CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Chappaqua did not have a farmer's market three years ago. Now, every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 191 S. Greeley Ave., it is home to one of Westchester County’s finest.
Chappaqua Farmers Market Founder Priscilla Sorensen has a lot to do with that.
“I knew the town wanted a farmer’s market,” said Sorensen. “But the challenge was finding a sustainable agenda and identity for a farmers market specific to Chappaqua.”
It was that challenge that led Sorensen to Pascale Le Draoulec, a former restaurant critic for the New York Daily News, author and director of the Hastings Farmers Market.
“I was always a big fan of the Hastings Farmer's Market,” said Sorensen. “It’s a sense of unique vendors and community identity. That was the vision I had for Chappaqua.”
That mission was accomplished with the help of Le Draoulec.
Le Draoulec said towns commonly approached her asking “Can you do that for us?” upon visiting Hasting’s market. For Sorensen and Chappaqua, the answer was a resounding “yes.”
“What I love about the Chappaqua Farmers Market is that we have a really nice variety of vendors,” said Le Draoulec. “We cover all the bases. There’s things you’ll find here that you simply cannot get anywhere else in town—and in some instances—the county.”
The Chappaqua Farmers Market is home to unique vendors such as Stone Barns (pristine meats), Taiim Falafel (gourmet hummus), The Pie Lady and Son (homemade pies), Obercreek Farm (baby greens), Chatham Brewery (award-winning microbrewed beer) and, two Saturdays a month, a knife sharper.
Good luck finding their services or products anywhere else in New Castle.
In fact, one of the market’s newest vendors—Obercreek Farm from Beacon—has chosen Chappaqua as its first, and so far only, vending location in Westchester. The farm solely focuses on baby salad greens year round using “high tunnels.”
“The Chappaqua customers have been great,” said Obercreek owner Tim Heuer. “I can’t say enough about how educated they are.”
Heuer said he’s also a fan of joining the vendor community and atmosphere.
“The great thing about this market is every vendor here produces what they bring themselves, so they’re experts on whatever they’re selling,” he said. “I think that goes a long way when you’re helping out a customer.”
Chappaqua Farmer’s Market Manager Rose Ellis agreed, saying the customer experience is one of a kind.
“We are extremely personal here,” she said. “We’re a small, casual operation and a bunch of friends here.”
Ellis alluded to a story of a recent weekend to help explain.
“We had a woman call and say she left her bag at the market and even though we couldn’t locate it for her, the vendor replaced it free of cost. The regulars are true to us, as we are to them.”
But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to see new faces.
“Even with that big banner downtown, people are still surprised to find out there’s a farmer's market,” she said. “I encourage those people to come see what we’re all about.”
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