FARMERS MARKET THE SUNDAY SPOT

farmers-market2Stacey Gentile, of Cherry Grove Farm in Lawrenceville, hands out cheese samples to visitors of Red Bank’s farmers market. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Cherry Grove Farm has been at the Red Bank Farmers Market for two weeks, and it’s one of the first such open-air markets the Lawrencville-based farm has decided to take part in. Employee Stacey Gentile says Red Bank was at the top of the list of places for the business to try and branch out.

Schnitzie Snacks, a homemade dog-treat business from Long Branch, doesn’t take part in other farmers markets, just Red Bank.

And for the last six years, the owner of Bohemians Panes, out of Tinton Falls, has made the parking lot at The Galleria her No. 1 spot to sell an array of arts and crafts.

These three businesses could set up shop at markets elsewhere, but they choose not to.

For one reason or another, Red Bank is preferred.

And for more than 1,000 people each Sunday, it’s the preferred place to stroll along the blacktop for a taste of what the market has to offer. This isn’t just a place to pick up a fresh local tomato or a bottle of olive oil. Along the wide aisles, there are finds that make the market scene more flea than farmer.

That’s what attracts Sharon Hill, owner of Bohemians Panes.

“It’s beautiful to us,” she said. “A lot of people come down here just to see what they can get as far as gifts.”

Scattered among the locally-produced fruits and vegetables, fresh baked breads and homemade pie are stands like Hill’s. She has a range of wares, from stained glass to jewelry to sun catchers. Somewhere else you will find Schnitzie, a homemade dog treat business. Elsewhere, you can find the hard-to-find, like whey-fed pork and raw milk cheeses from Cherry Grove.

“They have a little bit of everything going on,” Hill said.

Borough residents Renee and Bill Doehler make it a point to visit the market at least once or twice a month to supportĀ  local businesses. Although it appears the market is gaining attention, it bodes well for the whole town to get more people into the market, the couple said.

“Anything that brings people into town, that’s a plus,” Bill Doehler said.

The market continues from 9a to 2p each Sunday until mid-November.