I asked one of our many Dan’s Papers 2012 Best of the Best nominees for Best Farmers Market Vendor, Marie Sellers of Boathouse Road, how her business was planning to compete in our annual contest. “I will ask every person that comes to my stand at the Southampton Farmers Market to vote for us,” she told me, “and I will tell all six of my Facebook friends to vote too.”
This seems a very reasonable approach. Boathouse Road is not a big company, but slow and steady would win this race. Based in Hampton Bays, the brand is becoming synonymous with gift-giving in the Hamptons.
I also asked Sellers to reflect on why Boathouse Road does what they do, and she gave me this impassioned reply:
“What a wonderful way to spend the summer! It is amazing to watch, and to be a part of, the interaction between farm and table. I am not a farmer, I am not a cook, I am an assembler. I offer my customers food accessories so that they can turn the raw bounty from our local farms and waters into easy and delicious meals and snacks for their families. When we started four years ago, I offered two marinades and two dressings. These were tried and true recipes that my husband, Decollege, roomates, weekends, women’s studies, east end, politics, austrailian, education, gender equalitynnis Bracken, has been using for 25 years as a chef in the Hamptons. We have expanded our line over the years to include organic spice blends, dip mixes, organic vanilla sugars and apple crisp topping.” Her nine-year-old son Mickey is even in on the business—“he offers homemade Italian ices. I have a lot of ideas for easy meals and snacks, and I will generally point out another vendor or two to complete my menu suggestions. I love to come up with fun, okay, corny names for my products, like ‘Miss ChiGon’ for our Chive Garlic Onion dip mix. But what is my favorite part? The community! We are very fortunate to have such a nice variety of vendors and farmers, all with vast amounts of knowledge. Come down and chat awhile and taste the best that the East End has to offer.” said Sellers.
So I did go down to chat awhile with Sellers last Sunday at the Southampton Farmers Market. I’ve tried—and very much enjoyed —some of her products before, including a steak marinade, some dry rubs and some dressings. All very good. This week I picked up Boathouse Road’s Crisp Topping. Good for “apples, peaches, cherries and berries,” according to Sellers. Back home I followed its directions and threw it on top of a mix of local raspberries, green tomatoes, peaches, apples and
Like many farmers market vendors, Boathouse Road does not have a retail establishment, but Sellers told me that you can place orders “ontheline” by calling her at 631-569-6322.
Good products and deep ties to our East End foodie community will no doubt serve Boathouse well in the competition. But if they don’t come out on top—well, at least we’ve all had a good time trying—and sharing—their products. And there’s always next year!
Nominations for Dan’s Best of the Best are underway, and readers are invited to head to www.danshamptons.com/bestofthebest through Sept. 4 to nominate their favorite East End establishment or personality in any of more than 200 categories. Check back online on Sept. 14 to cast your votes. Voting will continue through Oct. 2, and the winners will be announced in the Oct. 19 issue of Dan’s Papers. All Best of the Best honorees will be recognized at a celebratory fete in November.