krupski and Donna Burden, both of whom have home businesses and rely in large part on farmers markets to fund their operations.
“Farming is a big part of this community and we want local farmers to have a place to feature their produce, because produce is the mainstay of the North Fork,” said Ms. Krupski, who owns Mar-Gene Farms on Soundview Avenue in Mattituck. “This is really about supporting local business.”
Although a list of vendors hasn’t yet been finalized, organizers said lotions, organic produce, baked goods and all-natural pet supplies and treats will be for sale.
Mattituck Florist owner Danielle LaScala, who is donating space on her property for the farmers market, said she hopes the venture will promote and sustain local businesses.
“I want to support local business across the board — the vendors, myself, my neighbors [on Love Lane],” she said. “It is really hard when you compete against Amazon.com or big box stores in Riverhead. I want to help.”
The idea for East End Farmers Market grew from talks initiated by the economic development committee initiated with the business community in November. At that time, Ms. Krupski and her husband, Gene, partnered with Ms. Burden and Ms. LaScala to set plans in motion.
Last month, the group presented the proposal alongside the town’s economic development committee to the town board.
Since then, they have continued to work with the town to develop a site plan for the market. Although many attempts have been made to establish an outdoor farmers market in Southold Town, this is the only one to gain approval (though one runs in Greenport Village during the summer). Past farmers market applications have not received the go-ahead largely because they were proposed in areas not zoned for business. The location for the East End Farmers Market, however, is in a commercial site, Supervisor Scott Russell previously told The Suffolk Times.
“We are very happy to be working with the local farming community to pilot the farmers market this summer,” said Phillip Beltz, Southold’s special projects coordinator and a member of the economic development committee.
Organizers are currently finalizing the list of vendors and are scouting local high school students and seniors to volunteer at the market. They hope to hold a meet and greet with the sellers May 31.