BRICK – The Brick Farmers’ Market is back, and it’s bigger and better than ever, with additional vendors, more selections and extended hours.
This is the third year the market has been open on Saturday mornings at Windward Beach Park, and since it has become so popular, the new hours are 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. instead of closing at noon.
In addition to six farmers, there are more than two dozen other vendors who sell everything from pierogies, pickles, hot coffee, breads, pastries, syrup, Italian delicacies and more.
There were also booths that featured woodworks, jewelry, candles and other crafts.
There was even a vendor who sold dog treats, even though dogs are not allowed in Windward Beach Park – except for during the annual Chamber of Commerce Dog Fest.
Ellen and Harry Tweed came to the Farmers’ Market from their nearby home in the Forge Pond neighborhood.
“We bought bread and sweet potato syrup, which is to die for,” said Harry.
“We didn’t buy any vegetables because we couldn’t find what we were looking for,” added Ellen. “We usually shop at Delicious Orchards, but we’ll probably come back here every week, it’s so convenient,” she said.
The farm vendors change their inventory each week as more fruits and vegetables come into season.
One of the farm stands, Colony Market, is familiar to many Brick residents. The family had a store on Mantoloking Road that dated back to 1938, which later became the Visitation Relief Center to assist with Superstorm Sandy victims.
“Well if they don’t know who we are, their parents and grandparents do,” said Todd Marchetto, whose father Aldo ran the produce market and garden center on Mantoloking Road for many years, which was originally started by his grandfather when it was called “The Colonies Market.”
Now Marchetto sells produce, flowers, honey, jam and jelly at farmers’ markets in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“I took over the business; it’s in my blood,” he said. “We have been at the Brick Farmers’ Market from the very beginning. Business has been great since the word got out that we’re here.”
Melanie Carballo came to the Farmers’ Market with her husband, Don, who live near the park off Princeton Avenue.
“We love it. We couldn’t wait until it started again because we try to come every week,” she said.
The couple usually picks up ready-made food at the Farmers’ Market, such as empanadas, mozzarella or ravioli from the Caldrino’s food truck, and then they bring it home for lunch.
“When the veggies come out we buy them here and stock up for the week,” added Don. “We like to support the market.”
Mayor John G. Ducey was at the Farmers’ Market on its opening day with his young son Jack, 5.
“A lot of people were saying they couldn’t get here in time because of a lot of sports in the morning, and they wanted to know if we could extend the hours,” Ducey said.
The Duceys were planning to get some empanadas and maybe some plants, the mayor said.
The Farmers’ Market will be open every Saturday until September 23.