Julianne Hall of Sang Lee Farms at the Riverhead Farmers Market last year. File photo: Denise Civiletti

The Riverhead Farmers Market will open Saturday under new management, with a fresh new look and 42 vendors, including several newcomers.

The indoor market, located at 54 East Main Street — the former Ben Franklin Crafts building — will be open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through April 25.

Now in its seventh season, the winter market will be operated for the first time this year by the East End Food Institute, a Southampton-based nonprofit whose mission is to support, promote and advocate for the farmers, vintners, fishermen, and other food producers and providers on the East End.

The farmers market is a good fit with the organization’s mission, East End Food Institute executive director Kate Fullam said.

A few farmers approached Fullam to ask for help to continue the market, she said.

“I felt it would be a wonderful way of gathering the community and local producers and artisans,” Fullam said. “We were happy to step in and help.”

The institute operates South Fork Kitchens on the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University, where it provides local growers and entrepreneurs access to a commercial kitchen and storage space. It runs training and apprentice programs, as well as a “Farm to Community” distribution program that provides thousands of pounds of surplus produce to local food pantries.

Formerly called the Amagansett Food Institute, the organization changed its name in June to better reflect its mission and geographic reach.

Rachel Stephens of Sweet Woodland Farm, Lucy Senesac of Sang Lee Farms and Chris Browder of Browder’s Birds are floor managers at the market this year.

A group of about a dozen vendors volunteered to give the interior walls of the building a fresh coat of paint, Stephens said. They descended on the space on Wednesday to get it done.

“We wanted it to look nice and clean and give us a nice blank slate,” Stephens said. The paint was donated by Loper’s Hardware in Quogue and Shinnecock Hardware in Hampton Bays, she said.

Stephens said the vendors are excited for the season opening.

With 42 vendors, “we’re jam-packed,” she said. The market had to turn away about 20 vendors this year, she said.

The Riverhead market was initiated by the Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association in 2013. The BID ran it through 2016. Long Island Greenmarket, a Long Beach-based nonprofit, ran the market in 2017 and 2018. It moved its current location at 54 East Main Street last year.

This season’s vendors are: 1610 Bakehouse, Aki’s Kitchen, Arlotta Food Studio, Browder’s Birds, Catch of the Day, Chef Giovanni Hot Sauce, Chronicle Wines, Empenadas, Goodale Farms, Green Door Woodworks, Homeslice Pizza, Horman’s Pickles,Kalypso Yogurt, Laurel Nut Butter, Loretta Fay Designs, Le Fusion, Lulu’s Knits, Mana Sauces, Maryhaven Center of Hope, Mecox Bay Dairy, Milla’s Puffs, Modern Primal Soap Comapany, Mushrooms.NYC, NOA Bars, Nuna Knits, Openminded Organics, Papa Pasquale Ravioli and Pasta Company, Peck’s of Maine, Peconic River Herb Farm, Robert’s Bakestand, Rosie’s Country Bakeshop, Sang Lee Farms, Squared GF, Sweet Woodland Farm, Stoic Artisans Kombacha, Talk Treats to Me, Tend Coffee, Terranut, The Spice Cabinet, Turmeric Store, Wolffer Estate Vineyard.

Below are photos of the farmers market on opening day in 2018. RiverheadLOCAL file photos by Denise Civiletti

This story is free to read thanks in part to the generous support of readers like you. Keep local news free. Become a member today.

SHARE
Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.