By Abigail Bender, Samantha Rutt and Menka Suresh
The Winter Farmers Market in Port Jefferson Village has reopened after a seasons hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The market features 23 vendors who offer all locally sourced products ranging from sweet to savory, pudding to hot sauce, drinks, produce, soaps, and more.
The winter market meets weekly on Sundays from 10AM until 2PM in the Mayor Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, located inside the village center.
“You get to see the same customers every week, you get [to have] a relationship with the town,” Amy Gordon, a vendor at the market said.
The market aims to connect the community with local businesses hoping to enhance the quality of life in and around Port Jefferson.
“I love going to the farmers market because every single time I see something new,” Autumn Jarrett, a fifth-grader at Scraggy Hill Elementary in Port Jefferson said. “I see sweets, candy, honey, I just love the smiles of all the people getting so much stuff.”
Autumn and her mother, Vivian, go to the market every Sunday.
“It’s nice to see people you normally see, especially the little kids who come here,” Gordon said, “we have seen people come back and you get to know them really well. It is very family oriented here which is really fun.”
Owner of Sweets by Amy G, Amy Gordon has been selling her products at Port Jefferson’s farmers market since 2019. Her bakery specializes in cheesecake, cookies and specialty sweets. Gordon says that she sells most of her products from the farmers market and local community events, she often befriends other vendors fostering a symbiotic relationship.
“Pecks of Maine, I buy their jam and try out new cheesecake recipes, a lot of the people here interact that way,” Gordon said about another local vendor. “You barter with them for something, it is very much its own little community, it’s nice.”
Where there might be assumed competition between vendors, friendships have emerged.
“The fellow vendors are extremely helpful to one another, we have had a lot of people help us with information to start up and to do this.” Eric Liao said. Liao owns Trombone e Gatto, a pastry and sweets business run out of Stony Brook. He began his business around 2017 with his now manager, Tom Reese. The two enjoy the interaction with the community that comes from attending these events.
“A farmers market tends to be for both, people who are vendors and also people who are customers,” Reese said. “There is a lot more interaction, it is not just about the store, it’s about the people.”
The winter farmers market will run through April 30th before transitioning into its outdoor season.
“I really love coming here and socializing and just talking to people, it feels really good,” Dan Parenti, vendor from Spy Coast Bee Farm said. “ It feels like a family.”