Gertrude Rauch said she enjoyed the inaugural farmers market sponsored by the Village of Great Neck and the Great Neck Park District last Thursday, but had one complaint.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea and I’m happy everything has worked out so well,” said the 60-year-old Great Neck resident. “It should have happened sooner.”
Sag Harbor residents Ana Nieto and Ivo Tomasini, who are coordinating and managing the peninsula’s farmers market, said they were pleased with the first day of the farmers market as well.
“We’re happy to be in Great Neck,” Nieto said. “We have such wonderful vendors and pretty soon I think the entire park will be full.”
The market runs every Thursday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. through Nov. 1 at the Village Green, which is located between Beach Road and Arrandale Avenue on Middle Neck Road.
The market opened with a “vine-cutting” ceremony, which featured appearances by Village of Great Neck Deputy Mayor Mitchell Beckerman, along with village trustees Mark Birnbaum, Barton Sobel and Jeffrey Bass.
Great Neck Park District Commissioner Ruth Tamarin and Robert Lincoln Jr. also attended, along with former Commissioner Ivar Segalowitz and acting Park District Superintendent Peter Renick.
More than 10 vendors pitched their tents and displayed a wide range of locally produced offerings.
“I’m thrilled that after six or seven years of trying, we are finally able to make this happen,” Tamarin said. “It’s a wonderful beginning and I’ve been told that because of the turnout today, we’ll need extra tents for next week’s market.”
Bass said he too was optimistic about the future of Great Neck’s farmers market.
“I think today’s turnout is magnificent and it will be a boom for the village,” he said. “I look forward to seeing it’s growth.”
One of the most unique vendors was Life is Grruff, an all-natural dog treats company, owned and managed by Kim Loper.
Established in 2011, the Center Moriches-based company celebrated their first anniversary in May and participates in multiple farmer’s markets.
Their products are without preservatives, salt or sugar, and are made from human-grade ingredients, so people can eat them too.
Del Pozzo Foods, a fine Italian speciality foods company, owned by Peter and Jeanine Del Pozzo, was pitched next to Life is Grruff.
Featuring olive oils, balsamic vinegars, sauces, dressings and more, Peter Del Pozzo continues to use the same recipes passed down by his grandfather Pietro Del Pozzo Sr. and father Pietro Del Pozzo Jr.
Del Pozzo Sr. immigrated to the U.S. from Avellino, Italy and opened his first restaurant in Queens in 1955.
Ever since then, the Del Pozzo family have been producing quality natural recipes for everyone to enjoy.
Blue Duck Bakery Cafe brought an array of fresh foods including sour dough and french breads, pies such as blueberry and strawberry and cakes.
Based out of South Hampton for 14 years, a representative from the company, Katie Hayes, managed the tent.
“We’re trying to expand westward, and will be opening a location in Riverhead in late June or early July,” Hayes said.
Blue Duck Bakery Cafe has also appeared in numerous magazines, one recently being Saveur, in which they were placed among the 20 Great American Bread Bakeries.
Also at the market was Horman’s Best Pickles, a Glen Cove-based company, which is owned by third-generation picklers.
Assistant manager Eric Vogel was there to represent the company, displaying a sample of delicious flavored pickles such as spicy sour, honey mustard, new dill, sweet cajun, sour and many more.
Orient Organics Farm, an Orient Point-based company, makes organic produce and seedlings.
Their products include heirloom tomatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, peas, cheese pumpkins, potatoes, spinach, cauliflower and much more.
Owned and managed by Peter Vasilas and his daughter Alethea, they have operated in the same location for 10 years.
Michelle Reich and her friend Elizabeth Weiss were very excited about the market, as they moved around from vendor to vendor.
“They should have more of them,” Weiss said. “The food is incredible and everything is fresh, which you won’t get in the supermarket. It also doesn’t take away from small business, which is terrific.”
Any business interested in participating in future farmers markets can contact Nieto at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-286-6264.
“We want to spread the word around and we are looking for other vendors,” Nieto said.