Popular farmers market has old Swezey’s building at capacity again

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Customers line up outside the Riverhead Farmers Market Saturday.
Customers line up outside the Riverhead Farmers Market Saturday. (Paul Squire photo)

In its fourth week, the Riverhead Farmers Market is still pulling in capacity crowds to the former Swezey’s building on East Main Street. 

Customers were lined up outside the front door waiting for their chance to enter Saturday afternoon as the sun shined on one of the first nice days of the year. Hundreds shopped at the market and could be seen walking up and down Main Street. At the back door, a Riverhead fire marshal was stationed to make sure the building remained safe.

Organizers said the success of the market has encouraged them to move vegetable farmers at the market to the parking lot in the summer.

Riverhead Business Improvement District president Ray Pickersgill said the market may also expand into the empty space next door as early as next week, should the BID and the property owner come to a deal. Mr. Pickersgill said an expanded market could run all day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and may be combined with a proposed ice rink in the riverfront parking lot to draw visitors.

The market has been a boon for local farmers, who normally struggle to make sales during the winter, said Holly Browder, proprietor at Browder’s Birds poultry farm, who helped invite farmers to the weekly event.

“All the farmers are really excited,” she said, noting that even if the market expands, organizers would make sure to keep the same local “feel.”

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