Dan Rattiner's Stories

Round Swamp Panic: Beloved East Hampton Shop Closes for Two Weeks

The well-to-do in the Hamptons each have their own favorite country farm stand or tiny market. The food is fresh and organic. In Amagansett it’s Balsam Farm. In East Hampton it’s Round Swamp Farm, in Bridgehampton it’s Loaves & Fishes. The array of cars out front of these places goes from Bentley to Tesla to Mercedes to Lexus. You’ll sometimes see a pickup truck, too. Even farmers shop there.

Go figure. I could name the rest of these favorites in all the villages, but then there wouldn’t be enough room for the rest of this article.

Last Friday, those folks shopping at Round Swamp Farm—jostling for parking spaces, waiting impatiently on line—were surprised after battling through the lines in this small store to the register, to see a note put into their shopping bags.

It read “Round Swamp Farm will be closing at 6 p.m. (or until sold out) on Saturday September 2 through Thursday, September 14 in observance of Labor Day.”

I think it hit this community—I live a half-mile from this farm—like a thunderbolt. Saturday was the next day. And my wife is a big shopper there.

Come Saturday morning at 7 a.m., she was rarin’ to go. She was gonna clean the place out.

“Don’t forget to take your pistol,” I urged her.

She came back exhausted an hour later, with five shopping bags. She cleared out a big spot in the freezer. That should hold us.

Perhaps you saw the tie-up on Channel 12. Perhaps you marveled at the length of cars parked by the side of the road a half-mile away with folks walking briskly toward the farm or walking happily back from the farm loaded with groceries.

It’s said that out in the country, people can relax and enjoy themselves from the stress of the city. Not on Three Mile Harbor Road on Saturday.

Carolyn Snyder is a local woman who runs Round Swamp Farm. She has to be nice to everybody—rude, friendly, courteous or demanding—every day all summer. It has to be exhausting.

Closing from the first day of Labor Day Weekend for nearly two weeks says something.

You figure it out.

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