East End Food Institute’s new East End Food Market project enjoyed a successful kickoff on Saturday, November 27, bringing in-person and indoor one-stop shopping for locally sourced produce, wine, foods and crafts back to Riverhead in the former location of Homeside Florist at 139 Main Road.
The market will continue on Saturdays from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. through April 30, 2022, but the launch festivities aren’t over yet. This Friday, December 3, East End Food Institute and the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce, along with members of the Riverhead Town Board, will celebrate the new venue with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m.
In addition to vendors, the East End Food Market offers live musical entertainment and local art on view, including murals on the building’s exterior windows by Greenport artist Kara Hoblin, who has garnered a lot of buzz for her Chalk Art of Letting Go, a beautifully rendered and temporary series of chalk drawings, which offered hope and joy to many during the past 20-plus months of fear and lockdowns.
“The pandemic created a surge in popularity and interest in local food, so we knew we had to bring back the indoor market, and we are thrilled about this location,” East End Food Institute Executive Director Kate Fullam says, noting that the market building was “a perfect canvas” for Hoblin. “…her paintings on the exterior really showcase the bounty inside!”
Centrally located for day trippers and area residents from both the Hamptons and North Fork, the East End Food Market now presents the community with off-season access to local goods and foodstuffs, which is especially important during the colder months when popular area farmers markets are closed for the winter.
Some 40 vendors populate the selling floor, including Aki’s Kitchen, Backyard Brine, The Blue Duck Bakery, Browder’s Birds, Catch of the Hamptons, Chowderhead Soup, The Cookery, Eggcellent Quiche, The Family Grubb Hubb, The Ferm, Green Door Woodworks, Handcrafted by Hedges, Jamesport Sourdough & Coffee, Kalypso Greek Yogurt, Le Fusion, Mana Sauces, Maryhaven Center of Hope, Mecox Bay Dairy, Mila’s Puffs, North Fork Roasting Co., North Fork Oysters, Open Minded Organics, Papa Pasquale, Peck’s of Maine, Peconic River Herb Farm, Peconic River Soap Company, Pendleton’s Harvest Moon Farm, The Perfect Pickle, Pierpont Blossom Farm, Rena’s Dream Patties, Sag Harbor Honey, Sang Lee Farms, Sweet Melissa Dips, Sweet Woodland Farm, Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, Tulo M*lk, and Twin Stills Moonshine.
Long Island Wine Country is also sponsoring a rotating list of wineries at the market, such as Chronicle Wines, Lenz Winery, Macari Wines, Osprey’s Dominion, Raphael, RGNY, Sparkling Pointe, and Suhru Wines.
Another exciting departure from most local farmers markets — which often cater to more well-to-do residents — East End Food Market accepts SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and Double Up Food Bucks, a new program for Suffolk County that promotes healthy eating by helping SNAP customers stretch their funds if used to buy healthy, high quality, farm-to-table foods.
For the most up-to-date list of vendors, and live music acts, visit riverheadmarket.org.
Customers who’d rather not shop in person can also preorder local goods at shop.eastendfood.org and pick up their purchases at the market every weekend.