05/17/14 5:39pm
05/17/2014 5:39 PM
Saturday was the last week the farmers market will be held indoors. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Saturday was the last week the farmers market will be held indoors. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The Riverhead Farmers Market has by most accounts been a huge success operating out of a vacant former downtown storefront in the winter months.

And now, farmers and sponsors of the market are hoping that the following it generated will follow the market outdoors starting next Saturday.

Today was the last day the weekly market will run out of the former Swezeys’s Furniture store site, where it’s been held every Saturday since Feb. 1.

Beginning next Saturday, May 24, and running through Nov. 1, the farmers market will be held outside, with the vendors located on the grass along the Peconic River in the downtown parking lot, according to Ray Pickersgill, the executive director of the Riverhead Business Improvement District, which runs the market.

“I’m predicting we’re going to have a large turnout” for the outdoor market, Mr. Pickersgill said. “I am advertising it as to biggest farmers market on the east end and I will make it the biggest farmers market. I’m trying to get at least 40 booths if I can.”

Linda Carey of Linda’s Baking Company has been a vendor at the market since mid-March and she’s already got an outside booth, selling her baked goods on the outdoor loading dock of the building.

“We love it here,” she said. “We’ve got a water view.”

She hasn’t committed to the outdoor market yet but said she’s leaning toward it.

02/21/14 8:25am
02/21/2014 8:25 AM
The Riverhead indoor Farmers' Market is located at 117 East Main Street. Barbaraellen Koch photo.

The Riverhead indoor Farmers’ Market is located at 117 East Main Street. Barbaraellen Koch photo.

Less than three weeks after the Riverhead Farmers Market kicked off on East Main Street, it’s already outgrown its space. By far.

“We have a waiting list of 60 vendors,” said Ray Pickersgill, president of the Business Improvement District, and one of the key organizers in the weekend market — along with Community Development Director Christine Kempner and Browder’s Birds proprietor Holly Browder.

Beyond looking for excess space, Mr. Pickersgill — co-owner of downtown’s Robert James Salon — said at Wednesday night’s BID meeting that right now, he’s hoping to extend the market with the help of the two.

“If we could continue it all year, there are enough farmers who are looking to do it,” Mr. Pickersgill said.

While the BID has hosted a farmers market in the past on Saturdays, Mr. Pickersgill said on Thursday that having Ms. Browder on board, as a member of the Long Island Farm Bureau, has been key in gaining momentum for this season’s winter market, which is expected to wrap up in mid-May.

The market got its legs after Ms. Kempner ran into her old neighbor, Ms. Browder. The poultry farmer told Ms. Kempner that the winter market she went to previously, in Sag Harbor, had shut down this season. Coordinating with Mr. Pickersgill, it didn’t take long until they got enough vendors to fill out a market in downtown Riverhead.

Held at 117 East Main St. each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the market currently hosts 30 vendors in the 8,000-square-foot building downtown that previously housed Swezey’s department store.

The BID is paying $3,000 for 18 weeks in the current location.  The building next to it, which was once Swezey’s, is owned by Eli Mizrahi, who is seeking $8,000, Mr. Pickersgill said, indicating that they can’t afford that.

Also at Wednesday night’s meeting, members of the BID management association said that — after first bringing the idea up in 2011 — they are still pursuing putting a skating rink downtown. 

Mr. Pickersgill floated the idea of making the rink a pavilion, adding that sliding glass panels and heaters on the ceiling could be installed in the winter to host the farmers market

01/31/14 7:00am
01/31/2014 7:00 AM
CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO  |  An indoor farmers market will start Feb. 1 in downtown Riverhead.

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | An indoor farmers market will start Feb. 1 in downtown Riverhead.

Typically, these pages don’t include a lot of farming coverage in January and February. But over the past four weeks, with a little can-do attitude from some hard-working individuals, a winter farmers market was organized to touch down on East Main Street this winter. (more…)

01/22/14 6:48pm
01/22/2014 6:48 PM
CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO  |  An indoor farmers market will start Feb. 1 in downtown Riverhead.

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | An indoor farmers market will start Feb. 1 in downtown Riverhead.

The Riverhead Town Board unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday night co-sponsoring a new indoor farmers market that will open Feb. 1 in downtown Riverhead. The farmers market is being co-sponsored by the Business Improvement District Management Association, which has already approved $3,000 for the project.

The Town Board also voted to scheduling public hearings on a proposed new definition of “breezeway,” an issue that relates back to a controversy at the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport, and on a proposal requiring pumpout facilities for new swimming pools near wetlands.

The board also accepted the retirement of longtime Police Detective Sergeant Joseph Loggia.

To read a recap of News-Review reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog of the meeting, click below.

January 22, 2014 – Agenda by Timesreview

January 22, 2014 – Packet by Timesreview