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Ribbon Cutting At New Indoor Farmers' Market Takes Place Saturday

The new Farmers' Market will attract vendors from all across the East End.

After days of anticipation, the big moment has arrived: A ribbon cutting to celebrate the brand-new indoor farmers' market in Riverhead will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

The Riverhead Farmers' Market will be located at 117 East Main Street, in the old Swezey's building directly across from the Suffolk Theater, and will be open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., from Feb. 1 through May 17.

Holly Browder, of Browder's Birds in Southold, came before the Riverhead town board two weeks ago to discuss the plan, along with Ray Pickersgill, president of the Riverhead Business Improvement District.

The idea for the indoor farmers' market in Riverhead was born after a similar venture in Sag Harbor didn't materialize this year. The goal, Browder said, is to bring those vendors, from all across the East End, to a Riverhead location.

"This is a unique attraction we could test out," Pickersgill said.

"It fits in with the goal of promoting East End tourism past November," Browder added. "We small farmers need to make money year-round."

"Chickens lay eggs all year," Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter noted.

Some of the local products available will be eggs from Browder's Birds, wine from Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue, donuts and other baked goods from Ginger Goods in East Marion, cheese from Goodale Farms in Riverhead, cheese and pork from Mecox Bay Dairy in Water Mill, Amy's Ark Hummus from Westhampton Beach, Kalypso Greek Yogurt, Lulu Knits, fibers, yarn and skin products from Long Island Livestock, coffee from Long Island Coffee Roasters, pickled products and jellies from A Taste of the North Fork, potted plants from Greenhouse Affect/Garden Fusion in East Marion, Blue Duck Bakery products, and goods from Garden of Eve in Riverhead, to name a few. 

Browder said just because snow is on the ground, it doesn't mean farmers have closed up shop. "There are greenhouses," she said.

"We want to bring everyone to the greatest town on the East End," Walter said.

"We had our first meeting last Wednesday and it took off like a freight train," said Chris Kempner, director of the Riverhead Community Development Agency. 

If the idea takes off, down the line, the next step would be to acquire funding to create a more permanent indoor farmers' market, Kempner said.

Saturday's event will feature music.

"The farmers' market is a great idea," said John Mantzopoulos, owner of the Athens Grill, which he plans to rebuild after a fire last year. "This is a grass roots way farmers can come together without the red tape and without having to rent a space," he said.

Pickersgill agreed  and said it might open doors for new business owners who might one day want to set up shop downtown. "It's a fantastic idea," he said.


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