The idea had been brewing for four years: open markets in the South Village and Petrosino Square on Lafayette near Spring Street. It finally came to fruition on Saturday when Nina Planck and her company, Real Food, opened up two Real Food markets.
Real Food markets differ from traditional farmers’ markets in that the region they come from is larger (this one encompasses the northeast from Maine to New Jersey) and they allow purveyors to sell, something that is taboo in the world of traditional farmers’ markets. On opening day, Nina was welcoming customers with warm eyes and sun-kissed arms to the market at South Village, which so far has just six stalls occupying an area near Sixth Avenue and Houston.
The market is low on produce, but Nina has heard the siren cry for more and is looking to add several new produce farmers. Murray’s Gone Local – an arm of Murray’s Cheese that sells only local cheeses – is on hand, using the market as a training ground for cheeses and other dairy products before they hit the big time at the main store around the corner. Other vendors include Eden Brook Fish Company, selling excellent smoked trout, Pickle-licious, with enough pickles to satisfy all of pregnant New York, Balthazar Bread, Valley Farmers, a co-op of farmers selling meat and Norwich Meadows Farms selling seasonal veggies.
Both markets are open from 10am - 2pm until December 23.