Would you rather have New Rochelle’s summer farmers’ market held on Fridays or Saturdays?
For now, vendors come to the downtown Library Green on Fridays in the warmer months to sell their produce, breads, pastries and pickles. (Personally, I’m addicted to the “new pickles,” the ones that are still crisp and partkly sweet. But I digress.)
Some downtown merchants would rather see the market set up on Saturdays. They figure the weekend time slot would bring more people selling their foods, and many more people. Families, even.
John Reverol, owner of R. Patisserie, the coffee and tea shop at 309 Huguenot St., with the seating like a homey salon, said New Rochelle residents who commute to Manhattan or elsewhere miss out.
The market runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“A lot of people complain that they can’t buy anything from the farmers’ market because by the time they come back to New Rochelle, it’s gone,” Reverol told me. He’s one of the leaders in the push to move the day.
The city is looking into the idea. The City Council just this week renewed its contract with Community Markets, the company that runs the farmers’ market. But they agreed only to a one-year contract, with the option to renew for two years, rather than a straight three-year contract.
This year, it will continue on Fridays, starting June 22.
Reverol said that if it the market were much larger, some local restaurants might even buy fresh produce and other foods there. He’s one of them. But as it is, he gets nothing from the market, he said.
“It’s so small, there’s really nothing to buy,” he said.
Others were kinder to the market, and particularly to Community Markets.
“I think everyone agrees that the farmers’ market has greatly improved over the past few years as result of our collaboration with Community Markets and as a result of the move to Library Green,” said Mayor Noam Bramson.
Councilman Ivar Hyden, who owns the Backstreet Gallery across Lawton Street from the Library Green at Huguenot Steet, said the market could expand to sell arts, crafts and things, hopefully becoming “a real destination on Saturday during the summer months.”
He’s been suggesting that the market be held on Saturdays for years. Hyden said that the issue is important enough that if Community Markets can’t move the day to Saturday next year, the city should look for another company to organize it. Bramson said it was too early to make such a decision.
No one knows yet whether Community Markets will move the day. Company director Miriam Haas told me this week she had just heard of the idea and couldn’t comment yet.
One possible hitch: The Ossining-based company already runs Saturday markets near New Rochelle, in Pelham and Larchmont. (Community Markets also runs markets in other areas of Westchester as well as in Rockland and New York City.)
What’s your thought? Would you rather see the market set up on Fridays or Saturdays? How often do you visit the farmer’s market? And what would you like to see there?